from M.Fr. surlonge
, lit. "upper part of the loin," from sur
"over, above" + longe
"loin," from O.Fr. loigne
). Eng. spelling with sir-
dates from 17c., supposedly because the cut of beef was "knighted" by an English king for its superiority, a tale variously told of Henry VIII, James I, and Charles II, though only the first is chronologically possible.