Word of the Day

Saturday, February 16, 2013


\PAR-uhf\ , noun;
a flourish made after a signature, as in a document, originally as a precaution against forgery.
The manuscript's most tantalizing feature is a scribal paraph with the initials IB at the end of Certain sonnets...
-- H. R. Woudhuysen, Sir Philip Sidney and the Circulation of Manuscripts
His worried expression, however, was not just a mask for the moment. Of late, it had become his most distinctive feature, his peculiar paraph.
-- Ken Anderson, The Statue Of Pan
The paraph is only a schematic and marginal countersignature, a fragment of signature; indeed, who can claim to decipher a whole signature?
-- Jacques Derrida, Mémoires
Though early incarnations of paraph appear in Italian, Middle French, and Middle English, its earliest origins are Greek with para- meaning "beside" and the final -ph resulting from graphos, referring to text.
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