One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
(in the UK) the chief usher of the Lord Chamberlain's department of the royal household, who is also usher to the House of Lords.
- ‘From 1972 until 1996 the Usher of the Black Rod wore a sword on ceremonial occasions.’
- ‘The Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod announced the arrival of Her Majesty's Commissioners.’
- ‘‘We in parliament were all very impressed by the way Black Rod handled the funeral.’’
- ‘A message from Her Excellency the Governor-General desiring the immediate attendance of honourable members in the Legislative Council Chamber was delivered by the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod.’
- ‘These days, once the Queen has taken to the throne to deliver her speech, she orders Black Rod to summon the MPs.’
Mid 17th century: so named because of the black wand carried as a symbol of office.
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