One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A person in charge of the infirmary in a medieval monastery.
- ‘The prior, or he who holds his power, if the sickness of the brother requires immediate assistance, shall tell the infirmarer.’
- ‘The body was washed and prepared for burial by the women of the family (or by the monastic infirmarer, in the case of a monk or nun), and either shrouded or placed in a coffin.’
- ‘The infirmarer was allowed to speak to the inmates of the infirmary, but was to do so quietly and in designated areas.’
Late Middle English: from Old French enfermerier, from enfermerie ‘infirmary’, based on Latin infirmus (see infirm).
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