One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1historical A pilgrim, especially one who had returned from the Holy Land with a palm branch or leaf as a sign of having undertaken the pilgrimage.
- ‘This last deals with a debate between a Palmer (pilgrim), a Pardoner, an apothecary and a Pedlar.’
- ‘As a palmer (pilgrim) turned hangman, Robin rescued three of his men.’
- 1.1 An itinerant monk travelling from shrine to shrine under a vow of poverty.
- ‘In 1608 Edward Topsell, a naturalist, called them "Palmer" worms - so named after the "palmer", or wandering monk - because of their roving habits and ruggedness.’
2A hairy artificial fly used in angling.
- ‘Dressing a fly by winding the hackle the length of the body is mentioned in fly fishing books of the fifteenth century. It is called the palmer style of dressing.’
- ‘The soldier palmer fly is like all palmered flies inasmuch as it has a thick body with a few or no tail fibres and no wings.’
- ‘Step 4: Tie in hackle and wind in palmer style to bend’
Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French, from medieval Latin palmarius ‘pilgrim’, from Latin palma ‘palm’.
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