One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A churchwarden's assistant, a sidesman. Now historical.
2A person appointed to undertake or participate in an inquiry or inquisition; specifically (a) a parish or ward official elected annually, especially to inquire into abuses of weights and measures; (b) a layperson appointed by a bishop to inquire into and report offenders against Church observance or doctrine. Now historical.
Late Middle English. From quest + man.
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