One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Of or relating to a camera or chamber; specifically (in Germany) of or relating to a judicial or a fiscal chamber, especially the state treasury; relating to finance or public revenue.
Late 17th century; earliest use found in Elisha Coles. From post-classical Latin cameralis concerning the chamberlain, (of a coinage) in use for payments to the chamber, of or relating to a judicial or fiscal chamber, especially the state treasury, also in sense ‘of or relating to the bedroom’ from classical Latin camera in its post-classical Latin sense of ‘chamber, bureau’ + -ālis. With the specific sense compare German kameral, † cameral (1654 or earlier; chiefly in compounds, e.g. Kameralbediente (plural) officials of a judicial or fiscal chamber, Kameralsachen (plural) matters relating to a judicial or fiscal chamber, Kameralwissenschaft). Compare French caméral relating to the office of chamberlain, relating to public finance.
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