One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Roman Catholic Church. An officer of the papal court charged with the duty of registering and dating all documents issued by the Pope, and of representing the Pope in matters relating to grants, dispensations, etc. Compare datary. Now historical.
2A person who registers and dates a document. More generally: a chronologer; an expert in dates.
More fully "datary office", "datary court". A branch of the Apostolic Chancery charged with the dating of papal bulls and other documents.
Early 16th century. From post-classical Latin datarius officer at the Papal Court from data + classical Latin -ārius. Compare French dataire, Italian datario<br>early 17th century; earliest use found in Thomas Fitzherbert (1552–1640), Jesuit. From post-classical Latin dataria from data + classical Latin -āria. Compare French daterie, Italian dataria.
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