One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Frequently with capital initials. In the Ottoman Empire: a decree or edict issued by the government and approved by the Sultan personally by means of a handwritten note or sign, and thereby considered to be irrevocable.
Mid 17th century. From Ottoman Turkish ḵaṭṭ-ı şerīf (Turkish hatt-ı şerif) from Persian ḵaṭi-šarīf royal letter, mandate, etc. signed by the sovereign's own hand from Persian ḵaṭṭ, ḵaṭ line, line drawn on paper, character, writing, handwriting, note, letter, etc. (from Arabic ḵaṭṭ line, written line, writing) + -i, suffix connecting a noun to its qualifier + šarīf noble.
hatti sherif/ˌhatɪ ʃəˈriːf/
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