One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A person licensed to sell papal pardons or indulgences.
- ‘There's a prim prioress, a pardoner in shabby green velvet, an enigmatic woman in fur-trimmed crimson.’
- ‘Chaucer's habit of poking fun at pardoners and summoners is not so much an example of impiety as a way of demonstrating how much virtue he has to spare.’
- ‘Basically if you knew that you had sinned you would wait until a pardoner was in your region selling an indulgence and purchase one as the pope, being God's representative on Earth, would forgive your sins and you would be pardoned.’
- ‘Although the custom has since curtailed, in Chaucer's time it was common for pardoners - dealers in pardons - to travel the countryside peddling their ‘wares’.’
- ‘It's just the kind of logic employed by mediaeval pardoners flogging pigs' bones as holy relics.’
Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French.
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