One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An undergraduate at Cambridge University or at Trinity College, Dublin, receiving financial help from the college and formerly having certain menial duties.
- ‘At first he was a sizar but from his second year onwards he received a full scholarship.’
- ‘He'd won a scholarship-he couldn't have gone otherwise-but as a sizar, his expenses paid at the weekly rate of one shilling and sixpence, he could hardly expect to keep up with the young lords around him.’
Late 16th century: from obsolete size ‘ration of bread, beer, etc.’ + -ar.
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