One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A person who visits or resides in London during a law term, either on legal business, or to take advantage of the increased opportunity for commerce, entertainment, or criminal activity. Sometimes derogatory. Now rare (historical after 17th cent.).
2A person who is bound or restricted to a particular length of time for doing something; especially (a) †a person who holds office only for a term or limited period; also figurative (obsolete); (b) (now only) a person serving a prison sentence for a fixed term.
Mid 16th century; earliest use found in Wyll of Deuyll. From term + -er.
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