Google glossary tool

The Google glossary function, which has been available in beta for a few months now, is now officially available (via beSpacific).

It is better described as a definition tool (jurabilis).

It only works in English so far. You enter ‘define:’ in an ordinary Google search. Thus the following search:

define: barrister

produces the following results:

Definitions of barrister on the Web (only the Australian and BBC definitions are any good!):

bq. a British lawyer who speaks in the higher courts of law
www.cogsci.princeton.edu/cgi-bin/webwn

bq. A lawyer who conducts public trials in an English superior court. See solicitor.
august1.com/pubs/dict/b.htm

bq. lawyer
www.webtrail.com/sopafug/gendictionary.html

bq. in England, one of two classes of legal practitioners; an English trial lawyer
www.lombardiperry.com/glossary.htm

bq. One admitted to plead at the bar; one who has been “called to the bar.” The bar is the rail which divides the counsel from the audience, or the place thus enclosed. Tantamount to the rood-screen of a church, which separates the chancel from the rest of the building. Both these are relics of the ancient notion that the laity are an inferior order to the privileged class.
www.bootlegbooks.com/Reference/PhraseAndFable/data/99.html

bq. A member of the bar who has exclusive rights in some Courts to plead cases.
www.fire.org.uk/legterms.htm

bq. A lawyer who specialises in court appearances and providing written opinions. Usually not able to act for clients directly and is engaged through a solicitor. In some courts they are required to wear wigs and gowns. •Disability
elo.legalaid.qld.gov.au/asp/glossary/glossary.asp

bq. Lawyer, in England.
www.city-net.com/~markd/dictionary/dictionary_b.htm

bq. One admitted to plead at the bar; one who has been “called to the bar.” The bar is the rail which divides the counsel from the audience, or the place thus enclosed. Tantamount to the rood-screen of a church, which separates the chancel from the rest of the building. Both these are relics of the ancient notion that the laity are an inferior order to the privileged class.
ppcl.chungnam.ac.kr/my/references/phrase/data/99.html

bq. Barristers are instructed by solicitors. They specialise in a particular field of law and can present a case in any court (compare a solicitor whose rights to speak in court are limited).
www2.thny.bbc.co.uk/watchdog/legalglossary/b.shtml

bq. a courtroom lawyer; a litigator
www.hpo.bc.ca/PublicationsForms/MMR/Glossary.html

I looked at the sources of the two good definitions. The BBC glossary is very brief, but the Australian one is interesting – there is not only a glossary with definitions, but a column to the right with links to what is called ‘Infoscreen’, short texts putting the terms in a wider context.

The beta glossary had or has its own link, but that produces inferior and fewer results for ‘barrister’.

1 thought on “Google glossary tool

  1. The word is also related to barrack i.e. ‘rail’ at – presumably at each other, defendants and witnesses.

    Also this snobbish notion of the bar dividing the pleaders from the audience isn’t entirely right.

    The ancient bar rail goes back to the training stage. Applicants (Scottish: intrants)are called to the ‘utter’ (outer) bar to watch and supervise students and ‘pupils’ holding moots, debates and rehearsing oral writ applications inside the bar: ‘the inner bar’ and who hadn’t/haven’t yet passed ‘the Bar law degree’ at one of the ‘Colleges of Lawyers’ (Inns of Court). You would think it’s the other way round. But it isn’t.

    Because of this obscurity of antique pedigree – even to many Barristers freshly called, the word ‘utter’ has been taken off call certificates – at least by the Inner Temple.

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