Sunday, July 29, 2012


lucre [ˈlukər] n.

1.) Gain, profit, pecuniary advantage. Now only with unfavourable implication: Gain viewed as a low motive for action; ‘pelf’ (O.E.D. 2nd Ed.).

Etymology: adoption (either directly, or through French lucre) of Latin lucrum, from Aryan root lau-, leu-, lou-, whence Greek ἀπολαύειν to enjoy, Gothic launs, Old High German lôn, and Modern German lohn wages, reward.

"For a bisshoppe must be fautelesse as it be commeth the minister of God: not stubborne not angrye no dronkarde no fyghter not geven to filthy lucre: but herberous one that loveth goodnes sobre mynded righteous holy temperat and suche as cleveth unto the true worde of doctryne that he maye be able to exhorte with wholsom learnynge and to improve them that saye agaynst it" (The Epistle of Paul to Titus, William Tyndale (trans.), 1526).

(Saint Ignatius of Antioch, Unknown artist, ~950)


Bibi said...

Makes sense. Lucre, lucrative... And then I went on and read the etymological part of your definition, and I saw "launs/lôn/lohn" and in Dutch it's "loon" and tadaa! I speak old German.
^ it's late (or early?), don't mock my nonsensical thinking pattern...

Question, not about the word of the day. More like, adaptation of Latin names in English. Something I thought of while reading the text beneath the picture. Howcome does the English language sometimes keep the end "-us" (ie the above used Titus and Ignatius), and sometimes decides to just not bother (ie the evangelists, or any other saint I read about in English).
^ feel free not to answer, it's late (or early?), and I probably could've formulated the question a lot better, let alone do some research before leaving this comment.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

"Filthy lucre" is still the only expression or use of it that I've ever heard.

D4 said...

This one makes a lot of sense. I'll end up remembering it, was wondering what the English word for it was.

Meri said...

hmm, like in lucrative

Jenny Woolf said...

Funny that lucre is usually "filthy". Have you read The Gul's Hornbook by T. Dekker? Plenty of words there to be considered, but the main thing is, can you define "Gull" as I do not think the word has any precise modern equivalent. It is of course to do with the word "gullible" but I am not sure it really means "credulous". Would be interested to hear your thoughts.

Bibi said...

RYC: No, no, I know they didn't originally have Latin names, or that they weren't Romans (sheesh, I went to catholic school), but it just seemed odd to me how we use different names for the same people. Like the Boniface you mentioned, we call him Bonifacius (or Bonifatius), and then Paul here is Paulus and blabla... I'm not really making sense. I don't even remember where I was going with my original comment.

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