Cygnet - signet - Signet

From Hull AWE
Jump to: navigation, search

These are two homophones, neither common in everyday English but both useful in certain subject areas.

  • A cygnet is the name for a young swan, before it reaches maturity. The Latin name for the genus is cygnus.
  • A signet is a small seal, used as the equivalent of a signature. Signets are often mounted as the stone in a signet ring. In both England and Scotland, the king used to seal documents on private business, and less formal public business, with the Signet, reserving the Great Seal for formal and important business.
    • In Scotland, a Writer to the Signet is the traditional name for what in English law is usually called a Solicitor - a legal professional who does not appear in the higher courts. (This is because the King's signet was used in the Court of Session, and clerks to that court became known as Writers to the Signet.)