Mercy – Etymology

Its Etymology:

Late 12th century: “God’s forgiveness of his creatures’ offenses”

9th century: “reward, gift; kindness, grace, pity” from Old French mercit, merci

6th century: applied to the heavenly reward of those who show kindness to the helpless, from Church Latin

Literary examples:

“Master Blifil fell very short of his companion in the amiable quality of mercy; but he as greatly exceeded him in one of a much higher kind, namely, in ju

stice: in which he followed both the precepts and example of Thwackum and Square; for though they would both make frequent use of

the word mercy, yet it was plain that in reality Square held it to be inconsistent with the rule of right; and Thwackum was for doing justice, and leaving mercy to heaven.” The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling by Henry Fielding

“Look this day in mercy and blessing on Thy humble people,

and graciously hear us, spare us, and have mercy upon us.” War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

“My men have him here under their pikes, and I shall command them to kill him without mercy.” Robin Hood by J. Walker McSpadden

In social and legal context, mercy refers to compassionate behavior coming from those in positions of power and control.

It is also commonly used in religious context, especially as a characteristic of a god or deity.

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  1. Be sure to add your own ideas in every post. Do you agree with the definition? What strikes you as strange or different than you expected? Best use of the word?
    gives some new information on the topic; informational post: has trouble with integrating read or learned information and mostly repeats without construction of new meaning; poorly organized
    post has little style or voice; words chosen show an attempt at bringing the content to life; sentence fluency is achieved in few places
    several spelling errors; several grammar errors; formatting makes post difficult to follow or read
    one piece of multimedia; multimedia does not add significantly to content or perspective; one or more links to obvious websites (Wikipedia, dictionary on line); post may be categorized or tagged
    a few information sources are cited accurately; uses citations for images improperly


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