Word of the day

The word for today is…

gentry (noun) – 1. People of gentle birth, good breeding, or high social position.
2 (a) An upper or ruling class.
(b) The class of English landowners ranking just below the nobility.
3. People of a particular class or group.

Source : The Free Dictionary

Etymology : Circa 1300, “nobility of rank or birth;” mid-14th century, “a fashion or custom of the nobility;” late 14th century, “nobility of character,” from Old French genterie, genterise, variant of gentelise “noble birth, aristocracy; courage, honour; kindness, gentleness,” from gentil “high-born, noble, of good family”. Meaning “noble persons, the class of well-born and well-bred people” is from 1520s in English, later often in England referring to the upper middle class, persons of means and leisure but below the nobility. Earlier in both senses was gentrice (c. 1200 as “nobility of character,” late 14c. as “noble persons”), and gentry in early use also might have been regarded as a singular of that. In Anglo-Irish, gentry was a name for “the fairies” (1880), and gentle could mean “enchanted” (1823).


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Peter is a fourth-generation New Zealander, with his mother’s and father’s folks having arrived in New Zealand in the 1870s. He lives in Lower Hutt with his wife, three cats and assorted computers.

His work history has been in the timber, banking and real estate industries, and he’s now enjoying retirement. He has been interested in computers for over thirty years and is a strong advocate for free open source software. He is chairman of the SeniorNet Hutt City committee.

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