How many times has this happened to you: You sit down on the couch, a fresh bowl of popcorn in your lap, your trusty dog on your left side, your trusty wife on your right. Just in time for your favorite cop drama to come on. You get 12 minutes in when you stand up in a huff, disturbing popcorn, dog, and wife alike, all to run over to your computer just to look up what it is they’re saying every other line.
Sound familiar? I know. You’re not the only one. The problem is, most people just don’t know much about these archaic and confusing legal terms because they’re so very specific. That and most people don’t understand Latin. But, there’s a better way so that you don’t need to get frustrated the next time you settle in.
- Legal Dictionary Online
- History of Law
There are a variety of free dictionaries online for you to peruse and learn from. Some are centered around a very specific type of law (i.e. DUI, criminal law, personal injury, et cetera), while others cover a broad spectrum. There are enough out there that you don’t need to settle for the first that you find. You can find put up by law offices or the legal departments of big universities. Or, there are some that are simply sites that are dedicated as legal dictionaries with no other relation.
Like the scenario mentioned above, you can use them to look up legal words and legal phrases that you hear in your favorite cop dramas. Or, for a more practical use, you can apply it to decipher any legal notices that may come your way. Without even hiring a lawyer you too can figure out just what kind of trouble you or your friends are in by translating the legal phraseology that’s been used in the legal notices that they have.
And we have the history of law to blame for our not being able to understand anything about it. Thanks to that antiquated speech we still have things like: habeus cropus, a mensa et thoro, quid pro quo, ad hominem, cui bono, and so many more. If you have a weekend to kill, take the time to look them all up. They’re super fascinating, but you’d never guess what any of them mean just by hearing them!
Now you never need to miss out on a crucial keystone of the story because you can’t understand the legal jargon. That, or now you can understand the legal notices that you’ve been served. However you use the knowledge, you’re all the better for it, I can assure you.