Back to Index

American language - "to opine"

Rob Gaudet, Esq. opines: "This word appears frequently in the law. Chief Justice William Rehnquist likes to use it in his opinions. And there's a lawyer in my office who puts it in his briefs. I prefer not to use it. It sounds archaic. It's much easier to say, "expresses" or "states" than "opines." RH: Being archaic, I rather like the word, although I never use it. It is an Americanism, but, since it is frequently used in law, I wonder if it is an old English word, like "Esq". Would someone look it up in the OED on line, and tell us its earliest use?

Ronald Hilton - 12/3/02