Legal Blog

Legalese Explained: Contingo

Language is a funny thing. I received a call from another attorney regarding my recent post on si oontingat, letting me know that the correct Latin phrase is si contingat. I immediately had flashbacks to high school Latin class and declensions and was embarrassed that I did not notice that oontingat did not have any of the classic signs of a word with recognizable prefixes. So, naturally, I spent some time looking into the matter.

The Latin verb contingo means to happen, to befall, to come to pass, to be granted to one (i.e. to convey). It can also mean to smite or to affect emotionally (among other things – the dictionary I consulted has 11 different meanings). The present third-person singular declension of contingo iscontingat. So, where the heck did oontingat come from?

I double-checked my original law dictionary source: yep, oontingat. I did the responsible thing and ran a Google search. Contingat did not yield much of anything. But oontingat brought up both dictionary definitions and pictures of old deeds with the word.

My highly uneducated guess is that somewhere along the way, someone who paid even less attention in Latin class than I did, misspelled contingat on a deed as oontingat (or worse yet, smudged the ink!), and somehow that spelling stuck. I’m not a linguist, just a word geek, so this is entirely speculation on my part.

If you have a legal phrase or word you would want to see featured shoot me an email at klongaker@offitkurman.com

Subscribe to Legalese Explained »

 

ABOUT KELCIE LONGAKER

klongaker@offitkurman.com |  301.575.0325

Ms. Longaker’s primary areas of concentration include general corporate advising, administrative hearings, and state and federal appellate litigation. She advises start-ups and small businesses during all stages of the business’s life-cycle. She regularly drafts organizational documents, reviews commercial leases, negotiates franchising agreements, and assists with the sale of corporate entities. Ms. Longaker represents many businesses that require liquor licenses, including restaurants, package goods stores, agricultural producers, and manufacturers. She represents clients before county agencies in their applications for new licenses, transfers of existing licenses, or defense of challenged licenses. She also handles land use and zoning matters, real property transactions, and homeowners’ association matters.

 

 

 

 

 

ABOUT OFFIT KURMAN

Offit Kurman is one of the fastest-growing full-service law firms in the United States. With over 200 attorneys in 14 offices that stretch from New York to North Carolina, we represent privately-held companies and families of wealth throughout their business life cycles. Our mission is to provide our clients with “The Better Way” to grow their organizations, protect their businesses’ and families’ wealth, and resolve their most challenging legal conflicts. In addition to our quality of attorneys and breadth of legal services, Offit Kurman is distinguished by our unique operational structure, which encourages collaboration rather than internal competition. The same approach that makes our firm attractive to legal practitioners gives clients unlimited access to experienced counsel in every area of the law. Trust, Knowledge, Confidence—in a partner, that’s perfect.

Find out why Offit Kurman is The Better Way to protect your business, your assets and your family by connecting via our BlogFacebookTwitterInstagramYouTube, and LinkedIn pages. You can also sign up to receive LawMatters, Offit Kurman’s monthly newsletter covering a diverse selection of legal and corporate thought leadership content.

DELAWARE | MARYLAND | NEW JERSEY | NEW YORK | NORTH CAROLINA | PENNSYLVANIA | VIRGINIA | WASHINGTON, DC