Replevy \ri-PLEV-ee\ , verb;
1. To recover goods or chattels wrongfully taken or detained
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaah! Law school is following me! Make it stop!
As a law school student's wife I am learning a fair share about the law. Probably more than I would really wish to know, but you have to support your spouse! Anyway, for the last two days I have been blissfully freed from all the law chatter, but here it is, a law-related word. They're following me...
The etymology of replevy is kind of boring, so I'm going to focus instead on chattel. According to Etymonline.com:
Chattel dates to the early 13th century in the form of chatel meaning "property, goods." The word comes directly from Old French chatel ("chattels, goods, wealth, possessions, property; profit; cattle") which derives from Late Latin capitale ("property"). Capitale is the neuter case of the Latin adjective capitalis ("principal, chief"), which comes from caput (genitive capitis, "head"). The word cattle has the same lineage, but it entered English from Anglo-French catel ("property"), which came directly from Old French chatel. Both cattle and chattel had approximately the same meaning in English, except cattle tended to refer to livestock where as chattel was other moveable property. By the mid-1500's cattle was almost exclusively used to refer to bovines.
*Today's word and the first definition were both taken from Dictionary.com's 'Word of the Day' for Saturday, December 18