Monday, January 30, 2012

Reavers everywhere!

Reavers = cops.

Recently I've taken to calling all "law enforcement" goons reavers. That keeps me from calling them things I'd rather my daughter not repeat. And the term is completely appropriate.

"Reave" is from Old/Middle English and means to forcibly rob, which is what "law enforcement" spends most of its time and energy doing. So, by definition, they are reavers.

That brings up a bit of historicity. The word "sheriff" comes from the Old/Middle English for "shire reeve" or "reeve of the shire". The dictionary claims that "reeve" and "reave" are not related words, but I have my suspicions that they are wrong.

I can just imagine some townsfolk, many years ago, saying "Great, here comes the Shire Reave of Nottingham!" He overhears this and gets pissed at them. So they wink at one another and say "Oh, no! We would never call you a reaver; we were calling you the 'reeve', which is totally different! Trust us."



  1. Speaking of which: The "shire reeve" of San Francisco, CA just recently got "reaved" his own damn self. Heh.
    Read it and laugh here. A vocal proponent of disarmed everybody is now disarmed.

  2. I've seen that story. As much as I think gun "laws" are complete BS, it is funny to see one of those reavers being eaten by his own side.

  3. At least in the time of Shire reeves they were more honest. Fines were explicitly part of the funding mechanism of government(if that is the right term-that gets iffy depending on the era), and crimes were usually activities that actually caused some sort of ruckus. Rape of nuns, for instance, had its own specific fine....paid half to the king, half to the church, of course. :)

  4. RE: the Shire Reave of Frisco;
    It is fun to see them hoist on their own petard.

  5. Kent - I am going to use your term reaver for "law enforcement" goons from now on. Have you ever seen the series Firefly? In it and the movie Serenity, they use the term reavers for people given a drug to make them peaceful but instead turn into monsters that have no care for life, etc, just like our modern "law enforcement" goons.


  6. Richard- Yep. That's where I got the term. Check the link on the word "reaver" in the first sentence.

  7. D'oh. Sorry Kent. I didn't see the link.