charger

On a completely different subject, I was in Costco and they had a set of attractive chargers (not the horse.) So I was wondering where this word, charger, came from. Thank goodness for the internet for providing answers to all one’s obscure questions.

Here’s the etymology from wordorigins.org –
“ A charger plate is a large dish on the table when you are seated and other plates and dishes are placed, or loaded, on top of it. The term is either from the Anglo-Norman chargeour meaning that which loads, or from the Old French chargeoir meaning a utensil that is used to load (in this case food onto a dish). The command “charge your glasses” traditionally given before toast is of the same origin. The term dates to the early 14th century.”

I saw on another site that John the Baptist’s head was placed on a charger. That would be rather earlier than the 14th century.

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