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Word of the day: Quaerens.

It’s SLIG week this week, as 360 students have descended on the Salt Lake Hilton for a week of learning at the 2016 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy.

BlacksYou know what that means, right?

The Legal Genealogist has just about enough time to breathe between classes.

Four classes a day times five days, and I’m “only” teaching in 19 of those sessions.

But to keep the spiderwebs from taking over the blog space, you get the Word of the Day:


So, you say, “Um, use that in a sentence, professor.”

Sure: Quaerens nihil capiat per billam.

That should clear it up, right?



It’s simply Latin for plaintiff;1 the person who is starting a lawsuit by bringing some type of complaint against somebody else.

And Quaerens nihil capiat per billam?

You’ll see that in court records where the result doesn’t go the way the quaerens wants it to. It means “the plaintiff shall take nothing by his bill” or, in other words, judgment for the defendant in the case.2

Queer words in the law, for sure.


  1. Henry Campbell Black, A Dictionary of Law (St. Paul, Minn. : West, 1891), 972, “quaerens.”
  2. Ibid., “quaerens nihil capiat per billam.”
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