A scholar. Hence, beau-clerc. (See above,
Clerical Titles .)
All the clerks,
I mean the learned ones, in Christian kingdoms,
Have their free voices.
Shakespeare: Henry VIII.,
St. Nicholas's Clerks.
Thieves. An equivoque on the word Nick.
“I think there came prancing down the hill a couple of St. Nicholas's
clerks.” —Rowley: Match at Midnight, 1633.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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