Brokers

Written by James Lyons
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For the longest time I heard the word "brokers" and I had no idea what it meant. I assumed it had something to do with the stock market considering that was the main context in which I heard the word. I assumed it had something to do with business and it sounded like money was involved. It also sounded like something I might be able to do.

Now, I'm significantly older and I still struggle with the term. There are so many variations of the word and so many compounds of the word. However, the essence of the word "broker" remains the same. Brokers essentially serve as a middlemen or negotiators in business deals. The definitions get a bit more involved, but that's the general thrust of it.

Where Brokers Come From

Giving a gift to your broker just might be logical from an etymological point of view. The word "broker" may be connected through its Anglo-Norman source, brocour, abrocour, with Spanish alboroque, meaning "ceremony or ceremonial gift after the conclusion of a business deal." Perhaps I was on to something in my youth. However, I think commissions serve as an adequate gift for most brokers

If this connection does indeed exist, "business deal" is the notion shared by the Spanish and Anglo-Norman words because brocour referred to the middleman in transactions. The English word broker is first found in Middle English in 1355, several centuries before we find instances of its familiar compounds pawnbroker, first documented in 1687, and stockbroker, first recorded in 1706.


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