161 votes

What do you call a child for whom you act as a guardian / custodian?

I believe the usual term is 'ward'. In law, a ward is someone placed under the protection of a legal guardian. - Wikipedia
Kate Bunting's user avatar
  • 25.5k
74 votes
Accepted

What do you call it when a scam artist modifies the contents of a document to deceive other people?

To distinguish between the legitimate document and the one that was altered to be deceptive, you could refer to the falsified document as doctored. Merriam-Webster provides the definition under ...
RaceYouAnytime's user avatar
55 votes

What do you call a child for whom you act as a guardian / custodian?

The old-fashioned word was charge - i.e. my charge has now come of age. From OED sense 14. a. A thing or person entrusted to the care or management of any one. spec. The people or district ...
WS2's user avatar
  • 64.7k
49 votes

Why the "wedded" in "wedded wife"?

As far as I can tell, it's one of two reasons: According to the The History of the English Language, "wedded" in vows originally meant something more along the lines of "pledged". ...
Laurel's user avatar
  • 66.4k
33 votes

What do you call a question that is meant to make you look bad?

I think you're looking for a loaded question. For example, Have you stopped beating your wife? is a loaded question and is designed to make the answerer look bad. Whether they say "Yes, I've ...
Tommy Tran's user avatar
31 votes

What do you call it when a scam artist modifies the contents of a document to deceive other people?

Traditionally, the word for both the faked document and the act of faking the document would be forgery. From Merriam-Webster: : something forged : an act of forging; especially : the crime ...
1006a's user avatar
  • 22.8k
27 votes

What do you call it when a scam artist modifies the contents of a document to deceive other people?

The document has been falsified to change something, such as a document, in order to deceive people Falsify Falsifying documents is a type of white collar crime ....... etc Falsifying ...
Nigel J's user avatar
  • 24.4k
27 votes

Why the "wedded" in "wedded wife"?

Historically and etymologically, "wife" meant "woman" (and "husband" meant "householder"). The word was used for both "female spouse" and "adult ...
Tim Pederick's user avatar
  • 1,103
25 votes

What's the difference between scam and fraud?

The biggest difference between the two words is that fraud has a long history in English and a well-established status in English and U.S. law, whereas scam goes back—according to Merriam-Webster's ...
Sven Yargs's user avatar
  • 163k
23 votes
Accepted

Is the language used in patents archaic or intentionally obtuse?

Patent lawyer here. I wouldn't call the language you cited either "archaic" or "intentionally obtuse." "Pedantic" or "hyperliteral" may be better adjectives. The language you cited came from Claim 1 ...
Alan Kessler's user avatar
23 votes

Someone who is granted access to information but not expected to read it

I would go with Administrator. From your examples: "Joe will have administrative access to the files." "Joe will have access to the files in an administrative capacity." "Joe will have access to the ...
Craig H's user avatar
  • 897
22 votes

Is there a specific word describing black boxes covering confidential data on papers being prepared for public access?

The word is redacted. Generally speaking, when gov't documents are released to the public, they are heavily redacted. re·dact riˈdakt (verb) 1. edit (text) for publication. 2. censor or obscure (...
lux's user avatar
  • 1,325
22 votes

What do you call a question that is meant to make you look bad?

In a legal setting you might mean: Leading the witness or a leading question. It has a legal definition (from US Legal): Leading the witness is the method of questioning a witness by which s/he is ...
Pam's user avatar
  • 7,260
21 votes

Someone who is granted access to information but not expected to read it

The word archivist is a good choice. [Merriam-Webster] : a person who has the job of collecting and storing the materials in an archive So: Joe is an archivist. Joe will have archival ...
Jason Bassford's user avatar
21 votes
Accepted

Correct word for "it's not legally possible"

When the law for a situation is not established, it is a lacuna or gap. Gabriel Hallevy in A Modern Treatise on the Principle of Legality in Criminal Law (2010) gives a summary of how an absence of ...
TaliesinMerlin's user avatar
20 votes

Someone who is granted access to information but not expected to read it

If these people have responsibility for the records in some sense, then the term stewardship comes to mind. Joe will have stewardship over the files. See Merriam-Webster: stewardship noun 2 : ...
Robusto's user avatar
  • 152k
16 votes

Why the "wedded" in "wedded wife"?

First, it is important to state that The Common Law of England did not, and does not, recognise "common law" marriages. The OED has another definition of Wife: 5. A woman who has a long-...
Greybeard's user avatar
  • 42k
15 votes
Accepted

The history of “to see say” better known as “voir dire”

OED gives the year 1676 for the earliest attestation of the term voir dire: 1676    T. W. Office of Clerk of Assize G j    Such person so produced for a witness, may be examined upon a Voire Dire. ...
ermanen's user avatar
  • 62.8k
12 votes

What's the difference between scam and fraud?

They are synonyms but have a subtle difference. A scam almost always involves money or transactions that involve monetary loss to the victim. But on the other hand, fraud is a broader term which might ...
BiscuitBoy's user avatar
  • 13.5k
12 votes
Accepted

Someone who is granted access to information but not expected to read it

Clerk/Clerical/Clerically If you have access to move files from place to place, you have clerical access to them. A clerk generally isn't supposed to read the documents, or discuss them, but is ...
Tim Grant's user avatar
  • 382
12 votes

The history of “to see say” better known as “voir dire”

The quote you provide gives the answer to your question. The two French words, voir and voire, are homophones, but they mean two different things, and have different (Latin) etymologies. While the ...
Smert's user avatar
  • 169
11 votes

What is the act of breaking a pen nib after signing a death sentence called?

An 1844 translation of Wilhelm Meinhold, Mary Schweidler, The Amber Witch (1838) describes the conclusion of a trial for witchcraft that supposedly occurred in 1630 (the book was a piece of fiction ...
Sven Yargs's user avatar
  • 163k
10 votes

Using "Acts of God" in legal term

"Act of God" is a legal definition: An act of God is a legal term for events outside human control, such as sudden natural disasters, for which no one can be held responsible. Probably its origin ...
user 66974's user avatar
  • 67.4k
10 votes

Word to describe a company that pretends to do the right thing?

We call this practice "paying lip service" to something: pay lip service Fig. to express loyalty, respect, or support for something insincerely The Free Dictionary Online
Robusto's user avatar
  • 152k
10 votes

Word for being out at night during curfew

In your sentence, it would commonly be phrased breaking curfew: "A constable doing his rounds as the night watch came across a man breaking curfew. He was detained until the following morning." ...
Jason Bassford's user avatar
10 votes

Correct word for "it's not legally possible"

It's two words, but the phrase "legally impossible" seems to be used that way. For example, in Sneider, Allison L., Suffragists in an Imperial Age: U.S. Expansion and the Woman Question, 1870-1929, ...
Tanner Swett's user avatar
  • 3,143
10 votes

The history of “to see say” better known as “voir dire”

You went down the wrong rabbit hole. Please reread your excerpt. It indicates that the voir at hand is not related to "the more common word voir, 'to see', which derives from Latin vidēre [in ...
Tinfoil Hat's user avatar
  • 17.1k
8 votes

Is there a specific word describing black boxes covering confidential data on papers being prepared for public access?

I have heard the objects themselves called censor bars, or censor boxes, but I can't find anything more official than Wikipedia or TV Tropes to corroborate that.
Ryan's user avatar
  • 81
8 votes

Is there a name for the practice of dropping articles in legal writing?

I am not sure whether there is a technical term, but legal writing is filled with specially defined terms. (Many legal writings have limits on length so there is a premium on eliminating excess words.)...
Jeff Morrow's user avatar
  • 1,480
8 votes

Word for property damage

vandalism could work, if the damage is done on purpose: : willful or malicious destruction or defacement of public or private property (source: Merriam-Webster)
Glorfindel's user avatar
  • 14.5k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible