The last law school anecdote

Posted on April 18, 2006


Law school ends in three days. And to celebrate that I will relate yet another incident of in-class clowning – the last one ever. Tear.
Last year I took estate law. You know, wills, that sort of thing. I showed up to the first day of class at the astonishingly inhumane hour of 8:30 am. The painfully exuberant professor was going through some of the terms pertaining to this area of law, and he was saying how the word “testator” (a male who creates a will) came to be thus because in derives from the Latin testis, meaning witness. I put up my hand and said the following:
“Actually, I believe the word testify originates from Roman times, when men who gave witness in court would, instead of placing their hand on a religious text, would place their hand on their…” And I trailed off as if overcome with delicacy. The gist was not lost on the other students however and everyone laughed. The professor went bright red and said that he would be sure to mention it to next semester’s class.
As I walked out of class with my friend G he remarked that it would be even more funny if that was the only thing I said that semester. And sure enough, I never did any readings, and so I never raised my hand in that class again. There are thus at least seventy people who will forever associate me only with an unnecessary degree of knowledge about testes.

As a side note, I found out later that in fact the Latin testes comes from testis, to give witness, not the other way around; the testicles are witness to a man’s virility. And no one in Roman times had to hold their business while swearing oaths. Shame really. I’d always thought the Romans were so fun. In their honour, I’m going to leave this font as Times New Roman.