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Mortar-board

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A college cap. A corruption of the French mortier, the cap worn by the ancient kings of France, and still used officially by the chief justice or president of the court of justice. As a college cap has a square board on the top, the mortier-board was soon transformed into mortar-board.

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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