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See: bail, mortgage, pledge, security, stock

PIGNUS, civil law. This word signifies in English, pledge or pawn. (q.v.) It is derived, says Gaius, from pugnium, the fist, because what is delivered in pledge is delivered. in hand. Dig. 50, 16, 238, 2. This is one of several instances of the failure of the Roman jurists, when they attempted etymological explanation of words. The elements of pignus (pig) is contained in the word p---[?], and its cognate forms. Smith's Dict. Gr. and Rom. Antiq. h.v.

References in periodicals archive ?
22 has 'Annulus est vel sincerae fidei signaculum, qua cuncta promissa in credentium cordibus certa impressione signantur, vel nuptiarum pignus illarum, quibus Ecclesia sponsatur.
The new-comers would be limited to transactions secured ad pignus (by the pledge of a tangible object) and forbidden to lend ad scripta (against a written note).
Pignus simoni: Wesolowska 1999b: 166, figs 60-66; Wesolowska & Cumming 2011: 99, figs 61-69, 98.