Ejusdem generis

Also found in: Idioms.

ejusdem generis

(eh-youse-dem generous) adj. Latin for "of the same kind," used to interpret loosely written statutes. Where a law lists specific classes of persons or things and then refers to them in general, the general statements only apply to the same kind of persons or things specifically listed. Example: if a law refers to automobiles, trucks, tractors, motorcycles and other motor-powered vehicles, "vehicles" would not include airplanes, since the list was of land-based transportation.

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.

EJUSDEM GENERIS. Of the same kind.
     2. In the construction of laws, wills and other instruments, when certain things are enumerated, and then a phrase is used which might be construed to include other things, it is generally confined to things ejusdem generas; as, where an act (9 Ann. C. 20) provided that a writ of quo warranto might issue against persons who should usurp "the offices of mayors, bailiffs, port reeves, and other offices, within the cities, towns, corporate boroughs, and places, within Great Britain," &c.; it was held that "other offices" meant offices ejusdem generis; and that the word "places" signified places of the same kind; that is, that the offices must be corporate offices, and the places must be corporate Places. 5 T. R. 375,379; 5 B. & C. 640; 8 D. & Ry. 393; 1 B. & C. 237.
     3. So, in the construction of wills, when certain articles are enumerated, the terra goods is to be restricted to those ejusdem generis. Bac. Ab. Legacies, B; 3 Rand. 191; 3 Atk. 61; Abr. Eq. 201; 2 Atk. 113.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
Ejusdem Generis -- a statutory-construction rule -- states that a general phrase must have the same sense as the specific enumeration preceding it.
You'll learn why insurance is not a commodity, why coverage folklore is not fact, and why the most critical interpretive doctrine is something called "RTFP!" Revealed, perhaps for the first time, are the sole purpose of insurance, the industry's "one thing" and the answer to the question, "What's so funny?" We will investigate things like "weasel words" and discover the extraordinary power behind Latin phrases like "noscitur a sociis" and "ejusdem generis."
This reading is also supported by the doctrines of ejusdem generis and noscitur a sociis.
[sec] 127:8 says it best: "Several courts have applied the principle of 'ejusdem generis,' interpreting pollution by reference to the surrounding language in order to limit the list of substances that may otherwise qualify as pollutants.
Some of these canons, including ejusdem generis and inclusiounius, appear to have been used since late sixteenth--or early seventeenth-century England, (81) and they make their first appearances in federal court opinions in I lie early nineteenth century.
I don't think that copper, even at its present price levels, is a "precious metal." But even if it is, I'd argue that the doctrine of ejusdem generis would result in full coverage for the insured.
noscitur a sociis (associated words canon) and ejusdem generis (residual
The types of documents immediately preceding the concluding clause illustrate those envisaged by the rule in accordance with the textual canon of construction known as ejusdem generis. (11) "[B]onds, notes, bills of exchange, contracts, [and] accounts" are all documents that supply one's right to a cause of action or defense.
Searching a legal phrase such as ejusdem generis can be entered without quotation marks, and Google still ranks pages with phrase matches at the top.
(99) Consequently, courts have routinely included ejusdem generis and