Appurtenance and Appurtenant
December 17, 2008
Appurtenance – n. an accessory associated with a particular acitivity
Appurtenant – adj. formal belonging
These two words are obviously related in origin and more subtly related in meaning so they get to share a post.
An appurtenance also happens to be a type of Philipino military decoration. The picture below is the Philipino Medal of Valor, not the appurtenance. However, the appurtenance is a small symbol that may be added to an award like this one each successive time the honor is earned, instead of awarding additional medals.
I was able to find a quotation from Mike Wallace in which he uses the word:
“I’ve often replied, when asked, ‘I’ll retire when my toes turn up’. Well, they’re just beginning to curl a trifle, which means that, as I approach my 88th birthday, it’s become apparent to me that my eyes and ears, among other appurtenances, aren’t quite what they used to be.”
Appurtenant seems to be a word used in law more often than anywhere else. For example, here it is used in the context of property law as found on Wikipedia’s page on easements:
“In the U.S., an easement appurtenant is one that benefits the dominant tenement (i.e. attached to adjoining land), as compared to an easementin gross that is personal to the holder of the easement and does not pass automatically to another person when the easement holder’s property is sold and bought.”