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Clerk

A scholar. Hence, beau-clerc. (See above, Clerical Titles .)

All the clerks,
I mean the learned ones, in Christian kingdoms, 
Have their free voices.

Shakespeare: Henry VIII., ii. 2.

St. Nicholas's Clerks.
Thieves. An equivoque on the word Nick.

“I think there came prancing down the hill a couple of St. Nicholas's clerks.” —Rowley: Match at Midnight, 1633.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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