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Court

originally meant a coop or sheepfold. It was on the Latium hills that the ancient Latins raised their cors or cohors, small enclosures with hurdles for sheep, etc. Subsequently, as many men as could be cooped or folded together were called a corps or cohort. The “cors” or cattle-yard being the nucleus of the farm, became the centre of a lot of farm cottages, then of a hamlet, town, fortified place, and lastly of a royal residence.

Court.
A short cut, alley, or paved way between two main streets. (French, court, “short,” as prendre un chemin court, “to take a short cut.”)

Out of court.
Not worth consideration; wholly to be discarded, as such and such an hypothesis is wholly out of court, and has been proved to be untenable. “No true bill.”

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