Where does the term “sinecure” come from and What does sinecure mean?

The word “sinecure” began as a church term, part of the Latin phrase beneficium sine cura, a benefice without care (of souls).

It was a practice of the Church of England, developing in the seventeenth century, upon occasion to reward a deserving rector by allotting to him a parish in which he did not reside and for whose parishioners he had no responsibility.

Such a benefice was highly desirable, for it entailed no work in return for the good living that it brought. The actual work of the parish was performed by a vicar, though his absent superior got the better pay.

where does the term sinecure come from and what does sinecure mean

The ecclesiastical practice was abolished in 1840, but the expression, at first sine-cura, eventually sinecure, had long since become a term for any office or position which the incumbent might fill with a minimum of labor, or none at all, in return for a fixed income.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist for zippyfacts.com. Born in New York, she loves interesting random facts from all over the world.