Tag Archives: Parol

Word of the Week – May 14, 2022




Old French, 15th century

Given or expressed orally; (of a document) agreed orally, or in writing but not under seal.

“Parol” is borrowed from the Old French “parole,” meaning spoken words.  (In modern French, the plural “paroles” refers to song lyrics.)  Both are based on the Latin “parabola,” which is the basis for the English term “parable,” an allegorical tale. In English, “parole” means the release of a prisoner temporarily, or on promise of good behavior.  These arrangements are now recorded in writing, but the Old French root “parole” literally means “word.”  Dropping the “e,” “parol” is used in the legal context to distinguish information delivered orally rather than in sealed, official writing.

Example: I described much of my previous work experience parol, while on a Zoom conference.


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