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CHALMERS, Chambers. The correct forms are Chalmer and Chamber, from OF, de la chambre, of the chamber: (1) a chamber attendant, (2) of the Treasury chamber (camera), and so metonymic for CHAMBERLAIN, q.v. The spellings with -s are later. When the OF word was naturalized in Scots it lost b by elision, and received l to safeguard as it were, the length of the preceding vowel, as shown in the pronunciation 'chaamer' or 'chammer'

(Gregory Smith, Specimens of Middle Scots, p xxiii-iv).




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This page was last updated on 11 Feb 2010    John Chalmers 2010.