Huissier

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The chain of a huissier in the French Senate. Note also the peculiar "broken collar".
Swiss Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis speaks in 2019 accompanied by a Bundesweibel
The cantonal government of Geneva with three Standesweibel at an official function commemorating the Restoration (2006 photograph)

The French word huissier ("doorman", from huis, an archaic term for a door) designates ceremonial offices in France and Switzerland.

France[edit]

In French government ministries and Parliament, a huissier, which can be translated as usher, is an employee who provides general service to the minister or assembly (transmitting messages, ensuring that doors are closed or open appropriately, handling ballot boxes, etc.). Traditionally, they wear a chain around the neck, because their original function was to lock and unlock doors.

Switzerland[edit]

In Switzerland, huissier is the French equivalent of German Weibel (also Amtsweibel), the term for a ceremonial office in Swiss cantonal and federal governments, parliaments and courts of law. At the federal level, the office is known as Bundesweibel, at the cantonal level as Standesweibel for governments, Ratsweibel for parliaments and Gerichtsweibel for courts of law. Some cities also have the office at the communal level (Stadtweibel).

Swiss huissier in their official capacities wear ceremonial roles with the heraldic colours of the entity they represent, Bundesweibel in red and white, cantonal weibel in cantonal colours (Standesfarben).

Other use[edit]

There is some debate that the demonym for people from the U.S. state of Indiana, Hoosier, is derived from the word huissier.

See also[edit]

References[edit]