Part of speech: noun
Origin: Late Middle French, 15th century
A flourish after a signature, originally as a precaution against forgery.
Examples in a sentence:
“My father’s signature was recognizable because of his ostentatious paraph.”
“I recognized the paraph rather than the signature itself.”
Popularity Over Time:
Borrowed from the French “paraph,” meaning “paragraph,” with both words based on the Latin “paraphus,” meaning “short horizontal stroke.”
Adding a paraph to one’s signature was an early means of attempting to avoid forgery, since the more ornate one’s paraph, the harder the full signature would be to copy. When a notary signs a document of obligation, such as a mortgage or note referring to money owed, the notary’s signature is called a “paraph.” In this context, a paraph is different from a simple signature, because it certifies the document as legitimate.
credits: word genius