Personage vs parsonage

Personage and parsonage are two words that are often confused. We will examine the definitions of personage and parsonage, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

Personage simply means a person, though usually it refers to a person that deserves respect because of his elevated importance. Personage may also mean a fictional character in a play, novel or film. The word personage is derived from the Latin word personagium, which means effigy.

A parsonage is a building that serves as the home of a clergyman. A parsonage is provided by the congregation and is not owned by the clergyman. The word parsonage is derived from the Old French word persone which means holder of a church office and the suffix -age which is used to form a noun which means a place.


Bird, who spoke of himself in the royal “we,” was unapologetic: “The North American savage has never appeared to us the gallant and heroic personage he seems to others.” (The Ottawa Citizen)

“This is truly an iconic historic personage” who is “not just any figure in Los Angeles,” and the home has been “associated with Hope for over six decades,” he said. (The Los Angeles Daily News)

And The Dot Cirlot Ladies Circle with the church is raising money to begin a restoration that will help bring the old parsonage into the 21st century. (The Sun Herald)

Within days of the bishop’s death, church leaders fired his widow, Charisse Gibert, from her church post and announced plans to sell her home, an 11,000-square-foot parsonage in Northville Township that was controversially removed from the tax rolls 10 years ago. (The Detroit News)


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