Of esquires and godparents

During the recent holiday gathering, two terms came up that meant one thing for half the group, and another thing for the other half of the group.

My husband was feeling that he should have some extra titles after his name on his business card, and his brother suggested "esquire." Most thought it was a term reserved only for lawyers, others thought it was simply an honorific term.

Findlaw defines esquire as

n. a form of address showing that someone is an attorney, usually written Albert Pettifog, Esquire, or simply Esq. Originally in England an Esquire was a rank just above "gentleman" and below "knight." It became a title for barristers, sheriffs and judges.
and Merriam Webster defines esquire as
1: a member of the English gentry ranking below a knight
: a candidate for knighthood serving as shield bearer and attendant to a knight
: used as a title of courtesy usually placed in its abbreviated form after the surname Esq.>
4archaic : a landed proprietor.
We're both right. In the end, my DH decided his business card was impressive enough. And I agree.

I was startled and honored when my atheist brother-in-law asked my husband and I to be the godparents for their little daughter. Startled because he used the term godparent - honored that he and his wife trust us. I have only heard the term godparent used to refer to religious sponsors at baptisms, and my godparents are not the people I would have gone to live with if something had happened to my parents. So, is there another term for backup parents? Associated Content uses the term godparent, so it isn't out of the ordinary. Findlaw uses the term guardian, and most legal documentation uses that term. Either way, we know what is being asked of us, and are able and willing.

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