Grant the Indemnitee

It was almost 50 degrees yesterday. That kind of heat can justify pretty much any behaviour. In that spirit, I’m taking leave of the serious tone this blog has taken over the past days and bringing you some good old-fashioned entertainment. With a legal lesson, of course.

An “indemnity” is security or protection against a future loss or other financial burden. An “indemnitee” is one who receives an indemnity. An “indemnity” also refers to a sum paid as compensation. These words are indistinguishable in speech, and their use in the same phrase can give rise to hilarious “Who’s on first?” scenarios around the office:

Abbott: Did we grant the indemnity?

Costello: Grant the indemnitee? I thought his name was George?

Abbott: No, George was the indemnitor – he secured the indemnity.

Costello: Secured him? What was wrong with him?

Abbott: With who?

Costello: The indemnitee.

Abbott: Grant?

Costello: Yep, we just got the papers. Although I’m worried George might refuse to pay.

Abbott: Refuse to pay what?

Costello: The indemnity.

Abbott: To who?

Costello: The indemnitee.

Abbott: Right. But to whom will he pay it?

Costello: The indemnitee.

Abbott: Wait – you mean Grant the indemnitee?

Costello: I told you, we just got the papers.


Happy Friday!

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