Post-positive adjectives

There is – as usual – an interesting discussion over at Transblawg. This time it’s about creaky-sounding (legal) phrases in which the noun precedes the adjective, some of which may be inverted: court martial/martial court, secretary general/general secretary, law merchant/merchant law etc. I assume the post-positives to be Norman-isms, since it was the Normans who did most of the owning after 1066, but I wonder if they actually brought over both forms: my secret drinking expeditions trips besuited to the Channel Islands taught me that you can put adjectives in front of nouns in Norman French dialects like Jèrriais.

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