Not too many people have occasion to use ‘surety’ in a sentence, either in casual conversation or professionally. So is surety a word, or is it just a term used exclusively by insurance companies to create a fog around what they do, and to invent reasons why you need to pay them? To find out, we took to the streets of Buffalo, NY, and asked some of the local citizenry what their thoughts were on the matter. The names of interviewees have been changed, so they can enjoy some surety of anonymity, but the sentiments expressed are genuine – more or less.
Let’s have a little fun, shall we.
Us: Is surety a word?
Carla: Yeah, it’s a word. At least, I think it’s a real word. Sharety is what you have when people with lots of money share it with folks like me that got no money at all. I mean, I tried to get a job and all after high school, but wasn’t nobody hiring around town that I could find. So it’s a good thing that my grampa has lots of sharety, and he helps me out now and then.
Us: Have you ever heard of the word ‘surety’? Is that a real word, or just a slang expression that people use sometimes?
Henry: Oh wow. Surety? How do you spell that?
Henry: Surety. Oh yeah, I’ve heard of that. I think it has something to do with being positive that you’re right about something. Like everybody had this surety that the Patriots would win the Super Bowl, but then the Eagles clobbered them, and blew them away. Sometimes your surety about things ends up being pretty un-sure. (Smiles).
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Us: Is the word surety familiar to you at all?
Brittany: Sure Tea? Ummm… yeah, I’m pretty sure it’s a real word. Well, two words maybe. It’s this new kind of tea somebody came up with that gives you confidence and makes you sure of yourself. I don’t know how much of it you have to drink to get all that, but apparently it all happens in the first two or three cups. If it took longer than that, people might give up trying, and not want to keep buying more tea to get confident. I’m pretty sure my uncle drinks Sure Tea, because he always knows what he’s talking about, and he can tell you practically anything you want to know. Come to think of it, he must have been drinking it most of his life, because he’s always been one of those know-it-all types that knows everything. That’s not me at all – I’m just the opposite of that. Maybe I should start drinking Sure Tea myself. (Giggles).
Us: Is a surety word? What do you think the word surety means?
Jamal: No, man. I never heard of any word like that. I’ve heard a lot of people talking about a lot of different things, but I never heard of any word like that. I even have some adult peeps that I hang with sometimes, and none of them use words like that. What’s it supposed to mean anyway? If it was a real word, I would have heard of it by now. I’m getting old enough myself that I don’t hear too many new words being used around me, so if I don’t know about it, it must be bogus.
Us: What do you think about the word ‘surety’? Is surety a legit word, so that you would expect to find it in a dictionary?
Rob: Don’t ask me – my wife is the wordsmith here. Honey – this guy wants to know if there’s such a thing as a surety? Is that a real word – or what is it exactly?
Camille: Well, I can’t say as I work it into conversation very often, but yes, it is a word. It’s like a person or a company that acts as a kind of stand-in for someone else, and takes responsibility for their actions.
Rob: What? Why would anyone want to do that? If it was me, I would want to stand up for myself, and I wouldn’t want someone else to have to guarantee anything about what I might do. I’m responsible for my own actions, and I think I can live up to any kind of agreement I get involved with, so why would I even want anyone else involved?
Camille: Because it’s a business arrangement. It isn’t like a person or a company just reaches out to you out of nowhere and offers to back you up on something. It’s like a company that gets paid to act as some kind of guarantee for someone’s actions, because the hiring person needs to be sure that work will be done, or that you do show up in court for your court appearance – something like that.
Us: Good morning, young man. Have you ever heard of the word surety, and if so, do you have any idea what it means?
Philip: Yup. I know what that is. My dad is a contractor who does electrical work for a lot of different companies, and when he first got his license, he had to buy a surety bond so he could go into business. The surety bond means that some insurance company somewhere will have to pay money to a company my dad does work for, if he ever messes the job up pretty bad, or if he doesn’t get it done the way the company wanted it done. The surety bond thing won’t ever be used for my dad, because he’s like the greatest electrician in the world, and he’ll never mess up a job he works on, so there’s never gonna be a company that has to get paid any money from the bond. So – it doesn’t really do anything. The bond just sits there and it will never be used by anyone, because my dad knows what he’s doing. But I guess it makes some people feel better to have it.
Us: Philip, here are two free tickets to the Palace movie theater in town, for being such a good son. Take your dad with you.
That’s my crack at comedy. Now the pitch! If you need help getting bonded, reach out to us. We’ll gladly help you get any type of bond you need. Surety, Court, Fidelity, License & Permit, whatever you need. We can bond in all states. Some bonds we can issue the same day.
laughing reading! Have a great day.