"long staff ending in a hook or curve, carried by or before a bishop or archbishop on solemn occasions," late 13c., croiser (mid-13c. as a surname), "one who bears a bishop's staff, prelate's crosier-bearer," from Old French crocier, from Medieval Latin crociarius "bearer of a cross," from crocia "cross;" also from Old French croisier "one who bears or has to do with a cross" (see cross (n.)). The two words merged in Middle English. Technically, "the bearer of a bishop's pastoral staff;" erroneously applied to the staff itself since 1733.
updated on May 20, 2018