noscitur a sociis (nos-<<schwa>>-t<<schwa>>r ay [or ah] soh-shee-is). [Latin “it is known by its associates”] A canon of construction holding that the meaning of an unclear word or phrase

should be determined by the words immediately surrounding it. Cf. EJUSDEM GENERIS;

EXPRESSIO UNIUS EST EXCLUSIO ALTERIUS ; RULE OF RANK. [Cases: Statutes 193.

C.J.S. Statutes § 332.]

“The ejusdem generis rule is an example of a broader linguistic rule or practice to which reference is made by the Latin tag noscitur a sociis. Words, even if they are not general words like ‘whatsoever’ or ‘otherwise’ preceded by specific words, are liable to be affected by other words with which they are associated.” Rupert Cross, Statutory Interpretation 118 (1976).

[Blacks Law 8th]