17/08/16 The Meaning of “Allonge” in Legal English

e-legal lesson

According to Black’s Law Dictionary, allonge means “a slip of paper sometimes attached to a negotiable instrument for the purpose of receiving further indorsements when the original paper is filled with indorsements.” (An indorsement serves to transfer or guarantee a negotiable instrument or to acknowledge payment.) Black’s Law Dictionary gives 1859 as the date of earliest usage, so allonge is a relative newcomer. It’s obscure and studiously foppish; indorsement supplement, indorsement addendum, or indorsement certificate are clearer alternatives. A further problem with allonge is that it has come to have another meaning: you see it used instead of amendment for purposes of promissory notes, as in the title FIRST ALLONGE TO PROMISSORY NOTE. Use amendment instead.