By Christopher Corèdon
An curiosity within the heart a while usually brings the non-specialist reader up brief opposed to a notice or time period which isn't understood or merely imperfectly understood. This dictionary is meant to place an finish to all that: it's been designed to be of genuine aid to normal readers and experts alike. The dictionary comprises a few 3,400 phrases as headwords, starting from the felony and ecclesiastic to the extra prosaic phrases of way of life. Latin used to be the language of the church, legislation and executive, and lots of Latin phrases illustrated listed below are usually present in sleek books of background of the interval; equally, the suitable which means of previous English and center English phrases may perhaps elude trendy reader: this dictionary endeavours to supply readability. as well as definition, etymologies of many phrases are given, within the trust that understanding the foundation and evolution of a notice offers a greater figuring out. There also are examples of medieval phrases and words nonetheless in use this day, an additional relief to clarifying that means. CHRISTOPHER COREDON has additionally compiled the Dictionary of Cybernyms. Dr ANN WILLIAMS, historic advisor at the undertaking, used to be till her retirement Senior Lecturer in medieval heritage on the Polytechnic of North London.
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Additional info for A Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases
Next Babewyn. Any of the ugly or demonic creatures which populate medieval artwork; many are to be found cut in *cathedral stone, tucked away from first gaze. [< OFr. babuin = grimace, baboon; ME babywynrie = something monstrous] – Cf. previous; Bagwyn; Bestiary; Blemmya; Cynocephalus; Gryllus Babylon. Geography in medieval Europe was rudimentary. In this period Cairo was known in the West as Babylon. China was thought to be at the source of the Nile, as its silk was shipped down that river to Babylon/Cairo.
Cf. Bere; Inland Berfrois. A grandstand constructed to allow spectators a view of the *tournament from above ground-level. The word was also used to refer to a watch tower and is the AN form of *berefredum. – Cf. Recet Berm. That area between a plain or *curtain wall of a castle and its ditch or moat. Bernardines. A name given sometimes to the Cistercian order in recognition of St Bernard of Clairvaux, their most distinguished member. The name Bernadine Sisters was used of an order of *Franciscan sisters in Poland in the mid-15c.
With 19 a dictionary of medieval terms and phrases visor, *beaver and *gorget and secured with chin straps. It became the archetypal helmet, used throughout Europe. – Cf. Basinet Armiger. An esquire; orig. a young man who attended a knight by carrying his shield. The Latin form was armigerus. g. when John Leland mentioned in his Itinerary two members of a 14c family, ‘Thomas Golaffre, armiger, . . and Syr Morice Brun, knight’. It was the Latin form for what we know as a country squire, a man with land, well-born but not knighted.