Skip to main content


Showing posts from February, 2013

Word of the Month: The Croes Naid

While the work of revising the dictionary often results in new citations added to articles, or to new definitions added to existing entries, adding a new word to the dictionary is always very exciting. Sometimes, in the process, we also manage to solve some editorial ‘mysteries’. In the recent edition of the Prose Brut to 1332 (H. Pagan, ed. ANTS vol. 69, 2011), we can  read that, ‘ Robert de Winchelse et autrez grauntz fusrent juretz sur la croice neite de tenir et maintenir lez dites ordenances ’ (l. 5797 ; Robert of Winchelsea [bishop of Canterbury] and other great [men] swore on the ‘croice neite’ to hold and maintain the said ordinances). In the glossary and notes to the text, it is suggested that neite is a form of net (AND2 s.v. net , soon to be net 1 ) though there is also a mention that one manuscript presents the reading nettement . Neit is indeed an attested variant of net , though none of the senses of net (currently ‘clean’, ‘pure, chaste’, ‘innocent’) seem to apply

Word of the month: 'nick', nock' and 'notch'

In the first edition of the Anglo-Norman Dictionary (1985, for the M-O/U fascicle), the entry for noche is rather minimalistic: the definition provided is simply ‘notch’, which, obviously, is nothing more than the same word in Modern English. (The -tch spelling is merely an English equivalent for French -ch , as is also found in, for example, hache#3 vs. English hatch , or lache#1 vs. latch , and cache#2 vs. catch ). The entry lists only one spelling variant, and contains a single citation, taken from the Yearbooks of Edward II (vol. xvii, p. 179), illustrating the sense: ‘et mist avant un taille ensealé qe avoit .xvj. noches et suprascripciun’ (‘ and he produced a sealed tally stick, which had 16 notches and [an] inscription ’) No indication is given as to whether the word is at all common in Anglo-Norman or whether its appearance here is a ‘one-off’ – a hapax legomenon . For the second (online) edition of the AND, all words starting with N- are currently being revi