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Showing posts from 2015

Christmas 2015: Anglo-Norman words overview

2015 has been a turbulent year for the Anglo-Norman Dictionary, with the unfortunate illness and extremely sad passing away of our General Editor, Prof. David Trotter, last August. Looking forward to a more positive 2016, the current AND team, Dr. Heather Pagan and Dr. Geert De Wilde, would like to wish our readers a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! ( Ranworth Antiphoner, fol 22, fifteenth century) We will be back in January with new Anglo-Norman words of the month, but in the meantime, here’s an overview of all the vocabulary we have discussed on this blog so far, in the past 2 or 3 years. There might be one or two you’d missed? ‘alphabet’/’abc’ - link ‘nick’, nock’ and ‘notch’ - link The ‘Croes Naid’ - link ‘nuncheon’ - link ‘monoceros’ and ‘unicorn’ - link ‘havegooday’ - link ‘organe’ - link ‘noef’ and ‘novel’ - link Anglo-Norman sweetmeats - link ‘lunage’, ‘lunetus’ and ‘lunatic’ - link ‘locust’ and ‘lobster’ - link

Word of the Month: Lit

The recent windy Welsh weather has certainly made staying in bed an attractive proposition this week! That got us wondering about what the Anglo-Norman Dictionary could tell us about where people slept in the Middle Ages. Beds and bedding aren’t normally things that are described in the types of sources the AND used – there's never much discussion of home furnishings in literary texts or in administrative documents. Two other types of texts do provide some clues about medieval beds: inventories and wills. These tend to be related to wealthy individuals, so the goods described certainly wouldn’t be typical for the average medieval person. They do provide an interesting glimpse at how the 1% of the population furnished their bedrooms during this period! Talbot Shrewsbury Book The bedroom was known as the chambre , from whence we get the Modern English chamber , though you can occasionally find the word closet used in Anglo-Norman (and in Middle English ) to refer to a pri

Word of the Month: Horsemanship - The Anglo-Norman Horse (part 2)

(Tristan and Yseult in  Roman du Chevalier  by Gassien de Poitiers, 15th Century)  Tristran i fet Ysod mener <1140> E par la raigne la senestre. Caerdins li chevauche a destre E vount d’envoisures plaidant; As paroles entendent tant Qu’il laissent lor chevaus turner <1145> Cele part qu’il volent aler. Cel a Caerdin se desraie E l’Ysodt contre lui s’arbroie. Ele le fiert des esperons [..] Li palefrois avant s’enpaint <1155> E il escrille a l’abaiser En un petit croser evier - Trist 1140-56 ( Tristran took Yseut along with him, Holding her rein as he rode on her left. Katherdin rode on her right, And they told amusing tales as they went along. Such was their conversation That they let their horses roam where they would. Katherdin’s mount wandered across And Yseut’s reared up against it. She pricked it with her spurs [...] Her palfrey plunged forward, And, as it touched the ground, it slid into a water-hole - translation by S. Gregory

Word of the Month: Predire

Do you ever wish you had a way to see into the future, to see how events might play out? The editors at the AND would certainly love to have this ability! As evidenced by a numerous medieval writings, the desire to predict or foretell the future, or predire in Anglo-Norman, has been a longstanding wish of many. Two of the most recent additions to the Dictionary library are Tony Hunt’s Writing the Future: Prognostics Text of Medieval England ( Textes littéraires du Moyen Âge 24, Paris, 2013 ) and Stefano Rapisarda ’s Manuali medievali di chiromanzia ( Biblioteca Medievale 95, Rome, 2005 ). Both of these books contain editions of Anglo-Norman texts which could be used to tell the future – texts to interpret the lines on hands, the meaning of dreams, the zodiac, the moon, the stars... [1] Palmistry, BL Additional 11639, f. 115 Lunarie , a term attested in another prognostic text edited by T. Hunt [2] , refers to a ‘lunary’, a text that provides a collection of predictions