Wondrous Words Wednesday

It has been ages since I’ve had some good words for WWW, but historical fiction is always good for teaching me some new vocabulary.  This week, my words come from a book I recently finished – Heresy, by S.J. Parris.

1. Reredortera name sometimes given to the latrines attached to monastic houses

“We were on the first floor of the building, but about six feet below the window the sloping roof of the lay brothers reredorter jutted out enough for me to land on…”

2. Barbican – a tower that is part of a defensive structure (such as a castle)

“We entered the city through the east gate, a small barbican in the high walls that encircled the main body of the town…”

3. Cockling – Rippling or waviness of a sheet caused by improper drying

“…from the old-fashioned wooden boards encased in calfskin that would keep a parchment manuscript from cockling.

4. Quires – Gatherings of groups of pages into sections, which are then sewn together on one side to form a book.

“Along three walls, long benches lay covered with quires and manuscripts in various states of disrepair;”

5. Burse – A flat, square container of cloth, the same color as the vestments, in which the corporal is carried to and from the altar
6. Corporal – A square piece of linen on which the bread and wine are placed and consecrated in the Eucharist.

“He laid the chalice reverently on the left side of the altar, lifted a green velvet burse from on top and, with a forefinger and thumb, removed the delicate corporal from the burse…”

7. Cilice – a garment or undergarment made of coarse cloth or animal hair; a hairshirt

“I sat back on the bench, watching as he opened his fine silk shirt to reveal a cilice of coarse black animal hair.”

Could you guess that the book takes place in a medieval castle and involves monks and priests?  I figured you could.

What new words did YOU learn this week?

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