Wondrous words Wednesday

Happy Wednesday — it’s time for some new words! You know how this works – share a few words from your current book that you had to look up, then head over to Bermuda Onion’s Weblog to learn some new ones.

This week,I’ve got more words from Something Red by Douglas Nicholas. Like I said last week, medieval novels always give you some great choices:

1. Virgate – A varying measure of land, typically 30 acres

“Osbert’s grandafther, Forwin atte Well, had been a prosperous householder — Osbert still had his tunic, dyed a forest green and trimmed with squirrel –farming his three virgates of land…”

2. Housecarl — A member of the body-guard of a Danish or English king or noble.

“In keeping the peace in his house he was aided by three stalwart and jovial sons and a few housecarls.

3. Traneen – chiefly Irish. : something of little or no value, a trifle

“She looked away and spoke towards the fire. ‘It’s not that I care a traneen, mind.'”

4. Reeve – The president of a village or town council.

“His wealth and influence in the region were such that no reeve molestd him, and though the village priest was known to grumble bitterly, nothing more than that came of it.”

5. Selions – a mediaeval open strip of land or small field used for growing crops, usually owned by or rented to peasants

“The fields were divided among villagers, so that they looked like the blankets sewed from scraps by the grandmams in Hob’s old village: square furlongs and long, narrow selions all set this way and that to follow the runoff of rainwater.”

6. Falchion – A broad, slightly curved sword with the cutting edge on the convex side

“He ran at the outlaw, who bore a short heavy falchion and a targe much like Jack’s own, but without a spike.”

7. Murrey – The deep purple-red color of a mulberry.

“Fastened to his surcoat was a brooch worn as a badge: a silver disk inlaid with murrey-colored enamel, against which the white fountain of Blanchefontaine stood out, rendered in raised silver.”

You don’t need to hear anything but these words to know when this story takes place, do you?

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