Elizabethan English

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Terms and Slang -- Lower Class and Underworld

Notes:
 c = Cant

A-swame
       Fainting
Abject
       To cast out. To reject.
Abram, Abraham
       (c) a lunatic or mad; naked.
Abram-man, Abraham-man
       (c) a category of vagrant who excited sympathy or fear in onlookers by feigning madness.
Abroach, To Set
       Tto let the liquid out of a cask.
Ace
       (c) A one on a die.
Action-taking
       An insult of social position.
Advoutery
       Adultery.
Affiance
       Confidence, trust.
Agnus Dei
       A wax disc imprinted with the Lamb of God and the crossed keys of the Papacy, and has been
       blessed by the Pope.
Ague
       Malaria
Alderman
       The elected representative of a Ward to the City Council.
Ale-bush
       Inn sign, Inn.
All Hallows
       (c) Toll collector's office at market.
Altham
       (c) Wife of a vagabond.
Amerce
       To fine (as a legal punishment)
Ames-ace
       A term of contempt, referring to "snake-eyes" on dice.
Amort, all
       Out of spirits.
Angel
       A gold coin, value 10 shillings.
Angler
       (c) A thief who uses a hook on a line, also Hookman, Curber or Hooker.
Antic
       A clown or merry-andrew.
Apple-squire
       (c) Pimp.
Apronman
       A workman or mechanic.
Apt
       To make fit, adapt.
Aqua Fortis
       Nitric Acid
Aqua Vitae
       "Water of Life"; Whisky or Brandy
Armour of proof
       Strong armor of tested quality.
Arquebus
       A Firearm, matchlock or Wheellock (the term has both a technical and a general meaning --
       this is the general meaning).
Arrant
       1.(subs.) Errand. 2.(Adj) Itinerant, Downright. An insult of social position.
Ass
       An insult of an intellectual character
Ataunt
       Drunk (see Taunt)
Autem
       (c) A Church.
Autem-mort
       (c) A married, female vagrant.
Backsword
       Heavy single edged short sword
Bailie
       Bailiff, Sherrif or Constable's officer
Bale (of Dice)
       (c) 2-3 matched dice, the set required for any game.
Ballow
       (North Midlands) Cudgel
Balter, Baltered
       (North Midlands) To Matt, Matted.
Band, falling
       Flat plain linen collar worn instead of a ruff.
Bandog
       A fierce watchdog.
Bandore
       Stringed musical instrument like a Lute or Guitar.
Barb, or Barbary Horse
       A breed of horse from "Barbery" or Berber, coast of the Mediteranean. Smaller than the
       Arabian.
Barber-monger
       An insult of social position.
Barnard, Barnacle
       (c) A member of a group of swindlers; he first appears to be the victim of a joke in which
       the dupe takes part.
Barnard's law
       (c) A special "department" of the cony-catcher's craft. The dupe is persuaded to think he is
       cheating others.
Barred Dice
       (c) See Dicing terms.
Bartholomew Babies
       Dolls similar to those sold at Bartholomew Fair.
Base
       An insult of social position.
Bash
       To be put out of contenance.
Basil
       A fetter
Basilisco
       A piece of heavy ordinance, cannon.
Basinet
       A round, bowl-like pot helm.
Bat-fowling
       (c) Cony catching at cards.
Bate
       Strife or Dicord.
Batlet
       A bat used to beat clothes in the wash
Batteler
       A rank among the poor students at Oxford.
Bauer
       Beaver, the lower face portion of the helmet.
Bausan
       (French, Bausant, Baucens, Baucyn; Italian, Balzano; Middle English, Bausond) Horse colors:
       "white spots on a colored background", hence Baybauson, Sorbauson, Sorelbauson, etc. May
       refer to white points.
Bawd
       A lower class woman, generally a prostitute.
Bawdy Basket
       (c) Name for a peddling woman.
Bawker
       (c) a rougish player in a Bowling Alley who has confederates in the audience.
Bay
       (French, Bai; Spanish, Bayo; Latin, Badius) Horse colors: A chestnut colored body (Light,
       bright, dark, or brown) with black points. It is the black points that distinguish a bay from
       a chestnut.
Bayamblanc
       (French) Horse colors: Bay or Chestnut with white points.
Baybauson
       (French) Horse colors: Bay or Chestnut with white spots.
Bayclere
       (French) Horse colors: A brightly colored bay.
Beadle
       1. One who makes a proclamation for another, or who bears another's warrant or mandate for
       a duty. 2. A Herald, or crier. 3. An under-baliff or tipstaff. 4. An officer appointed by a
       Parish to keep order in church, to punish petty offenders and act as messenger of the Parish
       in general. 5. A Parish Constable.
Beak
       1. To season by heat. 2. (c) Magistrate
Beast
       A bestial insult
Beater
       (c) Taker-up, the first person in a group of Cony- catchers to introduce himself to the dupe.
Beaupere
       Companion
Beck
       Constable
Beggarly
       An insult of social position.
Bell-Brow
       (c) A place where one might find a receiver of stolen property.
Bellman
       Watchman or Town Crier.
Belly Cheat
       (c) Apron
Bench-whistler
       Idler
Bene
       (c) Good.
Bene faker of Gybes
       (c) One who manufactures false passes, licences, etc.
Beneship
       (c) Very Good, Goodness.
Beray
       Befoul
Bestraighted
       Distraught
Bett
       Past tense and participle of "To Beat"
Bevor
       A piece of plate armor protecting the throat and chin.
Biggin
       Close fitting cap worn by babies.
Billman
       (arch.) a Member of the watch who carried a Bill.
Bing
       (c) To go.
Bing a waste!
       (c) Go you hence!, Bugger off!
Bird
       (c) A cozener's dupe.
Bit
       Bite. Coin or Money.
Black Boy
       Black Coat Parson, Priest
Black Jack
       Leather drinking mug, tarred on the outside. Also Jack.
Bleater
       Victim of a "Jack in a box" (q.v.)
Bleating Cheat
       (c) Calf or sheep
Blood
       A fast or foppish man.
Blow
       Inform.
Blower
       Informer.
Blue Bottle
       Constable
Blue Coat
       Beadle or servant in livery
Bob
       1. To steal from a person; 2. To make fun of a person.
Boil
       (c) To betray.
Boll
       To drink.
Bolt
       1. A roll off textile fabric; 2. To stir.
Bombast
       Stuffing for clothes.
Boon
       Good?
Boot-haler
       A freebooter or a Brigand.
Booty
       (c) 1. A form of play that begins with one player intentionally losing to encourage their
       opponent to Gamble more readily. 2. The money thereby gained.
Bord
       (c) A shilling.
Borsholder
       A petty constable.
Boun
       To get onesself ready
Bouse
       (c) 1. Alcoholic Drink; 2. To consume such.
Bousing ken
       (c) Ale house.
Brabble
       To quarrel.
Brach
       A bitch hound.
Brazen-faced
       An insult of a moral nature
Bread sippets
       Slices of toast laid under meat to soak up juices
Bribering
       Stealing
Bristle Dice
       (c) See Dicing Terms.
Broomman
       A street sweeper or scavenger.
Buck
       1. Large wooden tub with a lid; 2. Clothes prepared for washing; 3. The water involved. 4.
       The action of washing the clothes.
Budge a beak
       (c) To Flee from Justice.
Budget
       A bag or wallet.
Bufe, Bugher
       (c)(Bufay or Buufer) A dog.
Bully rook
       Fine fellow
Bung
       (c) A purse, a pocket.
Buy
       (c) A purse.
By heaven
       An emphatic oath
By my troth
       A polite "oath", suitable for women and children
By St George
       An emphatic oath
By the Mass
       An emphatic oath
By the Rood
       An emphatic oath
By this hand
       A polite "oath", suitable for women and children
By this light
       A polite "oath", suitable for women and children
By'r lady
       An emphatic oath
Cackling-cheat
       (c) Cock, capon, chicken
Cacodaemon
       An evil spirit.
Caitiff
       An insult of social position.
Calenture
       A stroke
Caliver
       A light Musket, a Carbine
Callet
       A drab.
Canary
       A fortified wine
Candlemas
       February 2 and the Feast of the Purification of the Virgin.
Canions
       Loose breeches, usually worn as undergarments.
Cannikin
       (c) The plague.
Cannon, Lower
       Piece of plate armor protecting the lower arm. Also called a Vambrace.
Cannon, Upper
       Piece of plate armor protecting the upper arm.
Canon Law
       The body of law, apart from the common law, which was applied in ecclesiastical courts, and
       related mainly to religious and Church matters.
Cant
       (c) 1. The creole and jargon spoken by thieves, beggers, and vagabonds. 2. To speak this
       secret language. 3. To beg in a whining fashion.
Cantel
       The protuberant part at the rear of a saddle.
Cap-case
       Traveling bag.
Capon
       A bestial insult
Carcanet
       A collar of Jewels.
Carl
        A common fellow, a country man.
Carrel
       A cubbyhole office in a library or a cloister.
Casson
       (c) Cheese.
Cast
       1. Condemn. 2. Overthrow.
Caster
       (c) Cloak
Castle
       (c) v. To See or Look
Catchpole
       An officer employed for making arrests.
Cater
        1. A person who buys provisions, or caters. 2. (c) a four on a die.
Cates
       Foodstuffs or victuals.
Caudel
       Hot, spiced wine made with gruel
Caul
       A spider's web.
Cautel
       Precaution or wariness.
Cent/Sant
       A card game whose goal is to win a hundred points.
Chafer
       A saucepan.
Chapman
       A trader, a salesman, a bargainer.
Charger
       A serving dish
Charm
       (c) A person that picks locks.
Cheap
       To trade or Bargain.
Cheaped
       Something gained at a bargain.
Cheat
       1. A fine, forfeiture or reversion that falls to a landlord. 2. (c) A gallows or gibbit. 3.
       (c) Anything (usually preceeded by a qualifying word, such as Bleating Cheat "Sheep"). 4.
       (c) A false die.
Cheats/Chats
       Gallows
Chepemans
       (c) Cheapside Market.
Chestnut
       Horse colors: A chestnut colored body (Light, bright, dark, or brown) with points of the same
       color.
Chip
       A worthless thing.
Chop a card
       To change a card's place in the deck secretly.
Chop
       To buy and sell.
Chopping
       Vigorous, "Strapping"
Christendom
       The Christian World as a whole.
Churl
       An insult of social position.
Churlish
       An insult of social position.
Cinque
       (c) A five on a die.
Citron
       A pale yellow color
Clapperdudgeon
       (c) 1. Chief Beggar. 2. A beggar born. 3. A term of reproach.
Clark
       Clerk
Clewner
       (c) Chiefman among Rogers, or beggars pretending scholarship.
Cleym
       (c) A sore.
Clink, the
       (c) A debtor's prison
Clinker
       To cause to shrink.
Close stool
       A chamber pot hidden inside a seat with a lid.
Clothman
       A clothier.
Cloy
       (c) To "snap," steal, obstruct, or encumber.
Cloyed
       (c) To be intruded upon by others claiming a share.
Cly
       (c) To steal or seize.
Cly the jerk
       (c) To be whipped.
Clyster thread
       (c) A thread inserted into the skin to caused a localized irritation believed to draw the
       infection away from another part of the body.
Coads
       An emphatic oath
Coads-nigs
       An emphatic oath
Cob
       A short legged stout type of horse for riding. Not a special breed.
Cockle/Corncockle
       A weed of cultivation.
Cocklorel
       An insult of a moral nature
Codso
       A "spicy" oath, a rude word ("God's Own"?)
Coffe
       Cough
Cog
        1. A type of cargo ship. 2. (c) a coin. 3. (c) To cheat at dice or cards, or otherwise
       practice deceit.
Coif
       1. A close fitting head covering with a whole for the face, such as those worn by Nuns. 2.
       A Mail hood worn by men at arms.
Coistril
       An insult of social position.
Cokes
       An insult of an intellectual character
Cole
       (c) A cheating knave.
Collops
       Chops of meat
Colour
       1. Pretence. 2. A false appearance of correctness.
Colt
       (c) 1. A cheating knave. 2. An innkeeper who becomes the victim of rank-riders.
Comfits
       Sweets
Commission
       (c) Shirt
Commodity
       (c) 1. Advantage, Profit. 2. A parcel of goods handed over by a money lender instead of money
       ("a commodity of brown paper"). 3. A Prostitute.
Complected
       The balance of one's humours (shown in your face)
Conceit, to take a
       To sicken of some morbid affection.
Congee
       To make a ceremonious bow.
Conject
       To devise or plot.
Contraries
       (c) False dice with an opposite tendency to those that are in play.
Conveyance
       (c) A trick or piece of roguery.
Conycatch
       (c) To Con or Cheat
Cope
       To fasten up a ferret's mouth.
Copesmate
       (c) Associate, Comrade.
Copy, to change one's
       To alter ones behavior.
Cornipes
       A Horse.
Cornuto
       A cuckold (literally, "Furnished with horns")
Corporal Oath
       Corporale Juramentum, taken while touching a sacred object.
Corsie
       A corrosive.
Costiveness
       Constipation
Cote-Card
       Court or face card.
Couch a hogshead
       (c)To lie down to sleep.
Couch
       A form of embroidery.
Counsellor
       Solicitor, Advising barrister.
Country
       Often used in the place of "County", ergo a "Countryman of mine" means a person from my
       county.
Couples
       Pairs of leashes holding two hunting dogs.
Courtesy-man
       (c) The spokesman of a company of beggars pretending to be ex-soldiers; any speaker for a
       group of others.
Courtlax
       Cutlass
Cousin
       A dupe.
Couter A piece of plate armor protecting the elbow joint. (Aka "Elbow Cop")
Cove
       (c) A man, person, or fellow.
Covert
       Protection, shelter
Covetise
       Couvetousness.
Coxcomb
       An insult of an intellectual character
Crack
       Talk, big, boast, brag.
Crackmans
       (c) a Hedge.
Cramp-rings
       (c) Fetters.
Crank, The
       (c) Epilepsy, or the "Falling Sickness". A "counterfeit crank" is one who pretends to be an
       epileptic.
Cranmoisie
       Dark, black currant-red color
Crashing cheats
       (c) Teeth.
Crassing cheats
       (c) Apples, pears and other fruits.
Cravant
       Craven.
Creeping Law
       (c) The craft of those who follow petty thievery in the suburbs, burglary.
Cross
       A Coin (a penny?).
Cross-lay
       (c) A wager meant to deceive the company as to the caller's intent.
Crossbiter
       (c) A swindler or trickster; often with the special sense of one who extorts money by threats
       from a man found in a compromising position with a woman; one who runs a Badger Game.
Cruse
       A type of clay jar
Cuds-me
       An emphatic oath
Cue Half a farthing.
Cuffin
       (c) A man, fellow.
Cuir Boulli
       Leather that has been hardened by the application of boiling water.
Cullionly
       An insult of social position.
Cur
       A bestial insult
Curb
       (c) The curber/angler/hooksman's hook.
Curber
       (c) See Angler.
Cursitor
       A Wanderer, vagabond, or tramp.
Curtal
       "Curtail" 1. A small piece of artillery. 2. A horse with a docked tail. 3. Used as a term of
       abuse. 4. (c) A vagabond who wears a short cloak.
Cushnet
       A little cushion.
Cut
       (c) To speak or say.
Cut Bene Whids, to
       (c) To speak properly, or truely.
Cut benely, to
       (c) To speak in the fashion of one of gentle birth.
Cuttle
       Knife
Cuttle-Bung
       (c) A cutpurse's knife.
Dag
       Pistol
Dappled
       Horse colors: Marked with round apple sized spots. Therefore a "dapple gray" horse has dark
       spots on a gray background.
Darkmans
       (c) The night.
Dauphin
       (French) The heir to the French Throne.
Dead Spaniard
       A gray brown color
Decoy
       A card game.
Dell
       (c) A young vagrant woman.
Demander
       (c) One who gains monies through menace.
Demanders for glimmer
       (c) Beggers who seek relief on the plea that thier homes and goods have been burnt.
Demi or Demi-bar
       (c) A false die that has hone half the usual Bias.
Denier
       A penny (from the French for 1/12 of a sou)
Deuce
       A two on dice.
Deuce-ace
       "two-one", Acey-Deucy roll on dice.
Devonshire Kersey
       A form of rough cloth, originally from Devonshire.
Dewse-a-vill
       (c) The country, as opposed to the Town.
Dicker
       Half-score, or ten.
Dickering and Doddering
       Shivering.
Dish of coals
       A frying pan containing hot coals with a griddle on top.
Dispence
       Heavy spending.
Diver
       (c) Snakesman.
Doddypol
       A foolish person.
Dodkin
       "Doit", a Dutch Coin, or any small coin.
Dog
       A bestial insult
Dorsermaker
       Maker of Panniers.
Dosser
       Basket.
Dottrel
       1. Kind of Plover. 2. An easy prey.
Doxy
       (c) A female vagabond, travelling usually with a man.
Draw
       (c) To pick a pocket.
Draw-latch
       A petty thief.
Drift
       A scheme.
Drigger
       (c) A thief.
Drink Tobacco
       To draw in, or inhale tobacco smoke.
Drover
       (c) A cheating horse-dealer in Smithfield Market.
Drug
       Drudge.
Dry-vat
       A box or cask for dry goods.
Duds
       (c) 1. Clothes ("lag of duds" a washbundle). 2. Things in general.
Duke of Exeter's daughter
       The Rack, imported by the D.of Exeter in Henry VIII's time.
Dummerer
       (c) A begger who feigns dumbness.
Dun
       From the Saxon "Dun" or Chestnut-brown Horse colors: A dull or dingy brown. If nearly gray,
       it may be called "Blue-dun", if almost brown a "Golden" oir "Yellow dun". Dun Horses MAY have
       black points.
Dup
       To open (a door or gate)
Dure
       Endure.
Eater of broken meats
       An insult of social position (indicating that the person eats other people's leftovers).
Faith
       A polite "oath", suitable for women and children
False
       An insult of a moral nature
Fauvus
       (Latin; French, Fauve; Italian, Falbo) Horse colors: Tawny, or Brown with a preponderance of
       yellow or orange.
Ferrandus
       (Latin; French, Ferraunt) Horse colors: Iron gray.
Ferrantamblanc
       (French) Horse colors: Iron Gray with white points.
Ferrauntpompyle
       (French) Horse colors: Iron gray with darker, apple sized spots.
Fig of Spain
        A rude gesture, consisting of a fist with the thumb inserted through the first or second
       fingers.  It is indicative of the female genitalia.
Filch
       (c) a thief.
Filthy
       An insult of a health nature.
Finical
       An insult of social position.
Flense
       To skin.
Flux
       Dysentery.
Foin
       (1) Stab with a spear (2) To engage in sexual congress.
Fool
       An insult of an intellectual character
Foolish
       An insult of an intellectual character
Footpad
       Mugger
'Fore God
       An emphatic oath
Foresworn
       An insult of a moral nature
Forsooth
       A polite "oath", suitable for women and children
French Pox
       The Spanish Disease, the English Curse.
Gallow
       To Frighten
Geck
       A fool
Gelding
       A castrated horse, a form of horse not generally used in Western Europe until the Sixteenth
       Century because they were considered timid and unsuitable for war. The French call geldings
       Hongre (or Hungarian) horses, while the Germans called them Wallach (Wallachians).
Glass-gazing
       An insult of a social or moral nature (I *think* suggesting that the person is a fortune
       teller).
God 'a mercy (God have mercy)
       An emphatic oath
God's 'zounds)
       A "spicy" oath
God's Arms
       A "spicy" oath
God's blessed mother
       A "spicy" oath
God's blessed will
       A "spicy" oath
God's Blood (= 'Slud)
       A "spicy" oath
God's Body (Bodikins)
       A "spicy" oath
God's Bones
       A "spicy" oath
God's Bread
       A "spicy" oath
God's Corpus
       A "spicy" oath
God's Crown
       A "spicy" oath
God's Death
       A "spicy" oath
God's Dignity
       A "spicy" oath
God's Feet
       A "spicy" oath
God's Flesh (=Fish)
       A "spicy" oath
God's Foot
       A "spicy" oath
God's Fury
       A "spicy" oath
God's Gown
       A "spicy" oath
God's Hat
       A "spicy" oath
God's Heart (= Heartlings)
       A "spicy" oath
God's Hook ('zooks)
       A "spicy" oath
God's Lid
       A "spicy" oath
God's Lids
       A "spicy" oath
God's Life (= Lifelings)
       A "spicy" oath
God's Light]
       A "spicy" oath
God's Loaves
       A "spicy" oath
God's Malt
       A "spicy" oath
God's Mercy/vengence
       An emphatic oath
God's Nails
       A "spicy" oath
God's Name
       A "spicy" oath
God's Nigs
       A "spicy" oath
God's Pity (pittikins)
       A "spicy" oath
God's Plenty
       A "spicy" oath
God's precious blood ['sprecious]
       A "spicy" oath
God's Teeth
       A "spicy" oath
God's truth
       An emphatic oath
God's Wounds (= nons
       A "spicy" oath
Goodman/Goodwife
       A term or respect for a common person, one down from Mister or
Gorget
       A plate protecting the neck or throat.
Gossip
       ("God-sibling") An old friend, especially female.
Greave
       A Piece of armor that protects the shin and calf region.
Grisel
       (French) Horse colors: Gray
Griselferraunt
       (French) Horse colors: Gray with Iron gray points.
Grisliard
       (French) Horse colors: Very small spots of white on a gray background, with the gray
       predominating.
Groat
       A silver four pence piece.
Halberd
       A polearem that is still carried by the Yeoman of the Guard.
Haquenai
       (French)[Middle English, Hakene] Though the modern Hackney has both Arab and Thoroughbred
       blood in its veins, the Haquenai is recorded at least as 1300, or three hundred years before
       the Thoroughbred. It was certainly a riding horse, usually small, and sometimes a pacing
       horse; Often also a horse let out for hire.
Highmen/lowmen
       (c) False dice altered to throw High/low.
Hobyn
       [Hobi, Hobin] A hobby -- a small horse or middlesized pony from Ireland, introduced into
       England and Scotland towards the end of the Thirteenth Century. By the end of the Fifteenth
       Century the term sometimes denoted a small pacing horse or ambler
Honey-stalk
       A regionalism used to denote stalks of clover
Hongre
       (French, Cheval Hongre) A gelding.
Hookman
       (c) Hooker, or a thief who uses a long hook to steal things
 through open windows.
Horse Coper
       Farrier or Blacksmith.
Humour A concept basic to Elizabethan Medicine -- everyone has a _predominant_ Humour.
       Blood (Sanguine humour) (Semen is White hot blood)
       Phlem (Phlegmatic humour)
       Yellow Bile(Choleric humour)
       Black Bile(Melancholic humour) - Melanchia/Depression
Hundred-pound
       An insult of social position.
I' faith/In faith
       A polite "oath", suitable for women and children
Iconoclasts
       Protestant religious hooligans who destry images on the grounds
that these are Idolatrous.
In good earnest
       A polite "oath", suitable for women and children
Inkhorn terms
       Old, little known words used for obfuscation
Jackanapes
       A bestial insult
Jakes
       Privy. Toilet.
Jennet
       (Spanish, Jineta; French, Genet) A small Spanish horse; also a light horseman.
Jesu
       An emphatic oath
Jordan
       Chamber pot
Knave
       Knavish. An insult of social position.
La
       A polite "oath", suitable for women and children, and used mostly by women
Leman
       (arch.) male or female lover
Liard
       (French)[Lyart, lyard] Horse colors: Very small spots of white on a gray background, or vice
       versa, giving a silvery gray appearance.
Lily-livered
       An insult of social position.
Lour
       (c) Money
Lousy (Louse ridden)
       An insult of a health nature.
Lurdane
       An insult of a moral nature
Lying
       An insult of a moral nature
Marchpane
       Marzipan
Marrano
       A Portuguese Sephardic Jew
Marry
       An emphatic oath
Marry gip
       An emphatic oath
Melancholia
       Depression
Mint
       (c) Gold
Mobled
       Muffled
Morel (French) Horse colors: Shiney Black.
Murrey
       Dull brown purple color
Nasal
       A metal bar sometimes fitted to a pot helm to cover the nose.
Natural
       An insult of an intellectual character
Nightrail
       Nightgown
Nithing
       (arch.) Wimp
Nonny-nonny
       A term of indelicate allusion, based on the practice of using these words to render rude
       Italian songs.
Od rabbit it
       An emphatic oath
Od rat it
       An emphatic oath
Od save us
       An emphatic oath
On my conscience
       A polite "oath", suitable for women and children
One that wouldst be a bawd
       An insult of a moral nature
One-trunk-inheriting
       An insult of social position.
Orangado
       A Seville Orange, partially hollowed and filled with sugar.
Ordinary, the
       The set meal at an Inn, often stew thickedned with vegetables
and bread. "The special"
Palliard
       (c) Begger
Pandar
       An insult of a moral nature
Pannam
       (c) Bread
Papal Bull
       A decree issued by the Pope. Their title is normally the first few words in Latin of the
       text.
Pardy
       A polite "oath", suitable for women and children
Pash
       Smash
Passado
       Early version of the fencing lunge.
Patten
       A large wooden overshoe worn to protect the slippers.
Pauldron
       A piece of armor that protects the shoulder joint.
Peasant
       An insult of social position.
Peledargent (French) Horse colors: "Silver-skin"
Penner
       A leather belt pouch designed to carry pens, penknife and inks.
Petard
       An explosive charge used in seiges.
Piccardils
       Stiffened strips of cloth to support a ruff on a collar.
Pick
       1. A hand weapon used to punture armor. 2. A Battering Ram with a narrow point.
Piebald
       Horse colors: Two different colors, strictly speaking black and white. See also Skew Bald.
Pike
       A very long lance or spear-like weapon.
Pillicock
       (1) The penis. (2) A vulgar term for a boy.
Plainnesse
       The use of Plain, well known terms
Points
       1. Laces for tying clothes shut or together. 2. Horse colors: The Mane, Tail, and most of the
       legs. May also indicate the muzzle.
Poleyn
       A piece of armor that protects the knee joint. Aka a Couter, or in modern parlance, a "Knee
       Cop")
Pomyle
       Pommele (French) Horse colors: Marked with round apple sized spots. See also Dappled.
Pon my honor/faith
       A polite "oath", suitable for women and children
Posset
       A warming or medicinal drink.
Potch
       Thrust
Pottage
       Stew
Prating
       An insult of an intellectual character
Prig
       (c)(1)(2) To steal
Primero
       A complex card game similar to poker.
Proud
       An insult of social position.
Punk
       (c) Prostitute.
Punkateero
       (c) A purveyor of Punks, a Pimp.
Rascal
       Rascally. An insult of social position.
Recreant
       An insult of a moral nature
Recusant
       Someone who breaks the law by not going to Church on Sundays,
usually a Catholic.
Roan
       Horse colors: A mixed color with a decided shade of red. They may also have gray or white
       spots, hence Ronsorel.
Roaring Boys
       (c) Hooligans, Thugs
Rogue
       Roguish. An insult of social position.
Ruffian
       Ruffianly. An insult of social position.
Runagate
       An insult of a moral nature
Rushlight
       A cheap candle made by dipping a dried rush stem into tallow (aka a "Tallow Dip")
Sabaton
       (French) A Piece of Armor protecting the upper surface of the foot.
Sack
       Sherry
Sallet
       A Type of Pot Helm.
Samite
       A heavy Satin
Sauced Drink
       Tobacco or food that have been "enhanced" by the addition of herbs, such as the seeds and
       leaves of the Hemp plant. A Netherlands vice brought back by soldiers.
Scabbed
       An insult of a health nature.
Screw
       A form of battering ram with a twisting action to increase damage.
Scurvy
       An insult of a health nature.
Secretary Hand
       The prevalent style of handwriting
Shallow
       An insult of social position.
Sherrif
       A royal official who lookas after the Crown's business in a particular shire.The word was
       originally "Shire Reeve".
Skewbald
       Horse colors: Two different colors, generally large, irregular patches of white on a
       different colored background other than black and white. See also Piebald.
Slave
       An insult of social position.
So God mend me
       A polite "oath", suitable for women and children
Sonipes
       Horse (poetic/literary term).
Sorel
       Sor (French; English, Sorrel) Horse colors: A bright chestnut color, reddish brown.
Spada
       Spado. A gelding, or spayed horse.
Stays
       Corsets, Bodices
Stews
       A brothel
Stockfish
       A form of fish dried to be stored forever.
Stomacher
       A boned triangular peice of cloth, often embroidered, pinned to the
front of the corsets.
Stoned Horse
       Stallion.
Stud
       A collection for the breeding of horses, now usually centered on a stallion, but originally
       on a group of mares kept for breeding.
Super-serviceable
       An insult of social position.
Tarre
       To provoke or incite
Tawny
       Orange-Gold color
Tercio
       Spanish equivalent of a Brigade (about 3000 men, including pike and arqubusiers).
Tertian fever
       Three day Malaria
Tester
       Roof of a four poster bed.
Three-suited
       An insult of social position.
Tithe
       A tax paid to the Church, ormally one tenth of a person's income.
Toad
       A bestial insult
Tobacco
       Introduced to England by Hawkins and as fashionable (and early on as expensive as) Cocaine.
       It was often cut with incense, or other herbs(see Sauced).
Trained Bands
       Company size groups that formed the bulk of the English Military. They were essentially
       regional Militia companies.
Traitor
       Traitorous. An insult of a moral nature
Trencher
       Dinner plate, early of bread, now of wood, silver, or pewter.
Trucklebed
       Small bed on wheels that was normally pushed under another bed when not in use. Trundlebed.
Trull
       Prostitute.
Trust me
       A polite "oath", suitable for women and children
Tunnage and Poundage men
       Customs officers.
Upright Man
       (c) Sturdy Begger or vagrant.
Vails
       (North Midlands) Perks or Tips
Varius
       (Latin; French, Vair) Horse colors: varicolored, or variegated, white or gray with black
       speckles.
Varlet
       An insult of social position.
Varmint
       Vermin
Veney
       Playing a friendly practice fight with sticks, often ending in broken bones.
Veney stick
       A heavy stick, like a sledgehammer handle used for sword practice.
Vile
       An insult of social position.
Villain
       Villainous. An insult of social position.
Whoreson
       An insult of social position.
Winding up a jack
       Winding the clockwork mechanism for turning a spit for even cooking.
Worsted-stocking
       An insult of social position.
Wretch
       An insult of social position.
Writ
       A legal document which could be obtained in order to bring a case to court without the normal
       lengthy preliminaries. The sale of writs was an important source of income for the king's
       household.
Yard
       The Naughty bits of a Stallion.
 
 Insults

Curses

Oaths

Challenges

Miscellaneous

Misc. forms of address:

Sir/Madam/Lady
       Terms of respect or formality. used most often for superiors and equals, and
       characteristically used for those of knightly rank or above.
Your worship/your ladyship
       A term of respect, generally used by commoners for men of substance.
Master/Mistress
       Terms of respect, generally used by servants and characteristically when addressing gentlemen
       or women.
Lord
       this word is used only of the titled aristocracy.
Man/Fellow/Woman
       Used for commoners.
Sirrah
       used for commoners of inferior status, or as an insult.
Coz/Cousin
       Used for relatives and close friends
Friend
       Used for intimate friends and boon companions
Thou
       The familiar form or "You", used for inferiors and intimates in informal contexts. As the
       object of a sentance (direct or indirect) it is "thee". Possessive is "Thy" or "Thine"
       (before a vowel).,  You Used for equals, superiors, and even inferiors in formal contexts.
Sir (Name)
       Before a Christian name, denotes a knight or a priest, before a surname denotes a university
       graduate.
Master/Mistress (Name)
       A title of courtesy, especially for persons of substance or education, but also used of
       comonners.
Goodman/Goodwife (name)
       A title of courtesy for a commoner, expecially the head of a household of yeoman class.
 

Salutations

Good Morrow/Day/Even, [God] Gi' you good day, What ho, How do you, [God] Save you, How
now, Farewells, God be wi' you, Fare [you] well,
 

Some Words that make their appearance about this time

Accomodation, Agile, Allurement, Antipathy, Armada, Assassination, Atmosphere, Bigot (f),
Braggadocio, Bugger (du), Capsule, Catastrophe, Chronology, Critical, Cupola (i), Dedicate, Defunct,
Demonstrate, Desperado (s), Detail (f), Dexterously, Dire, Dislocate, Education, Embargo (s),
Emphasis, Emulate, Encyclopedia, Eternal, Excrement, Excrescence, Explain, Fokkinge (du), Gravity,
Habitual, Horrid, Incarnadine [To make carnelian in color], Indistinguishable, Inflate, Initiate,
Krappe (du), Kunte (du), Lexicon, Maturity, Mediate, Modest, Multudinous, Obscene, Paradox, Pedant,
Pneumonia, Portico (i), Premeditated, Prodigious, Reciprocal, Reef (du), Reliance, Retrograde,
Skeleton, Smuggle/Smuggeler (du), Strenuous, Stucco (i), Submerged, Thermometer, Vast

Pronunciation:

Pronunciation of words in Elizabethan English is a complicated matter, since linguistically it rests
between the "say what you see" rules of Middle English and the more esoteric pronunciations of Modern
English.  It isunreasonable to have the term cider pronounced zoiderr, farmer/varmerr; House/hoos;
tea/tay; Grass/Grace/Graz; Creek/Crik.  Also there are regional things to keep in mind, for instance
in the East & North counties, final Rs are often dropped.

There are some things to keep in mind. "Y" does not always mean in 16th Century English the same
thing that it does in modern English. For example, the words Ye and You would be pronounced "the"
and "thou", while the words "foyre" and "yard" are, I believe, pronounced "fire" and "yard". In other
words, this is a very tricky subject and you should be cautious. I have had suggested to me a tape
called 'O for a muse of foyre', as well as some excellent resources listed in Jeffrey Singman's
Elizabethan Handbook and Daily Life in Elizabethan England.


This page was created by Marc Carlson
It was last edited 9 June 2004