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Wondrous Words Wednesday

An image for the weekly meme Wondrous Words Wednesday… Is a weekly meme where we share new (to us) words that we have encountered in our reading.It is hosted by Kathy, over at ‘BermudaOnion’s Weblog’.You can either stop by and leave a link to your own ‘mystery’ words of the week, or just browse the eclectic mix of words that others have discovered, there is always a great selection.

Don’t forget that Kathy and the rest of us, all love to read your comments  as well, so that we can visit and share your words of the week!

My word selection this week, comes from a recently completed book, which has so much great material for this meme, that I really don’t know where to start! –  ‘St Bartholomew’s Man’ by Mary Delorme, is an obvious choice for my ‘favourites shelf’ at Goodreads, with a fully justified 5 star rating – and I do promise Mary, that I will get the review up as soon as possible!

 1.  TONSURE

The only way the community could accept such a gift would be in the certainty that you would take the tonsure.

An Image To Illustrate The Term TonsureTONSURE – is the practice of cutting or shaving some or all of the hair on the scalp, as a sign of religious devotion or humility. The term originates from the Latin word tonsūra (to clip, or cut) and referred to a specific practice in medieval Catholicism, abandoned by papal order in 1972.

2.  PSALTERY

Perhaps even gentler sounds could be coaxed from the psaltery, if one knew how …

Image To Illustrate a PsalteryPSALTERY – The psaltery of Ancient Greece (epigonion) was a harp-like instrument. The word psaltery derives from the Ancient Greek ψαλτήριον (psaltērion), “stringed instrument, psaltery, harp” and that from the verb ψάλλω (psallō), “to touch sharply, to pluck, pull, twitch” and in the case of the strings of musical instruments, “to play a stringed instrument with the fingers, and not with the plectrum.”

In the Christian era, a psaltery consisting of a soundboard with several pre-tuned strings that are usually plucked came into use.

From the 12th through the 15th centuries, psalteries are widely seen in manuscripts, paintings and sculpture throughout Europe. They vary widely in shape and the number of strings (which are often, like lutes, in courses of two or more strings).

In the 19th century, several related zithers came into use, notably the guitar zither and the autoharp. In the 20th century, the bowed psaltery came into wide use. It is set up in a triangular format so that the end portion of each string can be bowed.

3.  NAKERS

Even the drummer was subdued; he who could play the little nakers until they seemed to laugh

Image Illustrating NakersNAKERS – Small kettledrums that reached Europe from the Middle East in the 13th century, during the Crusades. Nakers were made of wood, metal, or clay and were sometimes equipped with snares. They were almost always played in pairs and were struck with hard sticks. They were probably tuned to high and low notes of identifiable pitch. Like the similar Arabic naqqārah, from which they derived, nakers were used in military and battle music, as well as in the softer indoor chamber music and in dance accompaniments. They continued in use through the 16th century.

4.  COTTARS

Tosti and all the cottars will have heard it now, from Hugh. King Henry has made many promises …

An Image Showing Medieval CottarsCOTTARS – Cotter, cottier, cottar, Kosatter or Kötter is the German or Scots term for a peasant farmer (formerly in the Scottish highlands for example). Cotters occupied cottages and cultivated small plots of land. The word cotter is often employed to translate the cotarius of Domesday Book, a class whose exact status has been the subject of some discussion, and is still a matter of doubt. According to Domesday, the cotarii were comparatively few, numbering less than seven thousand, and were scattered unevenly throughout England, being principally in the southern counties; they were occupied either in cultivating a small plot of land, or in working on the holdings of the villani. Like the villani, among whom they were frequently classed, their economic condition may be described as free in relation to every one except their lord.

A cottar or cottier is also a term for a tenant renting land from a farmer or landlord.

Written by
Yvonne

I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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10 comments
  • I knew the first two, but I wasn’t familiar with the others. I think I looked up “nakers” at the time I read this book, but obviously didn’t remember it! Even though I rarely jot down words in order to participate in this meme, I always enjoy seeing what you have to share.

    Wishing you and your family a very happy and healthy new year, Yvonne!

    • Hi Kelly,

      ‘St Bartholomew’s Man’ had so many great new to me words, that I have enough material to keep me going for some time!

      I am terrible for making lists and keeping notes, both in relation to my book reading and blogging activities, and in my life in general. I am definitely an OCD candidate for liking everything to be organised and just so, and to be knowing exactly what I am going to be doing at any given point in time. It’s a standing joke amongst my friends and family (or I am the standing joke, I’m not sure which 🙂 )

      Have a great New Year. It is almost 8pm here and the fireworks are in full swing already. We are having a quiet one at home and hoping for a better year in 2015!

    • Hi Yvonne,

      I quite often come across new to me words in the course of my reading, much more often than I would have ever thought in fact, and it is great to have a meme where I can share them with my fellow readers and perhaps discover even more great newbie words from them in return!

      Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to comment, I really appreciate the thought.

      Have a great New Years celebration and a very happy 2015 🙂

    • Hi Mary Ann,

      Even though there were many new to me words in ‘St Bartholomew’s Man’, which I needed to stop and check out as I came to them, this in no way detracted from the excellent storyline and professional writing style of the book’s author, Mary Delorme. In fact, I like to think that as well as enjoying a great read, I learned something new as well 🙂

      Thanks for the visit and I hope that you have a Very Happy New Year.

    • Hi Kathy.

      I quite agree with you about ‘nakers’, but there are probably so few people out there today who would know about them, that using it in general conversation might be a little difficult – although lots of fun 🙂

      Cottars is probably the easiest one of the words to relate to, although it still needed me to look it up before I really knew the context in which it was being used.

      Isn’t it both strange and interesting, the way that language and words have evolved over the centuries. I wonder who decides, in a given moment of time, to change a word and what possible motive they could have for doing so? That’s why this meme is so good and long may you continue with it 🙂

      Wishing you a Very Happy and Peaceful New Year.

    • Hi Hila,

      Nakers is definitely the word of the week from my selection, although not one that is easily used in everyday situations. It would be great to be able to work it into a conversation, just to see the listeners face, I wonder how many people would actually know what a naker is!

      This is one of the best memes out there, as not only does it generally include details of the books where the words are taken from, it is also a great place for learning about new words. I wonder how many of us read a book and just make assumptions about words we don’t know. Taking part in WWW, means that I now always stop and look up a word, then decide if it is original enough to use in a post or not.

      Have a Happy and Peaceful New Year and thanks for stopping by.

Written by Yvonne

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