Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Medieval Christmas Terms




Since the world of Tiaera is basically a medieval fantasy world --  set somewhere between the 12-17th centuries of Earth --  and since we are in the holiday season, I thought I would post a word list of some archaic terms appropriate for this time of year.  Sadly, Tiaera is not Earth and so there is no Christian celebration of Jesus' birth. There is something called "Wynterfest" that all tiaerans celebrate as the first day the world was created by the goddess.  It's not very important as far as worldbuilding is concerned, but the made-up tiaeran holiday is a good excuse for writing Wynterfest (Christmassy) stories during this holiday season.  

Why isn't God or Jesus on Tiaera as we know of him here on earth in real life? I am a Christian, but right now, I am not a Christian writer. What I mean is that I don't write Christian stories, but I am a writer and a Christian. I am still learning a lot with every blog post I write and every book I publish, so I am taking it one day at a time. It's hard enough right now to write what I do, so I write what I can. I do not believe in a pagan goddess by any name, especially Astria. She is a character of my imagination and nothing more. She is not my alter-ego and I do not worship her. She is like a puppet that lives only on the pages of my books and on my blog. Her purpose is to be a benevolent deity of some sort to help save the day. If I am ever inspired to write a Christian story or novel, I will do so. I am trusting God will lead me to what I am supposed to do in his name. Till then, I'll continue to experiment and learn by writing medieval fantasy romance fiction for the amusement of my readers.


Now some Medieval Christmas terms: 

 
Alms - (12th cent) Charitable gift of money or goods to the poor and needy.


Boon - (12th cent) A favor, benefit, blessing or gift.


Carol - (14th cent) To sing and dance in a circle.


Carouse - (15th cent) archaic - a large draft of liquor : toast. Drunken revel.


Cristes Maesse - (1038) "Christ's Mass" or Christmas - found in a book from Saxon England in 1038. 


Cookery - (14th cent.) The art or activity of cooking food.


Flagon - (15th cent) Large mug or jug for beer or wine.


Feast - (13th cent) A special meal with large amounts of food and drink : a large formal dinner: a religious festival


Great Hall or Hall -  (12th cent) The building in the inner ward that housed the main meeting and dining area for the castle's residents. Principal room in a medieval house, used for meeting and dining.


Holiday - (12th cent) Holy day  A day when a religious festival or holiday is observed.  One usually doesn't work.

 
Merrymaking - (1618) A gay or festive activity.


Mead - (12th cent) Wine made by fermenting a solution of honey. Spices were often added. Also another name for a meadow.


Mummery - (1530) A ridiculous, hypocritical, or pretentious ceremony or performance in villages or castles.


Minstrel or Bard - (14th cent) Poet and singer, also called a jongleur, who lived and traveled on the largess of the aristocracy. 


Tide - (12th cent)  obsolete :  a space of time :  period.  Example: Eastertide and Yuletide 


Tidings - (12th cent) A piece of news. 


Trenchers - (14th cent.) Thick slices of stale brown bread with a slight hollow in the middle. These were used as plates. 


Wassail - (12th cent.) Old English words waes hael, which means "be well," "be hale," or "good health." A strong, hot drink (usually a mixture of ale, honey, and spices) would be put in a large bowl, and the host would lift it and greet his companions with "waes hael," to which they would reply "drinc hael," which meant "drink and be well." Over the centuries some non-alcoholic versions of wassail evolved. 


Yule - (12th cent) The feast of the nativity of Jesus Christ :  Christmas
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Some link sources:

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary
http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/medieval_xmas.htm
http://godecookery.com/how2cook/howto06.htm