Category Archives: etymology

The Problem of Plagues. . .and other Medieval Usage Issues

I am working my way through my editor’s notes on Elisha Mancer, book four in The Dark Apostle series, and encountering the difficulty of words.  Words are, in a novel, the primary tool for delivering the story.  In a historical … Continue reading

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The “Bloody” Blog

There is an urban legend that the British slang term “bloody” is derived from the phrase “by our Lady” which is blasphemous and therefore ought not to be said, or perhaps the oath “‘s Blood,” as being short for “God’s … Continue reading

Posted in Elisha Barber, Elisha Magus, etymology, history, medieval, The Dark Apostle, worldbuilding | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Brief History of “Romance”

I am putting the finishing touches on a novella set in the Dark Apostle world, around the time of the accession of King Hugh. I’m happy with the work, but also a little concerned that it might have too much … Continue reading

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Why Things Sound Better in French

I was strolling through a gourmet food display recently, when a young companion asked why you don’t pronounce the “-t” at the end of the word, then observed that it must be French. She then went on to wonder why … Continue reading

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What’s in a Name? The Naming of Elisha

It has come to my attention from two different and equally interesting directions that some people are wondering about the name of my protagonist, Elisha Barber, specifically, his first name. Some folks have even wondered if it’s my name (it’s … Continue reading

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Hack Writers and Falconry: What’s the connection?

One of the most popular sports of the Middle Ages was falconry, the art of training a bird of prey to hunt on its master’s behalf. There are places today, like the New Hampshire School of Falconry, where you can … Continue reading

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A Brief History of Bastardy

One of the difficulties I’ve had in writing a series set in the fourteenth century is the dearth of appropriate insults. Many of the “fighting words” of today had different meanings back then, or were not used in a pejorative … Continue reading

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