Saturday, June 8, 2013

Fun Fact Saturday: Tudor Words Glossary (A-C)

Saturdays are for fun and random facts. This month and next I'll be throwing the spotlight on some of the common 16th century words favored by my favorite Tudors. 


 Henry Cavill as Charles Brandon, The Tudors (2007-2010)

Almoner - a church official whose duty it was to distribute charity (alms). Thomas Wolsey had once been Henry VIII's almoner. That is, he oversaw the distribution of alms on the king's behalf.

Amiss - wrong, strange, incorrect. 

Anon - at once, immediately, straight away.

Apothecary - an Apothecary dispensed medicines derived from herbs, plants, and roots. The apothecary was a less expensive alternative to a physician in Tudor times and was often the only source of medical care for the poor; he was usually a priest or friar.

Arras - a tapestry wall hanging.

Bard - a poet or singer. A term of contempt among the Scots, who considered them to itinerant troublemakers, but a term of great respect among the Welsh.

Bawdes - pimps.

Betroth - to promise to wed. A phonetic variation of "by truth".

Bodkin - a dagger; also a long pin or needle-shaped instrument for fastening clothing or pinning up hair.

Photo Soucre:

Boggard - a privy.

Bonaire - cheerful and pleasant; it was a part of a wife's vows to promise to be "bonaire and buxom in bed and at board".

Board - dinner table.

Boss - a fat woman.

Botcher - a mender of old clothes.

Buxom - obedient, lively, yielding.

Cake - loaf of bread.

Carl - a fellow.

Natalie Dormer as Anne Boleyn, The Tudors.

Carpet-Knight - a contemptuous term for a knight whose achievements belong to the carpet of a lady's boudoir rather than the field of battle.

Changeling - a half-witted person. Also, in European folklore, a faery or troll child that is left in the place of a human child taken. At first, the changeling looks just like the taken child, but gradually its true nonhuman nature becomes apparent.

Chapman - a merchant.

Clenchpoop - a contemptuous term for a lout of clown.

Close Stool - a cabinet with a seat and cover that held a chamber pot. A gentleman of the privy chamber attended the king when he answered the call of nature on his close stool.

Photo Source:  The Close Stool, Hampton Court,

Closet - a small room used as a private chapel or prayer-room. Henry VIII married Jane Seymour in The Queen's Closet at Whitehall Palace.

Photo Source: The Wolsey Closet, Hampton Court,

Cloth of estate - a canopy made of cloth that hung above and behind a person of importance or nobility and royalty.

Cod - a bag.

Cod's head - a stupid fellow, a block head.

Codpiece - an inverted triangular piece of material sewn into the hose around a man's groin and held closed by string ties. Later it would become padded and boned and over sized and used to carry a small weapon or jewels. (hence the term "family jewels").

 Photo Source:

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