Wednesday, 18 April 2012

L is for Language

My mother tongue is English (Australian English to be precise). Je parle un peu francais[1]. Och jag kan  svenska [2]. I have studied Latin and Japanese but remember very little and like many travellers, I can order a beer in Russian, Spanish and German! Notwithstanding, I have had a learn a number of new terms and phrases to assist my genealogical journey that I didn't know before.

And so, L is for Language.

When I do come across an unfamiliar word or phrase I happily look it up. I've never shied from dictionaries and Google is a my best friend, providing answers to questions just as quickly as I can think of them. Knowledge is power and some words and phrases are tiny windows into the past.

I've already noted some words, including "exlineal" (that I'm determined to get back into common usage!) and most recently "kirk". In that same post was "antenuptial" which is probably self-evident but which I looked up just to be certain!

Some other phrases and terms that had cropped up in my journey include (in no particular order and thanks largely to Wikipedia):

banns: the public announcement in a Christian parish church of an impending marriage between two specified persons. 
a burgh of barony: a type of Scottish town. They were distinct from royal burghs as the title was granted to a tenant-in-chief, a landowner who held his estates directly from the crown. They were created between 1450 and 1846, and conferred upon the landowner varying trading rights (for example the right to hold weekly markets or to trade overseas). 
apoplexy: used to describe "bleeding" in a stroke or also to describe any sudden death that began with a sudden loss of consciousness, especially one in which the victim died within a matter of seconds after losing consciousness
shipwright: an old-fashioned term for a ship builder or ship carpenter which may involve anything from physically constructing or repairing a ship to being involved in its design.
brig: a sailing vessel with two square-rigged masts
Laird: a member of the gentry; historically Lairds rank below a Baron and above an Esquire and is a heritable title in Scotland. The title is granted to the owner of a substantial and distinctive landed estate in Scotland, not part of a village or town and that lies outwith a burgh. 

[1] I speak a little French.
[2] And I can speak Swedish.


  1. New follower here. I’m enjoying reading my fellow “A to Z”ers. I look forward to visiting again.


    1. Thanks Sylvia, very excited to have another follower!