Wondrous Words #190

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a fun meme I love to play each week. It keeps me looking for new words wherever I’m reading. I just finished reading The Midwife’s Apprendice by Karen Cushman. I should have my review done by tomorrow. I found some interesting new words while reading this story set in Medieval England. Here’s what I found:

1. wimple: “Beetle knew this was an important journey, for the midwife soaked herself in the millpond, dried her hair in the sun, and sharpened the pleats in her best wimple.”

A wimple is a cloth headdress covering the head, the neck, and the sides of the face, formerly worn by women and still worn by some nuns.

~  ~  ~   ~  ~  ~

2. paternosters: “Robert and Thomas and the priest, whispering paternosters, followed the prints all the way to the mill where, crossing themselves, they unlatched the door.”

Paternosters are chanted prayers such as the Lord’s Prayer.

~    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

3., 4 and 5. rebecs, gitterns, and bsackbuts: “Musicians with their rebecs and gitterns and sackbuts came to drink and stayed to play.

From the context of the sentence I figured these three terms were some kind of musical instruments. Here’s what I found:

A rebec is a medieval stringd instrument, played with a bow. Reminds me of our violins.

A gittern is a lutelike medieval stringed instrument, forerunner of the guitar.

A sackbut is an early form of trombone used in Renaissance music.

Wondrous Word Wednesday is sponsored by Kathy @ Bermuda Onion’s Weblog.

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7 Responses to Wondrous Words #190

  1. I did know wimple but the rest of the words are new to me. I would have guessed paternoster had something to do with a father and I guess it does in a sense since we pray to our heavenly father. Thanks for participating, Margot!

  2. Julia Tomiak says:

    I love how you often include pictures! I wonder about the etymology of paternosters… sounds like father somethings…

  3. Suko says:

    You’re right, this meme keeps us on the lookout for new words as we read. Wimple is my favorite of the post! Excellent post today, Margot. This book sounds like one I’d enjoy a lot.

  4. Ann says:

    Interesting words.

  5. First two very familiar — I survived Catholic school in the late 40s/early 50s….all our teachers dressed like that and we learned Latin prayers for Mass!

    Last three — all three words make me laugh!

    I love reading your Wednesday posts.

  6. Staci says:

    I love those words!!!

  7. LadyInRead says:

    all new words for me.. and great ones too

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