[LMB] re: (chat) Morris dancing

Lois McMaster Bujold lbujold at myinfmail.com
Thu Dec 22 02:47:36 GMT 2005


*Andrew Barton* AndrewBarton at compuserve.com 
<mailto:lois-bujold%40lists.herald.co.uk?Subject=%5BLMB%5D%20re%3A%20%28chat%29%20Morris%20dancing&In-Reply-To=>

/Thu Dec 22 00:22:04 GMT 2005/
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Lois McMaster Bujold:

>/    I've been on a William Morris binge this week, a seminal author of 
/>/ the modern fantasy genre with whom I've long meant to catch up.  Read 
/>/ both volumes of _The Well at the World's End_ earlier this past week -- 
/>/ long, strange, excellent, but my ghod the archaic Northern vocabulary.  
/>/ Reading with a dictionary in hand was little help when about a third of 
/>/ the stumpers were too obscure to be in it.
/
Could you quote a few of the obscure ones?  I'd like to test the Chambers
Dictionary against them.  Chambers reckons to include every word in
Shakespeare and Spenser and many other old words.

Andrew


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Here's what I posted to the Baen Board on this topic, about half a 
book's worth; Morris has plenty more.  Where it looks like a regular 
contemporary word, well, it isn't; it has some other meaning.  Some of 
these I knew, some I looked up, some I looked up in vain as my standard 
dictionary didn't have 'em and I was too lazy to go lift the big ones.


neat
quean
carle
garth
mote-house
sumpter-horse
howe
dight
bedight
thrall
close
neb
bait
ness
toft
pound
ort
gin
ghyll
chushat
wodehouse
shaw
spaedom
reiver
ashlar
knop
ambyre
latten
bawdekin
swain
vavassor
rede
foison
cheaping
chapman
chaffer
sallet
guisarme
stark
dortoir
halse
alboun

    I finished _The Sundering Flood_ yesterday.  I wasn't too sure about 
it through about the first third, which is roughly the same reaction 
I've had to all 3 Morris fantasies so far; but (as with the other two) 
was glad I persisted.  At least one passage made me cry, and several 
made me giggle.  Morris is often goofy (tho' no more than his sources) 
but occasionally wonderful, and works by accumulation or slow accretion 
as much as anything.

Ta, L.
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