[LMB] Dowager Duchesses?

pouncer at aol.com pouncer at aol.com
Sat Oct 19 21:07:08 BST 2019

Luke Bretscher instructs:
>Little-known factoid: the current duchess is 
>technically the Dowage Duchess. The previous duchess, 
>if still alive, is the Dowager Duchess, and her 
>predecessor, if still alive, is the Dowagest Duchess. 
Y'know, I didn't exactly buy this, but I put down
a deposit of earnest while I did my due diligence.
We know of a lucky girl's "dowery".  We know of a college's
(well, and of a lucky girl's) "endowment". We know
citizens are "endowed" with natural rights. Inspection
shows -- I confess I hadn't noticed until I looked --
the very words "widow" and "widower" referring to
a surviving spouse embed a "dow" or "dower" in the text. 
It looks like a root "dow" is related to the word "due" --
therefore ObBujold, relates to the "due share" a 
Wide Green World Farmers' daughter (or son) has earned from
her parent and brings to her husband (or his wife) 1to 
help break ground establish a new steading. 
On the other hand I can't find any definition, in general
or in legal dictionaries, for "dowage" or "dowagest". 
So, I think it is a GREAT joke and I got REALLY well
caught.  And if it's a joke it's the kind of joke that
really ought to be true, and should be made true.
If it's already "true" in  some VERY little known
sense, please help me find out more. 

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