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Random Renaissance Era Quotes (Well, mostly)

Renaissance and Medieval Recipe – Glossary of Terms

It is sometimes difficult to know exactly what a word in a recipe means when you are looking at an original recipe. This glossary of terms includes some of the more common words in the original recipes along with what is believed to be a reasonable translation of the word.

Abaten – diminish.

Abeon – be.

A-boue – on top.

A-bought – about.

Aboutze – about; in some recipes, it means “all around the edge,” where the lid meets the pot.

A-bouwe – on top.

Abouwyn – on top.

Abouyn – on top.

Abowe – on top.

Abrode – broadly, i.e. flat.

A-brode – abroad; “Al a-brode” means “all over the surface.”

Acorde – blend.

Ad faciendum – to make.

Adoun – down (off the fire).

A-doun – down (off the fire).

A-downe – down (off the fire).

Adres – arrange for serving.

Adresse(d) – arrange for serving.

A-force – reinforce, strengthen. It is the same word as “farce,”
meaning to stuff, and somehow the word came to also mean the adding of additional bulk to a recipe.

A-forsyd – reinforced; padded out.

Aftere – after.

Aftere þat – in proportion to what.

Aftermelk – milk made with ground nuts which have been strained from

a “first milk.”

Aeyn – again.

Aein – in.

Ah – but.

Al – all.

Al þat – until.

Alay – allay; mix; weaken; dilute; sometimes means to “stretch” (increase quantity) as in the watering of soup or padding out of meatballs with bread crumbs; also means to season.


A-lay – allay; mix; weaken; dilute; sometimes means to “stretch”

(increase quantity) as in the watering of soup or padding out of meatballs with bread crumbs; also means to season.

Alkanet – a group of plants whose roots give off a red dye; used

primarily as a coloring agent, but according to some early herbalists, “it helps old ulcers, hot inflammations, and burnings by common fire.”

Almond Milk – a cloudy liquid prepared by steeping ground almonds in water, broth, or wine; acts as the liquid base and/or thickening agent in a wide variety of medieval dishes. Its medicinal values are praised by Boorde,

who claims that “it doth comforte the brest, and it doth mollyfye the bely, and provoketh uryne.

A-ly – allay; mix; weaken; dilute; sometimes means to “stretch”

(increase quantity) as in the watering of soup or padding out of meatballs with bread crumbs; also means to season.

A-lye – allay; mix; weaken; dilute; sometimes means to “stretch”

(increase quantity) as in the watering of soup or padding out of meatballs with bread crumbs; also means to season.

Alegur – malt vinegar.

Alepeurre – oil pepper.

Aley – allay; mix; weaken; dilute; sometimes means to “stretch”

(increase quantity) as in the watering of soup or padding out of meatballs with bread crumbs; also means to season.

Alich – alike.

Alkenade – alkanet; red dye made from the root of a plant so named (or “orcanet”); a member of the bugloss family.

Alkenet – red dye made from the root of a plant so named (or “orcanet”); a member of the bugloss family.

Alkyn – all kinds, various.

Allemaundys – almonds.

Almandys – almonds.

Almaun – almond.

Almaund mylke – ground almonds mixed with broth, water, or other liquid.

Almaunde(s) – almond(s).

Almaundis – almonds.

Almaundys – almonds.

Almayne – Germany; often gets confused with “almonds.”

Almaynne – Germany; often gets confused with “almonds.”

Almondes – almonds.


Almoundis- almonds.

Aloes – stuffed meat rolls, resembling “veal birds.”

Aloh – although.

Alows – corruption of French aloyaux, which were short ribs.

Als – as.

Alye – allay; mix; weaken; dilute; sometimes means to “stretch” (increase quantity) as in the watering of soup or padding out of meatballs with bread crumbs; also means to season.

Amnidoun – wheat starch, used to thicken sauces. Gerard reports that a type of spelt called Triticeum Amyleum, Amyleum Frumentum, or starch corn, was grown for just this purpose.

Amodyn(e) – wheat starch, used to thicken sauces. Gerard reports that a type of spelt called Triticeum Amyleum, Amyleum Frumentum, or starch corn, was grown for just this purpose.

Amole – apple.

Amydon – wheat starch, used to thicken sauces. Gerard reports that a type of spelt called Triticeum Amyleum, Amyleum Frumentum, or starch corn, was grown for just this purpose.

An – almost always means “and.”

And – sometimes can mean “if.”

Aneys; Anys; Anyse – anise; aniseed.

Angeylles; angoyles – eels.

Anneys- anise; aniseed.

Anoon – at once, in due course.

Anys – anise; aniseed.

Anys in comfyte or confite – anise preserved in sugar.

Anyse – anise; aniseed.

Aplyn – apples.

Appeltre – apple tree.

Appleen – apples.

Applys – apples.

Appyl – apple.

Aqua ardaunt – spirits, brandy, or aqua vite; distilled spirits.

Aqua ardente – spirits, brandy, or aqua vite; distilled spirits.

Aquapatys – garlic boiled in water and oil.

Aray – dress, cook.

Archayne – alkanet; red dye made from the root of a plant so named (or “orcanet”); a member of the bugloss family.


Armed – lard, larded.

Arn – be.

A-ryse – rise, raise (as bread).

A-rysith – rises.

Asay – test.

Askes – ashes.

Assone – as soon.

Aster – Easter.

Atte – at, at the.

Atyre – dress, prepare.

Auance – avens, an herb.

Auter – other.

Autre – other.

Avens – the herb was used in salads and the root to impart a clovelike flavor to ale. Avens was considered “the blessed herb” and according to the Ortus Sanitatus ( Garden of Health), printed in 1491, “If a man carries the root [of avens] about him, no venemous beast can harm him.”

Axit – requires.

Ayen – again.

Aymers – embers.

Ayren – egg.

Aysell – vinegar, usually cider vinegar.

A-zen – again.

Azenward – once more.


Bake flour – flour processed to dissolve easily.

Bakinde – baking; this probably means a batter of egg yolk and flour is used to “gild” roasting meat while it bakes.

Bakyn – baked; baking.

Barm – the foamy yeast that appears on the top of malt liquors as they ferment; ale barm was commonly used as the yeast element in breads and batters.

Bastard – a sweet wine of the time.

Bataillyng – furnished with battlements.

Bater; Batur; Bature – batter.

Be – by.

Beforne – beforehand.

Ben – is, are, be.

Bene koddys – bean pods.

Benes – beans.

Benyme – detract.

Beofe – beef.

Beor – bear.

Beon – be.

Beoþ – be.

Bere – bear.

Berm; berme – yeast as contained in the froth of fermenting malt liquor, used for leavening.

Berst; bersten – burst.

Beste – (noun) animal, beast; (adjective) best.

Bet – beat.

Bete – beet, i.e. beet greens: the root was not yet in common use as late as Gerard’s time.

Bitore; Bitour – bittern.

Bladys – leaves.

Blake – black.

Blake sugre – black sugar (Spanich licorice juice).

Blanche pouder; Blank powder; Blawnche pouder – a mixture of powdered cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg, with variations.

Blaunderelle – a variety of white apple. According to Boorde, apples “doth comforte the stomacke, and doth make good dygestyon, specyally yf they be rostyd or baken.”

Blod – blood; bleed.

Blode – (noun) blood; (verb) bleed.


Blomes – blossoms.

Boillam – boil.

Bokenade – potage or stew.

Bolas – bullace plums.

Boll; Bolle – bowl.

Bolt – emerge.

Boor – boar.

Borage – a blue-flowered plant with hairy leaves that taste somewhat like cucumber; used primarily in salads. “Borage,” Boorde says, “doth comforte the herte, and doth ingender good bloode, and causeth a man to be mery.”

Bord – table.

Borde – board; sometimes a cutting board.

Bosewes – a type of tart.

Boter(e) – butter.

Bothum – bottom.

Bothyn – bottom.

Botmon – bottom.

Botores – bittern, a marsh-fowl related to the heron.

Bottes; Buttes – butts (buttocks).

Bowes – boughs.

Bouwes – bows.

Boyste – box.

Braan – bran.

Brasyll – brazil wood, an East Indian tree used for colouring.

Bream – a European fresh-water fish related to the carp; any of various salt-water fishes, as the sea bream.

Brauens – brains.

Braun – flesh meat; see Brawn, below.

Brawn – flesh; originally just the lean, dark muscle meat, but in Medieval recipes the word is not always used in this specific sense.

Bray – pound; rub; grind; pound in a mortar.

Bre – broth.

Bred(e) – bread; sometimes means “breadth” (thickness).

Brem – bream, a fish.

Bren – burn.

Brende – burned, burnt.


Brennyd – burnt.

Brennyng – burning.

Breste – burst.

Breth – broth.

Breþ – air or steam

Brewet – broth, or meat or other food cooked in broth.

Brewis – bread soaked in roast drippings, broth, gravy, etc.

Brey – pound; rub; grind; pound in a mortar.

Briddes – birds.

Brineus – blackberries.

Bringen – in.

Brinkes – edges.

Brocche; Broche – broach; a roasting spit, or if small, a skewer.

Bronde – brand, burning firewood.

Broyde – braid, weave.

Broyden – past tense of Broyde.

Broyt – broth.

Bruet – broth, or meat or other food cooked in broth.

Bruette – a sauce or stew; see Bruet, above.

Bruse – grind, crush.

Bryddys – birds.

Brymlent – a type of tart.

Bryth – bright.

Buf(f) – beef.

Bullace – a purple wild plum.

Bultyng cloþ – a cloth used for sieving.

Burage – borage.

Buth – be.

Buttys – butts (buttocks).

Byn – is, or are.

By-neþe – beneath.

Bytour – bittern, a marsh-fowl related to the heron.

Caboges – cabbages.

Cacche – catch, as to stick to the bottom of the pan.

Calues; Caluys; Calvis – calves; calves

Calver Salmon – exact meaning unknown; possibly refers to the fresh salmon sliced and prepared in a special way, perhaps pickled.

Canel; Canell; Canelle – cinnamon.

Caste – add.

Caudel; Cawdelle – caudle.

Ceson – season.

Chaffre; Chaffer – chauffer, a vat or pot for French-frying.

Chamomile – any of several plants of the aster family, with scented leaves and small daisylike flowers; the dried leaves and flowers were used in herbal cures, and Boorde recommends rubbing the body with oil of chamomile to cure palsy.

Charde quynce – quince “meat.”

Chare – flesh; meat (of fruits, nuts, etc.). From French chair.

Chargeaunt – thick.

Chargere; Chargeour – charger; large dish.

Chaudon; Chawdewyn; Chawd-wyne – chawdron, derived from the same word as “chowder”: chaudière, a kettle, pot, caldron; it refers to dishes composed of or built around the viscera of fowl or animals.

Chek – chicken.

Chepis – sheep’s.

Chewette – chewet, a kind of pie, originally made with chopped meat or fish.

Chibol – a type of small onion no longer cultivated.

Chickweed – a weed with juicy stems and small white flowers; the juice of the chickweed was drunk to heal cramps, convulsions, and palsies.

Chyrioun; Chryis; Chyryoun – cherries.

Cipris – Cypris; sugar of Cypris.

Clarefied – clarified.

Clarified Honey – honey whose impurities have been forced to the top by boiling and removed by skimming. Many medieval recipes recommend clarifying honey by combining it with wine. As the wine fermented, a scum formed on top and the liquid became clear.

Clary – a plant of the sage family which cuts the grease of fatty meats and fish; in the late Middle Ages, its name was thought to mean “clair-ye” (clear eye) and ointments prepared with the herb were believed to sharpen vision. The early clary wine, a white wine so named for its clarity, is the etymological ancestor of our modern claret.

Clen; Clene – clean; also means very or quite.


Cleue – cleave, adhere.

Cleuyng – sticking, cleaving.

Cloue – clove.

Clouen – cloven.

Clouys; Clowes; Clowys – cloves.

Clowtys – clotted.

Codling – a young or small cod, perhaps salted; Furnivall notes that “ling” may be a corruption of “lying” in salt.

Codlynd; Codlyng – hake (fish).

Coffin – a mold of pastry for a pie.

Coffyn; Cofyn; Cofyne; Cofynne – bottom crust of a pie or tart; pasty mould.

Coleys – French coulis, a strained soup.

Colous; Colys – coals.

Comade; Commade – mixture.

Comfyte – preserved in sugar.

Commelyche – comely, seemly.

Composte – compote.

Comyn – cumin seed.

Confection – the sugar paste in which whole spices were dipped; confectioned spices were used as garnishes and eaten at the end of feasts, to aid digestion.

Congere – congeree, a conger eel.

Connynges; Conygys – conings, coneys (rabbits).

Cora(u)nce; Corauns – currants.

Corys – cores.

Costardys – costards, an English variety of apple.

Costmary – an herb; alecost is another name for it.

Couche; Cowche – lay.

Courance – currants.

Creme – a syrupy confection.

Crodde; Crudde – (verb) curdle; (noun) curd.

Croddis; Croddys – curds.

Cromes; Crome; Cromys – crumbs.

Cromyd – crumbled.

Cruddis; Cruddys – curds.

Cubeb – a berry from Java which resembles peppercorn and tastes somewhat like allspice.

Curlew – a large brownish wading bird.

Crustade – pie.

Culpe – cut in thick slices.

Curnylles – kernels; nutmeats.

Custard – crustade.


– a young swan.


Damson – sometimes called bullace, this bluish black plum is named for the place of its origin, Damascus.

Daryoles – darioles, which were meat tarts.

Dedyst – did.

Defaut; Defaute; Defawte – default.

Departe – serve in conjunction with.

Departyd – to be served in conjunction with.

Dewte on þe eggys – moiston the edges, to moiston and press edges together to seal them.

Deye – die.

Dight – dress, prepare.

Diteyne – dittany.

Dittany – a plant of the mint family with oval leaves and clusters of purplish flowers; the pungent, aromatic leaves were used in salads and as a medicinal herb. The application of dittany combined with black soap was thought to aid in the extraction of “splint, iron, thorne or stub.”

Diuerse – divers; various.

Do – add (“do ther-to”); place, put, set (“do it on a potte,” etc.).

Don – do.

Dore – glaze.

Dore hem sum – glaze some of them.

Dorre; Dorroy; Dorry – corruption of French du roi: the king’s.

Dotterel – the European plover, a short-billed shore bird.

Doucet; Dowcet – sweetish.

Doucettes – little sweets.

Douste – dust.

Dow – dough.

Dowcettys – little sweets.

Draf – lees; dregs.

Draw – to temper, blend, etc.

Drawe – menas to both eviscerate and to “draw” through a strainer.

Dregge – dredge.

Dresse – to take to the table.

Dressoure – serving.

Dressyste – serve; “whan þou dressyste” means “when you serve it.”

Droppings – drippings.

Dubbatte – corruption of the French jus batarde, juice flavored with bastard, a sweet Spanish wine.

Easly – easily, gently.

Eche a coffyn – each coffin, each pie shell.

Eerys – ears.

Eft; Efte – after.

Egge – edge.

Egges – eggs.

Eggys – edges.

Egredouncye – sour-sweet; corruption of French aigredoux.

Egret – a heron with long white plumes.

Eir – air; however, it can also mean ear.

Eier – air.

Eiren – eggs.

Eisel – see Eysel

Elena Campana – the herb Elecampane. The root was used for medicinal purposes and in Gerard’s time was candied. Dishes made with Elecampane are apparently similar to those made with the herb Tansy.

Enula Campana – the herb Elecampane. See definition above.

Ele; Eles; Elys – eel, eels.

Elle; Elles; Els; Ellys – else.

Elren – the Elder Tree.

Enabbe – have not, has not. This is the negative form of the word habben.

Enarme – lard.

Enarmed; Enarmyd – larded.

Enche – inch.

Endelonge; Enlonge – along.

Endelonge þe spete – along the spit.

Endore; Endorre – gild, glaze. To apply a finish of tinted gold or other color.

Endored; Endort – past tense of Endore; see definition above.

Entrayle – entrail.

Erbes; Erbis; Erbys – herbs.

Eren – iron; however, like eir it can also mean ear.

Erne – run. Same as the word renne.

Eron – eggs.

Erþen; Erþyn; Erthen – earthenware.

Ert – hart, deer.

Erthe – earth or earthenware.

Ery; Erys – ear, ears.

Eselich; Esely – gently.

Esy – easy.

Esy fyre – slow fire, low heat.

Ete – eat.

Eten; Etyn – eaten.

Eue – eve; “ouer eue” is overnight.

Euelong – oblong.

Euene; Euyne – even, evenly.

Euer – ever.

Euery – every, each.

Euerych – each one.

Eurose – rosewater.

Euyne – evenly; in some cases, fully or done.

Ew Ardaunt – spirits, alcohol.

Ey – egg.

Eyeron; Eyren; Eyron; Eyroun – eggs.

Eysel – eisel, wine vinegar, verjuice, or vinegar (usually cider vinegar).

Faire – see Fayre.

Farce – stuffing; after the Middle Ages became the generic term for short dramatic pieces “stuffed” with buffoonery.

Farced; Farcyd; Farsed – stuffed.

Farsure – forcemeat; meat chopped fine and highly seasoned and used as stuffing, or served alone; it also means “mixture”. “Make þin farsure” (make thy mixture) means to put the ingredients together.

Farsyng – stuffing; sauce.

Fayre – clean; nice; fairly good; fairly large; moderate-sized; pretty; fresh; etc.

Feel – veal.

Fere – “in fere” means “y-fere:” together.

Fethur; Feþer – feather, often used as a glazing brush; the quill-end was also used as a cutting device.

Ffarced – stuffed.

Flatte – flat.

Fle – flay, take the skin off.

Floryssche – garnish.

Flos campy flour – floscampy is a small red wildflower.

Floures of ye rede vyne – flower of wine is a scum of yeast fungi that forms on top of wine during fermantation and which is very rich in food values.

Foil – leaf.

For – for fear of.

Forced; Forcyd – reinforced, other things added.

Forde faute of – for defaute of; lacking.

Forlonge – furlong; the length of time it takes to go a furlong.

Fort – strong(ly), tight(ly).

Forther; Forthyr – forward; the front half.

For þe schullys – on account of the pieces of the shell.

Foyle – foil (leaf).

Fraied – fried; rendered.

Fullyche – fully.

Fuyre – fire.

Fygeye – a figgy confection.

Fyngerys – fingers; sometimes a form of measurement.

Fysdaye; Fyssday; Fysshday – fish day.

Gadur – gather.

Galentyne; Galyntyne – galantine, a dish of cold boiled- boned meat. Sauce Galentyne would be served with it.

Galingale – an aromatic root; the main ingredient of galyntyne, a pungent medieval sauce. Boorde recommends galingale to “comforte the stomake.”

Galyngale – galangal, or galingale, a seasoning made from Cypress root.

Garbage; Garbagys – giblets; viscera.

Gedyr – gather.

Gentyle – noble.

Gobet – (noun) piece; (verb) cut into pieces.

Gobettis; Gobettys – pieces.

Gobouns – gobbets, pieces, lumps.

Goce; Gos – goose.

Golet(t) – gullet.

Good Powders – potent ground spices

Gornard – gurnard, a fish.

Grains of Paradise – the aromatic pungent seeds of a tropical West African plant. Boorde says, “Graynes be good for the stomake and the head.” Grains are related to cardamom.

Grauey; Graueye; grauy – gravy.

Graynys of parise or perys – grains of paradise; however, some scholars say this is actually plain pear seeds, or ground-up dried pears.

Graynys of pome-garnad – pomegranate seeds, or sometimes ground-up dried whole pomegranates.

Gredyl – griddle.

Greek Wine – a generic term which relates to any sweet full-bodied wine.

Grete reysouns – great raisins, i.e. grape raisins, not currants.

Grwel; Grwele – gruel.

Gudgeon – a small European fresh-water fish of the carp family.

Gurnard – a spiny-finned sea fish having a large head and winglike pectoral fins.

Gutte – gut; pouch.

Guttys – intestines.

Gysers; Gysowrys – gizzards.

Habben – have.

Hagas – haggis.

Hake – any of various edible sea fishes resembling or related to the cod.

Hak(ke) – chop.

Halvyndele – “þe halvyndele” means “half of it.”

Ham – them.

Harde – (verb) harden; (adjective) hard.

Hardyd – hardened.

Haf – lift (heave).

Heile – cover.

Helyd – covered.

Hem – it; them.

Herþe – earth or earthenware.

Hery of bonys – hairy with bones.

Hete – heat; heat it up.

Heued(e); Hued(e) – head.

Hew; Hewe – chop.

Him – his.

His – is.

Hogepotte – hodgepodge; hotchpot, a stew of various ingredients.

Hol(e); Hoole – whole.

Holys – hulls.

Hool – hole.

Howhys – hoofs.

Hure – her.

Hwyte – white.

Hyssop – a blue-flowered plant of the mint family whose leaves cut the grease in fatty meats and fish. According to one medieval treatise, “when eaten it improves weak sight, relieves asthma, and expels worms, but causes miscarriage.”

Ibeten – beat, beaten.

Indorretes – Same as Endore or Endored.

Ioissh – juice.

Isoppe – hyssop.

Iunte – joint.

Ius – juice.

Kake – cake.

Kanel – cinnamon, probably Cassia Bark. See: Canel; Canell; Canelle.

Kaste – cast, throw.

Kechen – kitchen.

Kede – kid.

Keeling – cod, codling.

Kele – cool. Same as the word cole.

Kelid – cooled.

Kelyng – cod, codling.

Kendlich – properly, by nature.

Keneschype – sharpness.

Kepe – keep. “Lat a man euermore kepe it” means “have someone watch it constantly.”

Kerf; Kerue – cut; carve.

Kernelis – kernels, seeds.

Kerve – in a morter, to bray.

Ket – cut.

Keuere; Keure; Kouere; Kyuer; Kyuere – cover. In the case of a pie, it means to put on the top crust. Same as the word ceuere.

Keyntlich – carefully. Same as the word queyntliche.

Kne; Knese; Kneys – Knee.

Knede – knead.

Knyf; Knyff – knife.

Knytte – tie.

Koddys – pods.

Komyth – cometh.

Koruen – carved, cut.

Kouere hit forth, thou wil it note – take care to cover it right.

Kowe Mylke – cow milk.

Krase – break.

Kreme – cream.

Kreme; Kryme – crumble.

Kutte – cut.

Kychoun – kitchen.

Kyde – kid. See: Kede.

Kyn – cows.

Kyrneleys; Kyrnellys; Kyrnels – kernels, seeds.

Kyt; Kytte; Kyttest – cut.

Kyttyng – cutting.

Lamprey – any of a group of eellike water animals with a funnel-shaped, jawless, sucking mouth; also called lamper eel


Lat; Late; Lete – let.

Laver – an edible purple seaweed.

Laumbere – amber.

Leche – (noun & verb); slice. Plural of noun: leches, lechys. In recipe titles, “leche” means “for slicing,” “to be served in slices.”

Lechyd – sliced.

Led(e) – lid; top crust of pie or tart. Plural: ledys.

Lemys – limbs.

Lenge – ling (fish).

Lenton; Lentyn – Lent.

Lenyn – linin.

Lere – empty.

Lese – pick.

Lessh – slice.

Let; Lethe – corruption of French lait: milk.

Leuys; Levis – leaves.

Ley(e) – lees of wine.

Lyt – light, small.

Licour(e) – liquor, in this case the liquid resulting from boiling something.

Lippe – lip; lower half of the beak.

Lire – sauce.

Loach – a small European fresh-water fish of the carp family.

Loches – loaches, a freshwater fish similar to a catfish.

Lombardy Mustard – a paste prepared by combining ground mustard seed with honey, wine, and vinegar.

Lopstere – lobster.

Lordys – lord’s. “Gode lordys mete” means “food fit for a lord.”

Lory – a corruption of a word that is now “larded” and meant “with other things added.”

Losinges – long thin strips.

Luce – a full-grown pike (fish).

Lumbarde – of Lombardy.

Lust – wish.

Ly; Lye – allay; see A-lay.

Lycoure; Lycowr; Lykoure – liquor.

Lydde – lid, top crust.

Lyid – allayed; seasoned.

Lykey – like.

Lyte – little.

Lyuer – liver. Plural: lyuers, lyuerys.

Malmens – minced; teased small.

Malves; Malwys – mallows.

Marbyl(le) – marbled; varigated in

Marlin – any of several large, slender deep-sea fishes related to the sailfish and spearfish.

Marew; Marow; Marw; Marwe; Mary – marrow.

Maumenye – minced.

Mawe – stomach. Plural: mawys.

Medel; Medle; Melle – mix.

Medlar – a small, brown, applelike fruit, hard and bitter when ripe and eaten only when partly decayed.

Mene – this translates as “mean,” but the meaning is actually “half-way between.”

Menge – mix.

Merow; Merw – marrow.

Mery-bonys – marrow bones.

Messe – serve.

Messe it forth – serve it.

Mete – meat, but not necessarily flesh (nut meat, for example); also means meal or dinner.

Mille – mix.

Milwel – mulvel (fish).

Morwe – morrow, the next day.

Mossellys – morsels.

Most – must.

Motoun; Motton – mutton.

Mowþe – mouth.

Moyle – soft.

Muse – mousse.

Myce(d) – minced.

Myt(e) – might; mayest.

Mythty – strong, mighty.

Mylke of Almaudys – almond milk.

Myntes – mint leaves.

Mythyt – strong, mighty.

Namely – especially.

Nauell – navel.

Nesh; Nessh; Nesshe; Neysshe – soft.

Neþer – nether, lower.

Noght; Not – not.

Notemygge – nutmegs.

Noteye – nutty.

Noþer – nor.

Notys – nuts.

Nygh – near; nigh.

Nyt – night(s).

Nym(e) – take.

O – out of.

Obleies; Oblye – obleys, sacramental wafers.

Of – of; off.

Offall – parts of the meat carcass generally discarded. Most often this referred specifically to the organ meats, but very rarely could also mean flesh meat as well. The offal also included the head, feet, & giblets.

Oftor – more often.

Oille de oliue – olive oil.

Olde – old.

On – in; on; one.

Ondo – undo.

One – once.

Oneliche – into single or small pieces.

Onoward – above, on top of a prepared dish.

Onys – once.

Ooþerdele – the rest.

Ope – cut open.

Or – ere, till, before.

Orach – a garden plant with red and green leaves used as a vegetable and a salad herb.

Orage – orach, a leafy plant. Gerard reported it was generally eaten boiled.

Oþe – in the.

Oþer; Oþur – other, or else, or.

Otemele; Ote-mele – oatmeal.

Otyn – oaten.

Ouer-cast; Ouer-caste – turn over.

Ouer eve – over night.

Ouere-couer – cover over.

Oueretwarde – crossways, across.

Ouernyth – over night.

Ouer-renne – overrun, run over.

Ouerstepid – well cooked, or overcooked.

Ouerþwart – across.

Ouer-wewyd – too wet, washed.

Ouer-wose – washed over.

Ouwher – anywhere.

Ovenne – oven.

Ovyn; Ovynne – oven

Owrys – hours.

Oygnons; Oyngnons – onions.

Oynons; Oynonys; Oynouns; Oyenons – onions

Oyle – oil.

Oystres; Oystrys – oysters.

Paast(e) – pastry.

Pare – parings.

Pare – Paris.

Parise – see Granys of Parise.

Party(e) – part; portion.

Parys – the herb Paris, also called “true-love.”

Paynemayn; Paynmain – corruption of Old French pain demaine: bread of the manor, lordly bread, the finest white bread.

Peiouns – pigeons.

Pele – a baker’s peel, the long pole with a shovel-like end used for putting bread loaves into and out of ovens. Peletre – pellitory (thyme).

Pelettys – pellets.

Pellitory – a climbing plant of the nettle family whose leaves were used in salads and roots for medicinal cures. According to one herbalist, pellitory “is one of the best purges of the brain that grows. . .and an excellent remedy in lethargy.”

Pelys – of the peel: see Pele.

Peny – penny; a “peny brede” (a penny’s breadth), the thickness of a penny, was a form of measurement.

Pepyn – the sprouting part of a pea.

Peraise – Paris.

Perbuille – parboil.

Perchys – perch (fish).

Pere – pear; Pere Wardonys – Warden pears.

Pernollys – loaves.

Perpir – pepper.

Pery – pears.

Perys – pears.

Pesyn – peas (dried).

Peuerade – pepper sauce.

Pike – (verb) pick; (noun) pike (fish).

Piper – pepper.

Plante – stick; pit.

Plays – plaice (fish).

Plom – plump.

Plouer; Plouere – pulver.

Plover – a shore bird with a short tail, long pointed wings, and brown or gray feathers mixed with white.

Poche – poach.

Polettys – pullets.

Pome-garnad – pomegranate.

Pommys; Pompys – meatballs.


– a young leek or onion; a scallion

Potage; Pottage – a soup or a thick blended dish.

Pott; Potte – pot.

Pottel – pottle (two quarts).

Pouder; Poudere; Poudre; Powper – powder; often used as a term for spice.

Poumes; Pumpes – meatballs.

Pounde – pound; pounded.

Pour – for.

Powajes – porridge.

Powder – ground spice.

Poynant; Poynaunt – piquant with vinegar or other sour flavoring.

Poynte – (verb) sharpen (the taste); (noun) point: “in all poyntes” means “in every respect.”

Prik; Prycke – skewer.

Prune – prunes.

Pryk(ke) – prick.

Pul; Pull; Pulle – pluck.

Pumpes – meatballs.

Pur – for.

Purpays; Purpaysse – porpoise.

Purslane – a plant with a pinkish fleshy stem and small, round leaves; the leaves were used as a potherb or in salads. Boorde informs us that “purslane dothe extynct the ardor of lassyvyousnes, and doth mytygate great heate in all the inwarde partes of man.”

Pye – pies.

Pyke – pick.

Pylle – peel.

Pyn – peg.

Pyne; Pynes; Pynys – pinenuts; sometimes pepper pines (whole peppercorns).

Quantite – quantity.

Quart; Quarte – quart.

Quarter; Quarteren – quart.

Quarter – cut in quarters.

Quarter – the fore quarter of an animal.

Quarterys – fore quarters.

Quartes – quarters.

Quartroun – quarter.

Quayle – curdle.

Quayle – shake.

Quest – crush.

Quibbes; Quibibes; Quybibe; Quybibes; Quybibys; Quybybis – cubebs, a spice related to pepper.

Quyk – quick, alive.

Quynces; Quyncis; Quyncys; Quynes – quinces.

Quyschons – cushions, buttocks.

Qwen – when.

Qwhey – whey.

Qwyt; Qwyte – white. Same as the word wyt.

Rail – a small wading bird resembling the crane.

Ramson – a kind of garlic with broad leaves; the root was used for salads.

Rayfish – a fish with a horizontally flat back, both eyes on the upper surface, and a slender, whiplike tail.

Rede – red.

Reke – reek (heat over coals).

Ren(ne) – run.

Rennyn(g) – running, runny.

Resons; Reysons; Reysyns – raisins.

Rew – row.

Rezge – ray (fish).

Rit so – right so, i.e. another way of doing it.

Rissheshewes; Risshews; Risshshewes – rissoles.

Roach – a fresh-water fish of the carp family.

Rocket – mildly pungent plant grown like spinach and eaten in salads. According to Boorde, rocket “doth increase the seede of man, and doth stimulate the flesshe, and doth helpe to dygestyon.” Also known as arugula.

Roddys ende – the end of a stick or rod.

Rose Hips – the fleshy, bright-colored fruit of the rose plant.

Rosty – roast.

Rosys – roses.

Rous – ruddy.

Rove – roof.

Roysonys – raisins.

Rue – a plant with yellow flowers whose bitter-tasting leaves were used mostly in herbal cures but occasionally in salads. Gerard notes that “the juice of Rue made hot in the rinde of a pomegranat and dropped into the eares, takes away the pain thereof.”

Ryal; Ryalle – royal, as in fit for a king.

Ryt – right.

Ryse – raise.

Ryth – right.

Saake – sauce.

Sandalwood – the pulverized wood of an East Indian tree used primarily to color food dark red.

Saue – save; except.

Sauerey – savory.

Saunderys; Saundres; Sawnderys; Sawndres – sandalwood spice.

Schale; Schulle – shell.

Schap – shape.

Schoppe – chop.

Schouyl – shovel.

Schullys – shells or pieces of shells.

Screde – fragment; to fragment, i.e. to cut, divide, separate, make into pieces, etc.

Sefe – sieve.

Selue – self.

Sene; Seyn – visible, seen.

Serge – sift.

Serue – serve.

Seruyst(e) – servest.

Seth; Sethe; Seþe – seethe, boil, cook.

Seþin – boiled; boiling.

Sew(e) – sew, a Middle English word referring to a broth or liquid ranging from juice through gravy to stew.

Shere – cut.

Sith – seethe, boil, cook.

Skirret – a species of water parsnip not available in this country and no longer cultivated on a large scale in Europe. Gerard declares that “these roots [may] be eaten boiled, with vinegar, salt, and a little oyle, after the manner of a sallad, and oftentimes they be fried in oyle and butter, and also dressed after other fashions, according to the skill of the cooke, and the taste of the eater.”

Skluce; Schlus – resulting mixture; end product.

Skore – scour.

Slake – lukewarm.

Sle(e) – slay.

Slepyr – slippery.

Smyte – chop.

Snipe – a wading bird which lives in marshy places and is characterized by a long, flexible bill.

Snyte – snipe.

Sode – boiled; soaked (the salt out).

Soperys – suppers.

Soppes; Soppis; Soppys – sops, pieces of bread “sopped” in roast drippings, broth, wine, & juices of any kind.

Sothe; Soþe; Soþin; Sothyn – boiled, cokked.

Soundys – sounds, the swimming bladders of codfish or plaice.

Southernwood – a shrubby fragrant plant with yellowish flowers and bitter-tasting leaves; it was used both as a culinary herb and in medicinal cures. “Boiled in barley meal it taketh away pimples,” claims an early herbalist.

Span – the width of a spread hand.

Spikenard – an aromatic plant of northern India whose root was used in the preparation of medicinal ointments for curing bruises; the very smell of the plant was said to destroy fleas.

Spyneye – thorny, spiney.

Spyte – spit, for roasting.

St.-John’s-Wort – a plant with brownish stalks and small, narrow leaves; the latter were used in salads and pounded into oil for healing wounds. The seeds have such a resinous odor, it was believed that if evil spirits were to take a whiff of it, they would be driven away


Stampe – grind.

Steke – stick.

Stere – stir.

Strong Powder (Pouder Fort) – probably ground ginger or a blend of cinnamon and mace; the blend may have included any of the pungent spices such as cubeb, pepper, or clove.

Stokefysshe; Stokfysshe – stockfish, usually salted and dried codfish.

Stone wil by clowes, and by sugre – has enough cloves and sugar.

Stoding; Stondyng; Stondynge – standing; stiff enough to stand up in the pot or plate.

Stoppe – stuff; seal.

Straw; Strawe – strew; sprinkle; scatter.

Stryke – scrape.

Stuf – previously mentioned ingredients.

Stuffe of þe Porke – the pork part of the recipe.

Stuffur – ingredients used for stuffing.

Sture; Styre; Styrre – stir.

Sumdele; Sum-what; Sumwhat – somewhat.

Svette; Swette – suet.

Sweet Powder (Pouder Douce) – probably the ground sweet aromatic spices such as aniseed, fennel seed, and nutmeg; there is no indication that these spices were blended with sugar.

Swenge – stir or beat.

Swete – sweet; also means suet.

Swynys – swine’s.

Syth – great deal.

Sylt – salt.

Syluer – silver.

Tage – take.

Tansy – a bitter medicinal herb whose juice was traditionally extracted from the young leaves, mixed with eggs, and baked as a “tansy cake” (or simply a “tansy”). These cakes were thought to purify the body and were often eaten after Lent to counteract the effects of fasting fare.

Tayle – vent.

Taylid – cut up.

Teal – any of a large group of small, short-necked, fresh-water ducks.

Tele – teal.

Temper; Tempere – mix; season.

Tench – a European fresh-water fish of the carp family.

Tenchys – tench (fish).

Tese – shred small (tease).

Tesyd – shredded small.

Thorgh – through.

Throte boll – gullet; Adam’s apple.

Thyn; Thyne – thine; as an adjective, it means “thin.”

Tobrest – burst.

To-broke – broken.

To-choppe – chop together.

To-choppyd – chopped together.

To-falle – disintegrate; fall together.

Tolle; Toyle – rub.

Toenst – against.

Trappe – a type of pan.

Trayne; Treyne – train, a series of connected things.

Tre(en) – wood(en).

Trounde – trundle; a round shape.

Try(id) – separated; sifted.

Turnsole – a plant cultivated primarily for its use as a purple dye


Uat – fat

Unc; Unce – ounce.

Upsodoun – upside-down.

Utter – outer.

Ventys – vents.

Vergeous; Verious; Veriows – verjuice.

Verjuice – the juice of green or unripened fruits such as grapes and (more commonly) crab apples; a popular ingredient in cookery which often replaced vinegar. A medieval source gives instructions for making verjuice: “Gather crabbs as soon as the kernels turn blacke, and lay them in a heap to sweat and take them into troughs and crush with beetles [heavy wooden mallets]. Make a bagge of coarse hair-cloth and fill it with the crabbes, and presse and run the liquor into Hogsheads.”

Vernaccia – Vernage, a strong sweet Italian wine.

Vernage – a strong kind of wine.

Vert – green.

Vervain – a medicinal plant of the verbena family, slightly bitter in taste. The name vervain is derived from the Celtic ferfaen, from fer (to drive away) and faen (a stone), as the plant was much used to soothe attacks of the bladder.

Veselle – vessel.

Viaundes – meats.

Vnneþe – underneath; bottom.

Vpperyt – upright.

Vyne – wine.

Vyolette – violet.

Walkys – whelks.

Warden – a hard pear with blackish bruises; prepared by baking or stewing.

Wardones; Wardonys; Wardouns – Warden pears.

Wasche; Wassh – wash; washed.

Wasshem – wash them.

Wast away – boil down too much.

Watteryd – watered, soaked to get the salt out.

Waysshe – wash.

Wesing; Wesyng – weasand, the windpipe.

Wessell – vessel.

Wete – wet.

Wex(e) – wax; become.

Wheder; Wheþer – whichever.

Whelk – a large marine snail with a spiral shell.

Whess – wash.

Wheterydoun – a course sifter for separating grains from chaff.

White Grease

– lard.

White Powder (blanch pouder) – ground ginger blended with powdered sugar.

Wil – well; wilt.

With-alle – likewise.

Woldiste – wouldest.

Wel; Wole; Woll; Wolle; Wolt – will; can.

Wollen – woolen.

Wombe – womb; stomach; any cavity of the body that contains something.

Woodcock – a small migratory game bird related to the snipe and sandpiper.

Wormwood – a strong-smelling plant with white or yellow flowers used in the Middle Ages as an aid to healthful digestion; the expression “as bitter as wormwood” attests to the extreme bitterness of all parts of the plant.

Wyl – well; awhile; will.

Y-bake; Y-baken – baked.

Y-blaunchyd – blaunched.

Y-bontyd – bunted, sifted.

Y-bounde – stiff.

Y-boylid; Y-boylyd – boiled.

Y-braid; Y-brayd – brayed, pounded.

Y-broylid – broiled.

Ybrulyd – broiled.

Y-choppid – chopped.

Y-couched; Y-chowchyd – laid; laid out.

Y-clepid – called.

Y-closyd – closed (of a pie).

Y-corven – cut.

Y-coryd – cored.

Y-cutte – cut.

Y-dicyd – diced, cut into small cubes.

Y-draw – drawn, drawn through a strainer.

Y-dressid – dressed for table.

Yeest – yeast.

Yerth – earth or earthenware.

Yevyn – evenly.

Y-farsyd – stuffed.

Y-fastenyd – fastened.

Yfere; Y-fere – together.

Y-gratyd – grated.

Y-grounde – ground.

Y-hackyd – chopped.

Y-harded; Y-hardid – hardened.

Yheled; Y-helid; Y-helyd – covered; in the case of pies, it refers to a top crust.

Y-hole – whole; all in one piece. This may also mean uncut, with the bones or stones in; also skinned or hulled.

Y-kremyd – crimmed, crumbled.

Y-kyt – cut.

Y-liche moche – a like much, or quantity.

Ymbre Day – ember day, one of the fasting days which mark the four seasons of the Christian year. Dairy goods were permitted on fast days days out of Lent at this time.

Ynogh; Ynouh; Y-now; Ynowe – enough; done; suitable.

Yoyse – juice.

Y-parede – pared.

Y-peyntid – painted.

Yrchons; Yrchouns – urchins; hedgehogs; porcupines. So called from being made bristly with almonds.

Yren – iron.

Yrth – earth or earthenware.

Ys – is.

Y-schredyd; Y-scredde – shredded.

Y-sode; Ysoden; Y-sope; Y-sothe – boiled; soaked; sodden.

Ysop(e) – hyssop.

Y-stampyd – ground; mashed.

Y-stekyd; Y-stykyd – stuck.

Y-straynid – rubbed through a strainer.

Y-stwyde; Y-stywyd – stewed.

Y-swonge – beaten.

Yt – it.

Y-tallyd – cut up.

Y-tryid – separated.

Y-wasshe – washed.

Y-wateryd – soaked (the salt out).

Y-wette – wetted.

Y-wreten – written.

Y-wronge – wrung.

Zeoþ, Zeoþen – simmer, boil. Same as the words seþe and seþen.

Zesy – yeast.

Zolkys – yolks.

Zunne – sun. Same as the words sonne & sunn

A touch of “Swan Song” and a dash of “The Stand”…Very good post-apocalyptic tale in the mode and mood of R. McCammon’s “Swan Song” and S. King’s “The Stand”. ★★★★★

Excerpt from Troop of Shadows:

Colleyville, Texas

Dani cursed the weight of her backpack. The final two items from the ransacked Walgreens, crammed in as an afterthought ten minutes ago, might cost her everything. After surviving the last twelve months of hell only to be thwarted now by a can of Similac and a twelve-pack of Zest soap, would be sadly anticlimactic. Despite running at a full sprint down a dark suburban street, dodging overflowing garbage cans while eluding three men who would steal her hard-won tubes of Neosporin and likely rape and kill her in the process, she snorted at the thought of a fictional headline: Young Woman’s Life Ends Tragically but Zestfully Clean.

Damn it, she would ditch the backpack. She could come back tomorrow night for it, but right now staying alive outweighed any future benefit its contents might provide. As her pursuers rounded the corner behind her, she darted across the front lawn of a house and leaped over a cluster of dead juniper shrubs. A year ago, those shrubs had been green, manicured, and providing curb appeal to the upscale neighborhood; they functioned now as a hurdle component in the obstacle course Dani navigated on most nights.

She angled toward the side of the house and around the corner, only to come to an abrupt stop next to a six-foot barricade. Residents of these sprawling bedroom communities situated between Dallas and Fort Worth clung to their privacy fences as fiercely as their rural counterparts did to their firearms. Why all those day-trading dads and cheerleader moms required such secrecy was beyond Dani. She didn’t care. All that mattered was how difficult they made her nightly forages. Only idiots or people with a death wish traveled alone on the streets anymore. The clever ones navigated through backyards and drainage ditches, shadowed easements and alleyway, avoiding open spaces and other humans.

Especially humans traveling in groups.

Stealth and caution were second nature to her now, and she was pissed at herself for loading up the backpack with more weight than she could easily carry at a full run.

Rookie mistake.

She flung the pack into the undergrowth of a once meticulous garden, making a mental note of the enormous red tip photinia which camouflaged the bundle in a leafy shroud. She hoped to be alive the next day to retrieve it.

She clambered up the fence, finding a toehold on a warped plank, and squirmed over the top. A silver fingernail of a moon did little to illuminate the backyard. Weak starlight reflected off the inky surface of a half-empty, kidney-shaped swimming pool. Her Nikes gripped the concrete deck as she skirted the murky water and made a beeline for the back of the yard that was, of course, separated from its neighbor by a privacy fence. It was a tall one too — a full ten feet. There were no bushes or trees to use for leverage either. She scanned the area for anything that might serve as a step ladder.

Of all the yards she could have chosen for her escape, she’d picked one with a damn ten-foot fence.

Her heart raced from the sprint, but not from panic. Gone was the young woman from a year ago, the full-time floundering college dropout and part-time surly Starbucks barista who spent too much time reading books and not enough time looking for a job that would allow her to move out of her parents’ house. She was too smart for her own good, everyone had told her. She should have taken that secretarial position in North Dallas, but she would have lost her sanity in that environment. The tedious filing, the ringing phones, the office politics — in other words, hell on earth for a girl with an IQ over a hundred and fifty.

Despite the recent horrors, she’d come into her own at last, after twenty-one years of meandering through life unfocused and unchallenged. The extra twenty pounds she’d been carrying courtesy of Freddy’s cheeseburgers and Taco Bell burritos were gone, thanks to her newfound self-discipline and endless hours of Krav Maga training with Sam. Not only had she transformed her body, she’d elevated and strengthened her mind as well. Before the power had gone out, she’d watched countless tutorials on T’ai Chi, Qigong, and Buddhist meditation. During that same window — when people were beginning to get sick, but before most of them had died — she’d combed book stores and libraries within a fifteen-mile radius. When the country went dark and people realized that life-saving information was no longer available with a few keystrokes, Dani had amassed reference material on subjects as diverse as hydroponics and combat first aid, ancient meat drying techniques and bomb making. Between martial arts lessons with Sam, she spent every spare minute absorbing the printed esoteric knowledge like a greedy lizard on a sun-drenched rock.

Knowledge was survival.

When the first of the men slithered over the fence into the backyard, she hadn’t found anything to use as a foothold. Another figure followed behind him. She closed her eyes, took a deep breath and released it from her lungs, slow and measured, then took off at a full run toward them. While she ran, fingers slid down to a leather sheath secured to her belt. Two seconds before she reached the first of her would-be assailants, a Ka-Bar — the grandaddy of tactical knives — was in her hand.

Dani used momentum and every ounce of her one-hundred-twenty pound frame to slam the first man into the second, knocking both assailants off-balance and unprepared for her next move: a vicious stab to the groin of the first. He collapsed to his knees. She followed with a backhand movement, opening up the throat of his companion. A similar gesture to the man with the injured groin silenced his moaning.

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