SWC Library

Library Home
Back to Year of Wonders

Home > Faculty Services > Collegebook > Year of Wonders > Glossary

Glossary for Year of Wonders:a novel of the plague

horizontal opening by which a mine is entered or drained

Ague: acute or violent fever

Alchemist: one who practiced chemistry in the Middle Ages

Bavin: firewood

Beastings pie:
made of beest, the first milk drawn from a mammal, especially a cow, after she has given birth

Blains: inflammatory swelling or sore on the body

Bleb: a blister or swelling on the skin ( can also be on a plant)

Brawn: muscle or flesh of animals as food

Carbuncle: tumor caused by inflammation of the skin (different from a boil because it has no central core)

Carrack: ship used for freight but also fitted for warfare

Carter: One who drives a cart

Caul: a close-fitting cap

Chattel: movable possessions

Clemmed: starved, suffered pangs of hunger

Clough: valley

Coffer: a box or chest

Cordials: medicines, food, or beverages to invigorate the heart; a stimulating and exhilarating drink

Croft: a piece of enclosed ground used for tillage or pasture, usually adjacent to a home

Cuddy: a room or cabin on a ship

Curate: A cleric who assists a rector

Doxy: slang for prostitute

Draught: liquid medicine

Dust motes: specks of dust

Fanfaroon: one who brags or boasts

Flagellation: flogging, whipping

Gambole: to leap or spring

Gaol: jail

Garth: measurement around, girth; also a small enclosed piece of ground

Hirsel: a flock of sheep

Jerkin: garment for the upper part of the body

Jussive: adjective describing a tone of voice giving a command

Lapwing: a bird of the plover family

Leech: an aquatic blood-sucking worm used medicinally for drawing blood

Maypole: a high pole painted with spiral stripes of different colors and decked with flowers, set up in an open space for merrymakers to dance around on May Day (May 1)

Murk: obscure, dark

Nettle beer: fermented drink made from the nettle plant, which grows on waste ground. Its leaf hairs cause stinging.

Orison: prayer

Penitent: one who repents(turns away from sin)

Periwig: a wig

Physick: medicine

Pig: (pertaining to mining) an oblong mass of metal, an ingot

Pipkin: a small earthenware pot or pan

Placket: apron or petticoat

Plague: infectious disease or epidemic from which many people die

Posset: a drink of hot milk curdled with ale, wine, or other liquor, often with sugar and spices added (good remedy for colds)

Putrefaction: decomposition, rotting

Raveling: coming apart

Rector: member of the clergy in charge of a parish in the Episcopal Church

Rectory: the house of the rector

Rictus: gaping of the mouth

Rowan: mountain ash tree

Rushlight: a candle that consists of the spongy central strand of the rush plant dipped in grease

Rusticated: countrified

Sabbath: Sunday, as observed among Christians as a day of rest and worship

Sennight: seven nights, a week

Sexton: official who maintains a church building and its contents; rings the bell, etc.

Sheepfold: a pen or shelter for sheep

Slattern: an untidy, slovenly woman; also used for a slut or prostitute

Succor: help

Thatcher: one who makes or repairs a roof using straw, reeds, palm leaves, etc.

Thruppence: three pennies

Tuppence: two pennies

Turves: turf; covering of grass and other plants with its matted roots, forming the surface of grassland

Vervain: a plant known for its medicinal uses, verbena

Whisket: a basket; also spelled wisket

Wolf’s bane: a plant; bane means poison

Wort: general name for any cabbage-like plant

Wraith: ghost
SWC Home