Language and Speech - Life in Medieval Days

It would be impossible to write a full story in medieval English and have most people understand it - many people can't get through the Canterbury Tales without a glossary. Still, it is nice to maintain the flavor of the era.

Medieval English did not have contractions such as can't or won't. They spoke more fully, a more eloquent version of our speech :)

Yes would be Aye, and No would be Nay. OK is an invention of the 1800s :)

Curses would be God's Wounds, God's Eyes, God's Teeth, By the Rood (i.e. by the cross). Religion was extremely important to the medival person.

Jobs -
Sherrif - worked for the King, collected taxes
Reeve - worked for the Lord, collected taxes. Taxes were very important :)
Steward - man who ran the house for the Lord
Butler - man who maintained the stores of food (very important too)

Most people spoke English as their daily basic language.

Many spoke French too, since the French and Normans had taken over in 1066.

Many educated people spoke Latin since the Romans had controlled England for some time and the church was all still done in Latin.

The Welsh spoke Welsh, the Britons spoke Breton, and the Cornwallians spoke Cornish :)

Medieval Romance Basics
Medieval Romance for Villagers
Medieval Romance for Nobles
Medieval Romance for Men
Medieval Romance for Women

Life in Medieval Days

Lisa's Medieval Romances
Seeking the Truth
Knowing Yourself
A Sense of Duty

Online Literary Magazines

Lisa Shea Website Main Page