Old French Romances

MAIN GLOSSARY -- Scroll down for "The Friendship of Amis and Amile,""King Florus and the Fair Jehane," "The Tale of the Emperor Coustans," and "A Tale of Over Sea" 

accord: agree,
accorded: agreed
admonished: informed, advised
affiance: betroth, confidence
afore: before
Almaine: Germany
aloft: up
aloof: away from
anighttide: at night
apparel: prepare
apparelled: prepared
aright: rightly
ark: receptacle, container
array: arrangement, show
array: to place, decorate arrange
astonied: astonished
attempered: moderated
atonement: compensation
attemperly: gradually
a-twain: in two
avail: use, value

bailiff: officer
baron: feudal lord
behest: demand
behight: promised
benison: blessing
bezant: gold coin
billet (of wood): thick piece
blench: give way
brake: broke
bridal: wedding
burgrave: governor
but of: unless
Byzance: Byzantium

caitif: captive
carle: man
carline: woman servant
carolling: singing
certes: certainly
chaffer: trade
chamberlain: steward
chastity: fidelity
chattels: possessions
chequers: games boards
chivalry: virtuous deeds
chrism: holy oil
churl: peasant
clerk: scholar
clipped: embraced
close: sealed
coffers: strongbox, drawers
coif: cap
conjure: call on, beg
Constans: costly
convent: monastery
cousin germane: first cousin
covenant: terms, agreement, bet
cover-point: covering cloth
craven: coward, cowardly
cross: vow to go on a Crusade

damage: a pity
damosel; young woman
dearly: fondly
debonaire: fair
debonairly: in a kind spirit, courteously, gracefully
deign: consider appropriate
devoir: duty, devotion
dight: dressed, prepared
dole: complaint, trouble
dolour: sorrow
doubt: anxiety
doubted: feared, expected
double banneret: high rank of knighthood
drave: drove
dudgeon: annoyance
durst: dared

enjoin: impose on
enow: enough
erstwhile: once
esquire: squire

fain: glad
fast: definite
feally: loyally
fealty: loyalty
feign: pretend
feigning: deceit
felon: evildoer
fillet: head-band
forsooth: truly
fostered: brought up
frist: respite

garnish: supply
garnishment: adornment, decoration
gat: got
gentil, gentle: well-born
give: grant
glaive: lance, spear
Gramercy: by God’s mercy
guerdon: reward, success
guested: given hospitality

Hallow, hallow: saint
hanap: fine goblet, container  
hang shield on neck: take part in fight
haunted: attended
havings: possessions
hawberk: plate-armour
heavy: worried, sorrowful, demanding
heried: honoured
hight: was named
hostel: dwelling-place
hot on: keen on

ides: certain days of the month in the Roman calendar
in dudgeon: with hostility
infinity: number
ire: anger
it behoveth: it is necessary

jewel: (metaphor) sexual organ
journey: day’s march
joyance: pleasure, rejoicing

knew: had carnal knowledge of 

Latiner: speaker of Latin, scholar 
lead: bring
leech: doctor
lighted down: alighted
Lombards: people of Northern Italy
lore: learning

Mahoume: Mohammed
mail-coif: armour cap
mails: pieces of armour
marches: reaches, ares of land
marched upon: adjoined
master: advisor
matins: morning service
may-happen: perhaps
mardoing: wrongdoing
maugre: despite
meet: appropriate
meney, meyney: service, staff
meseemeth: it seems to me
mesel, meselry: sick, sickness 
mickle: much
mesney: household staff
midden: dung-heap
misdo, misdoing: misbehave, misbehaviour
misease: unease, distress, discomfort
much: very

natural part: sexual organ 
naysay: deny, denial
needle of nature: natural feeling
nick: moment
nighness: closeness
nones: ninth hour of monastic day - 3.p.m.
nought toward: nothing going on
nowise: in no way, not at all

obeisance: bow
oblation: offering
of a surety: definitely
or ever: before
out-taken: excluding

pained him: concerned himself
palfrey: light saddle-horse
par amours: (of love) physically
passage: journey
Paske: Easter 
paynim: pagan
pearlet: small pearl
pennies: coins
peradventure: perhaps
Perse: Persian embroidery
pledge: promise, agreement
plenishing: filling up, furnishing
point: time
privy: private, confidential
privity: close relationship
privy, privily: private, in confidence
privy council: advisors
prudhomme: knight, freeholder, important man

quean: woman
quick: alive
quit: acquit, discharge, pardon

raiment: clothing
received our Saviour: took holy communion
recreant: evil-doer
rede: advice, counsel
renied: denied
right short: quickly
runagate: renegade

sagely: wisely
St. John’s-mass: birthday of St. John the Baptist; 24th June
Salahadin: Saladin
Saracens: Muslims
St. Eusebius: (c. 283-371) Bishop of Vercelli and defender of the divinity of Christ
against the Arians
scathe: damage, harm, trouble
science: knowledge
semblance: appearance
sendel: thin silk
sergeant: servant , attendant
server: servant
sheared: cut through
shoon: shoes
sithence: since
sojourned: stayed
solar: living room
sols: coins, money
sooth: truth
soothfast: genuine
sorceries: magic
Soudan: Sultan
stave: board
stour: fight
stove: 
strong-thieves: robbers
subtilly: skilfully
subtilty: skill
sumpter-beast, sumpter horse: packhorse
sundering: dividing
surcoat: coat over armour
swain: young man

take the cross: vow to go on crusade
tarrying: delay
tartavelle: clapper or rattle carried by sick folk and lepers
Termagaunt: a violent deity ascribed to Islam by medieval Christians
the Apostle: the Pope
the tables: folding boards for games like backgammon
the Temple: the Knights Templar, a military order which played a large part in the
Crusades, took its name from the Temple of Solomon
tierce: third hour of the monastic day - 9.a.m.
Thoby: Tobias
tournay: tournament
Tournais: Tours
travail: trouble
travailed: suffered
trenchant: sharp
trow, trowed: believe, believed
tun: barrel
truss: pack

uncovered: disclosed
upso down: upside down

Vair: fur of the squirrel
vanward: vanguard
varlet: common man, servant, attendant
vermil: red
vespers: evening service
victual: dish (of food)
wageling: a dependent, employee
ward: guard, govern
warding: guarding, controlling
warrant: guarantee
was fainer: would prefer
wasted: laid waste
wax:grow
wearing: possessing
wend: go
wending: travelling
what hap: what shall happen to
whenas: when
whereas: because
White Nuns: a contemplative order of Carthusian nuns originating c. 1145
withal: also
whole: in good health
widowhood: condition of a widower
wile: skill
will she nil she: whether she will or not
wise: way
wit: intelligence
wot, wotted: know, knew
wrack: wreckage, suffering
wroth: angry
wyte: charge

yea-say: agree
youngling: young man

Of the Friendship of Amis and Amile

Almaine: Germany
apparelled: prepared
ark: receptacle, container
astonied: astonished
attempered: moderated
blench: give way
brake: broke
bridal: wedding
chastity: fidelity
chivalry: virtuous deeds
chrism: holy oil
conjure: call on
covenant: terms
dearly: fondly
debonaire: fair
deign: consider appropriate
devoir: duty, devotion
dight:  prepared
feally: loyally
fealty: loyalty
feign: pretend
felon: evildoer
fillet: head-band
fostered: brought up
frist: respite
gentle: well-born
give: grant
Gramercy: by God’s mercy
guerdon: reward
guested: given hospitality
hanap: fine goblet 
havings: possessions
hallows: saints
hostel: dwelling-place
ides: certain days of the month in the Roman calendar
infinity: number
it behoveth: it is necessary
joyance: pleasure, rejoicing
knew: had carnal knowledge of 
Lombards: ****
may-happen: perhaps
mesel, meselry: sick, sickness 
mickle: much
much: very
nones: ninth hour of monastic day - 3.p.m.
oblation: offering
peradventure: perhaps
raiment: clothing
received our Saviour: took holy communion
rede: advice, counsel 
St. Eusebius” ****
scathe: damage, harm
sergeant: servant , attendant
server: servant
sols: coins, money
tarrying: delay
tartavelle: clapper or rattle carried by sick folk and lepers
the Apostle: the Pope
tierce: third hour of the monastic day - 9.a.m.
Thoby: tobias
travail: trouble
trow: believe
uncovered: disclosed
vanward: vanguard
vespers: evening service
victual: dish (of food)
wending: travelling
whenas: when
whereas: because
whole: in good health
wyte: charge

King Florus and the Fair Jehane

accord: agree
admonished: informed, advised
affiance: betroth
afore: before
aloft: up
appeal: accuse
apparel: prepare
array: arrangement, show
astonied: astonished
a-twain: in two
billet (of wood): thick piece 
but of: unless
carle: man
carline: woman servant
carolling: singing
chattels: possessions
clipped: embraced
coif: cap
cousin germane: first cousin
covenant: agreement, bet
craven: coward, cowardly 
dole: complaint, trouble
dight: dressed, prepared
doubt: anxiety
doubted: expected
double banneret: high rank of knighthood
drave: drove
dudgeon: annoyance
enjoin: impose on
enow: enough
esquire: squire
fain: glad
forsooth: truly
garnishment: adornment, decoration
gat: got
gentle: well-born
glaive: lance, spear
guerdon: success, reward
haunted: attended
hanap: cup, basket, container
hang shield on neck: take part in fight
hawberk: plate-armour
heavy: demanding
hight: was named
hostel: dwelling-place
hot on : keen on
in dudgeon: with hostility
jewel: (metaphor) sexual organ
joyance: rejoicing
mail-coif: armour cap
mails: pieces of armour
mardoing: wrongdoing
maugre: despite
meseemeth: it seems to me 
mesel: sick
mesney: household staff
misdo, misdoing: misbehave, misbehaviour
misease: unease, distress
much: very
natural part: sexual organ 
naysay: deny, denial
needle of nature: natural feeling
nighness: closeness
nought toward: nothing going on
nowise: in no way, not at all
of a surety: definitely
or ever: before
out-taken: excluding
pained him: concerned himself
palfrey: light saddle-horse
par amours: (of love) physically
passage: journey
Paske: Easter 
pearlet: small pearl
pennies: coins
Perse: Persian embroidery
pledge: promise, agreement
plenishing: filling up, furnishing 
privy: private, confidential plenishing:
privity: close relationship
privy, privily: private, in confidence
privy council: advisors
quean: woman
quit: acquit, discharge, pardon
recreant: evil-doer
rede: advice
right short: quickly
Saracens: Muslims
scathe: harm
semblance: appearance
sheared: cut though
sojourned: stayed
sols: coins, money
soothfast: genuine
stour: fight
stove: provided for
subtilly: skilfully
sumpter horse: packhorse
surcoat: coat over armour
swain: young man
take the cross: vow to go on crusade
to boot: also
tournay: tournament
Tournais: Tours??
trenchant: sharp
trow: believe
Vair: fur of the squirrel
wageling: a dependent, employee
warrant: guarantee
was fainer: would prefer
wearing: possessing
whenas: when
wheras: because
White Nuns:
whole: in good health
widowhood: condition of a widower
willshe nil she: whether she will or not
wise: way
wot, wotted: know, knew
wrack: wreckage, suffering
wroth: angry

 

The Tale of the Emperor Coustans

affiance: reliance, confidence
alboun: ready
aloof: away from
anighttide: at night
apparelled: prepare
array, arraying: prepare, preparing
astonied: astonished
bailiff: officer
behight: promised
benison: blessing
bezant: gold coin
burgrave: governor
Byzance: Byzantium
carl: man
certes: certainly
chequers: games boards
churl: peasant
clerk: scholar 
close: sealed
coffers: strongbox, drawers
Constans: costly
convent: monastery
cover-point: covering cloth
damage: a pity
debonairly: in a kind spirit, courteously, gracefully
durst: dared
erstwhile: once
esquire: squire
fast: definite
feigning: deceit
felon: evil
heried: honoured
journey: day’s march
leech: doctor
lighted down: alighted
lore: learning
Mahoume: Mohammed
marches: reaches, ares of land
marched upon: adjoined
master: advisor
matins: morning service
meet: appropriate
mickle: much
midden: dung-heap
nick: moment
obeisance: bow
paynim: pagan 
point: time
privy council: advisors
prudhomme: knight, freeholder, important man
runagate: renegade 
St. John’s-mass: birthday of St. John the Baptist; 24th June
Saracens: Muslims
sagely: wisely
scathe: harm, trouble
science: knowledge
sendel: thin silk
sithence: since
solar: living room
sooth: truth
sorceries: magic
subtilty, subtilly: skill, skilfully
travailed: suffered
Termagaunt: a violent deity ascribed to Islam by medieval Christians
trow, trowed: believe, believed
varlet: common man, attendant 
vermil: red
warding: guarding, controlling
whenas: when
whereas: because
withal: also
wot, wotted: know, knew
yea-say: agree
youngling: young man

A Tale of Over Sea

accorded: agreed
apparelled: prepared
aright: rightly
array: place, decorate, arrange
atonement: compensation
attemperly: gradually
avail: use, value 
baron: feudal lord
behight:
behest: demand
caitif: captive
chaffer: trade
chamberlain: steward
conjure: beg
cross: vow to go on a Crusade
damosel; young woman
debonairly: fairly, in a kind spirit
dight: arrange, prepare 
dole: lament
dolour: sorrow
doubted: feared, repented  
gentil, gentle: well-born
garnish: supply
glaive: lance, spear
hallow: saint
havings: possessions
heavy: worried, sorrowful 
heed: help
ire: anger
Latiner: speaker of Latin, scholar 
lead: bring
lighted down: alighted
maugre: despite
meney, meyney: service, staff 
misease: discomfort
much: very
naysay: deny
palfrey: light saddle-horse
quean: woman
quick: alive
renied: denied
raiment: clothing
Salahadin: Saladin
Saracens: Muslims
semblance: appearance
sergeant: attendant
sheared: cut through
sithence: since  
shoon: shoes
sooth: truth
Soudan: Sultan
stave: board
stour: fight
strong-thieves: robbers
sumpter-beast: packhorse
sundering: dividing
the Apostle: the Pope
the tables: folding boards for games like backgammon
the Temple: the Knights Templar, a military order which played a large part
in the Crusades, took its name from the Temple of Solomon
trow: believe
tun: barrel
truss: pack
uncovered: disclosed
upso down: upside down
varlet: servant, common man
ward: guard, govern
wasted: laid waste
wax:grow
wend: go
what hap: what shall happen to 
whenas: when
whereas: because
wile: skill
wise: way
wit: intelligence
wot: know