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The Kyngs English

The Kyngs English is a glossary of words and their medieval spellings. I originally started to compile it several years ago when I received my Award of Arms in the SCA. I wanted to change the spelling of some of the words in order to give my document a more Medieval flavor before submitting it to a calligrapher. I was delighted with the result and think that you will be pleased with your scrolls and documents also. A large portion of my files were lost during one of my moves over the years so there is not a lot here right now, check back often as more will be added.

To use this glossary: select the letter that your word begins with and click on the link below. We have listed the modern spellings in bold type. Below each word you will find the original source of the word if it is known (Anglo-Saxon, Old English, Old French, etc.), followed by the medieval spelling. If the source is listed as Middle English it either originated in the Middle English period or the origin is unknown (to me). All the words listed here were in use in the Middle English period (about 1125 ad - 1500 ad) or earlier. Under the spellings you will find the definition of the word only if it is significantly different from the modern definition, or if clarification is needed. Please note that many words will have more than one spelling and more than one source. Some may have different definitions for different spellings or sources. Words for which the translation would be a phrase, either in Modern English or Medieval English, have not been included in this glossary mainly due to the difficulty of using them in proper context.

Important Note: My search has been for the medieval spellings of words as used in medieval England. The use of this glossary will not help you to speak or write in the correct medieval style, which is quite a bit different from Modern English. What it will do is allow you to change some of your modern spellings of words to medieval spellings, and so give your written documents a more Medieval appearance.

Now if there are any errors in this glossary they are mostly mine. I have tried to eliminate the errors of misspelling done by the authors of original documents that I have used as sources. However, since the rules of spelling varied by time period, school, region, monarch or the personal whim of whomever penned the document, this has been a difficult task. Authors sometimes used two or three different spellings for the same word and meaning, often within the same document and sometimes even on the same page. Words with more than one correct spelling still exist in the English language today. For example the word "color" can also be correctly spelled "colour".

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