I can’t say enough how tantalized I am with the language. Alison Weir, who I call the English Doris Kearns Goodwin, is more than a little gifted the way she splices in words, terms and phrases no longer in use.
Gainsay, is a word she uses a lot, meaning, to deny, dispute or disagree with. It’s a verb used in dialogue so often, it was clearly a casual term in the mid 1500s.
A woman who is expecting has her courses interrupted, meaning her monthly period stops. When her baby starts to move, it quickens rather than kicks.
Sweeting, more than honey or even sweetheart, is the common endearment.
But my favorite term is, seeing the back of them.
Queen Mary, at perpetual odds with her younger sister Elizabeth often banishing her from court, would say to her ladies-in- waiting, “I will be glad to see the back of her.”
Don’t you love that?
How many men could I have said that about? Glad to see the back of him as he tooled out the door.
Language of yore when explored, is fascinating making you wonder why and when it changed.
How come instead of saying, he contradicted me, we no longer say, he gainsaid me?
We should try it and see how the person you’re addressing reacts. Will they ask what it means, or pretend they know?
I always ask, or look it up on my phone, when you go to the restroom.