You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Middle English’ tag.

A business that has the right to sell another company’s goods or services in a particular area. Middle English “frangise”=immunity or privilege < “franc”=free < Latin “francus”=free.


To prevent or obstruct an event or activity by taking some sort of advance action. Middle English “forestall” meaning “to intercept goods before they go to market” < Old English “foresteall” < “fore”=in front + “steall”=standing place.

A short stiff hair that feels rough. Middle English “brustel”=stiff hairs on a wild board, often used to make brushes < Old English “byrst” < Old Germanic “*bors-“=pointed, edge.

Self-pityingly or tearfully sentimental, often in an annoying or foolish way. Middle English “maudelain”=variation of Magdalene < Latin “Maria Magdalena”=Mary of Magdala < Greek “Magdala”=town by sea of Galilee. Allusion to images of Mary Magdalene weeping.

To make a part of the body become sore by rubbing it against something else. Middle English “chaufe” < Old French “chauffer”=to warm < Latin “calefacere”=to make warm < “calere”=to be warm + “facere”=to make.

The generally recognized meaning of a word or phrase. Middle English “acceptacion”=approval < Latin “acceptare”=to receive willingly < “ac-“=prefix meaning “towards, near” + “capare”=to take.

A pattern of spirals or concentric circles. Middle English “whorlle”=a small fly-wheel on a spinning machine < Old Norse “hvirfla”=to turn or whirl about.

Looking and/or feeling sad, dejected, or miserable. Middle English “gloum”=to look displeased or sullen < Old English “*glúmian.”

To become or make narrow. Middle English “streit” < Old French “estreit”=tight, close, narrow < Latin “stringere”=to tighten or bind tightly.

To improve someone’s mind or character by teaching them something. Middle English “aedifie”=to build up < Latin “aedificare” < “aedis”=a dwelling + “ficare”=to make.

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