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

A tricky situation in which you do not know what to do or have to make a hard choice. Middle French “predicament” < Latin “praedicamentum”=a category, circumstance or condition < “predicare”=to proclaim, declare < “prae”=beforehand + “dicere”=to say.


A length of time with a specific beginning and end. Middle French “periode” < Latin “perihodos”=length of time an illness or disease lasts < Greek “periodos”=going round, reoccurring < “peri-“=arund + “othos”=way.

Moving or going backwards; reverting to a previous state. Middle French “retrograde”=in astronomy, to appear to move east-west in the sky < Latin “retrogradus” < “retro”=backwards + “gradus”=step.

The act of washing oneself; ceremonial washing as part of a religious rite. Middle French “ablucion” < Latin “abluere”=to wash off < “ab-“=away + “lavere”=to wash.

Pay someone for trouble that you have caused them, or reward someone for their help. Anglo-Norman/Middle French “recompenser”=to make up for < Latin “re-“=again” + “compensere”=to weigh one thing against another < “pendere”=to weigh, hang, balance.

To treat someone badly over a period of time, especially because of their religious or political beliefs. Middle French “persecuter” < Latin “persecutare” < to harass, chase < “per”=through + “sequi”=to follow.

Someone excessively focused on minor details or rules, or with displaying academic learning. Middle French “pedante”=teacher < Latin “pedagogus”=teacher < Greek “paidagogus”=slave who took children to school < “pais”=child + “agein”=to lead.

To completely destroy a building, belief, or idea. Middle French “demolir” < Latin “demoliri”=to pull down < “de-“=indicating reversal/opposite + “moliri”=to build.

The official residence of a diplomatic minister in a foreign country or a diplomatic envoy. Middle English “legacyoun” < Middle French “legacion” < Latin “legatio”=the sending of a deputation < “legare”=to bequeth.

The jaw bone of an animal or fish, especially the lower jaw. Middle French “mandibule” < Latin “mandibula” < from “mandere”=to chew.

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