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A growing assortment of words and definitions used in the Early Modern era. See the Guide for more information.
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Pel

A stake, used in practicing sword-craft in the 14th century. Also, an early form for pall, peel, pell. Joseph Strutt [1], discussing the old use in SPORTS AND PASTIMES (1801), said: The practitioner was then to assail the pel, armed with sword and shield, in the same manner as he would an adversary. Pel is via French from Latin palus, stake, whence also palisade, pale, pile, peel. The noun peel has had several meanings beside the now current rind of fruit, often candied. (1) A pillow. (2) An equal, a peer. W. Hamilton, in WALLACE (1722): In time of peace, he never had a peel, So courteous he was, and so genteel. (3) A shovel; a baker's shovel. (4) Related to pel: a stake. Hence, a fence of stakes, a palisade (from the 13th to the 16th century) ; a small castle or tower; later, especially, one of the small towers or fortified dwellings built in the 16th century along the English-Scottish border, a peel-house, shortened to peel. Chaucer in THE HOUS OF FAME (1384) has: I gan to romen til I fonde The castel gate on my ryght honde . . . Ther mette I cryinge many oon [a one] God save the lady of thys pel.
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