A growing assortment of words and definitions used in the Early Modern era. See the Guide for more information.
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One that is loved; an 18th century term. Samuel Richardson in SIR CHARLES GRANDISON (1754) said: The lover and lovee make generally the happiest couple.


To cleanse, purify; to make oneself spruce. Latin mundus, clean. Used from the 16th century; Samuel Richardson in CLARISSA BARLOWE (1748) has: mundified . . . from my past iniquities. Hence also mundifier mundificant; mundification. mundificative. A COUNTRY GENTLEMAN'S VADE-MECUM of 1699 recommends a beau new-come to the city to steer to the next barber's shopf to new rig and mundifie.


See ween. Samuel Richardson in PAMELA (1742) notes that Half the misunderstandings among married people are owing to . . . mere words, and little captious follies, to overweenings, or unguarded petulances. The word has survived mainly as an adjective, as in Shakespeare's TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA (1591): Go base intruder, overweening slave. John Aubrey (1697) said: No reason satisfies him but he overweenes, and cutts some sower faces that would turn the milke in a fair ladie's breast.


A curl, or artificial lock of hair atop the head, especially as peak adornment of a periwig. Also toupee (the current spelling, meaning a patch of false hair to cover a bald spot) , tupee, toppee. For an illustration of this use, see cosins. From the first sense, toupet was used of a person of fashion, a gallant, a beau -- who wore a toupet. Hence toupet-coxcomb, toupet~man. Samuel Richardson, in CLARISSA HARLOWE (1748): A couple of brocaded or laced-waistcoated toupets, with sour screwed up half-cocked faces. Again: no mere toupet-man, but all manly.


To set down one's foot forcefully; hence, to tramp; to go about. Used from the 14th century; in the 17th century replaced by trapes, traipse, which is still current, to go traipsing around. A trapse was (17th into the 19th century; later in dialects) a gadabout; a slovenly woman. In 1749, Samuel Richardson wrote in a letter (4 August): The lowest of all fellows, yet in love with a young creature who was traping after him.
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