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



Fond of making love. A 17th century coinage, after libertine. Thomas Dekker in THE PATIENT GRISSILL (1603) : These gentlemen lovertine, and my selfe a hater of love. (The early libertine sought political, not amatory, freedom.)


Soft-spoken; applied to excessive delicacy of speech, prudery, or to hypocrisy, sycophancy; to one that does not venture to speak his mind. Hence, mealy-mouthedness. The word is usually related to meal, flour; but E. Edwards (in WORDS, FACTS, AND PHRASES, 1881) points out that Shakespeare uses honey-mouthed and suggests that mealy-mouthed may have come from Latin mel, English mell, honey. Thomas Dekker in THE GENTLE CRAFT (1600) says This wench with the mealy mouth, is my wife, I can tell you. The word mealy alone sometimes has the same meaning, as in (1697; Leslie, SNAKE IN THE GRASS) thy mealy modesty. The term was also used, more generally, to mean over-scrupulous, as in Malkin's translation (1809) of GIL BLAS: You are not mealy-mouthed about receiving a commoner into your pedigree.


A 17th century form, supplanted by palatial. Thus Thomas Dekker in BRITTANNIA'S HONOR (1628) spoke of faire, spacious, and pallacious houses. Note that palaceous is a scientific term meaning spade-like, spade-shaped; from Latin pala, shovel. Palaceward, toward the palace, is used by Chaucer in TROYLUS AND CRISEYDE (1374): As was his wey to wende to paylaysward.
Colonial Sense is an advocate for global consumer privacy rights, protection and security.
All material on this website © copyright 2009-20 by Colonial Sense, except where otherwise indicated.