A growing assortment of words and definitions used in the Early Modern era. See the Guide for more information.
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As a noun. Estimation, honor; delight, joy. By extension, fastidiousness. Old French dainté, pleasure, titbit; Latin dignitatem, worthiness; dignus, worthy, whence also dignity, indignation. (Eliezer Edwards, in WORDS, FACTS, AND PHRASES, 1881, says that the first meaning of dainty was a venison pasty, from French daine, a deer. A pleasant thought, but oh dear!) In the sense of fastidiousness, Shakespeare has, in HENRY IV, PART TWO (1597) : The King is wearie Of daintie, and such picking grievances. As joy, William Dunbar in TWA MARYIT WEMEN (1508) : Adew, dolour, adew! my daynte now begynis. Also, to make dainty, to hold back, scruple, refuse. Shakespeare has, in ROMEO AND JULIET: ah ha, my mistresses! which of you all Will now deny to dance? She that makes dainty, she, Til swear, hath corns.


A variant form of gaping. The ending -and was frequent for -ing in early Northern and Scottish words. In a lyric of William Dunbar (1508) we are reminded that Deth followis lyfe with gaipand mowth.


Rich, splendid, magnificent. Used from Old English into the 15th century, becoming a conventional epithet in alliterative verse. Also a noun, a beautiful woman; William Dunbar in TWA MARIIT WEMEN (1508) said: The wedow to the tothir wlonk warpit [spoke] ther wordis. By extension, wlonk, proud, haughty; so used in BEOWULF; wlonkhede, wlonkness, pride.


To care for, take notice of, consider; look attentively (upon); to take care of, guard, protect; to have charge of, govern, manage, control; to observe (a command, a holiday). Also the noun yeme, care. Hence in yeme, in one's care. To nim yeme, take yeme, take note, give heed, etc. Hence yemeless, careless, negligent; yemelest, negligence; yemelich, full of care, anxious; yemer, a keeper, guardian, ruler. The forms were common from the 8th to the 15th century. William Dunbar in a poem of 1520 speaks of a guardian dispoilit of the tresur that he yemit. There was also a form yemsel (yhemsale, yemseill), care, custody, used from the 12th to the 15th century.
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