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

A name used in court, to distinguish one plot of ground from another: black acre; white acre; green acre -- somewhat like "party of the first part" etc. The colors were perhaps originally chosen from various crops. After a time, to black-acre meant to litigate over land; in William Wycherley's THE PLAIN DEALER (1677) the litigious widow is Mrs. Blackacre; her son Jerry Blackacre is so well trained by her in court procedure that he wins all of her land.


A stiff starched collar, worn in Spain in the 17th century. Also golille, golilia, golila, golillio. Spanish golilla, diminutive of gola (Latin gula, whence gullet) , throat. A gullable (now gullible) person is one who will swallow anything, i.e., believe any tale. Cp. gull William Wycherley in THE GENTLEMAN DANCING-MASTER (1673) said: I had rather put on the English pillory than this Spanish golilia.
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