Re-enactorisms

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Merlon.
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Postby Merlon. » Sat Oct 11, 2008 3:05 pm

gregory23b wrote:Where do we get the word from (Braies) that is, can anyone find it in an English reference for the 15thc? eh, just a teensy weensy one, eh? (Stewie in Family Guy kind of way ) ;-)


As well as a reference for the 15th century can anyone find a reference for it at all?
Interestingly the word "Braies" is not listed in the Oxford English Dictionary in any variant spelling. However the entomolgy for Breeches goes back to circa 1100 viz:
a1100 Cott. Cleop. Gloss. in Wr.-Wülcker 433 Lumbare, gyrdel oe brec.
a1225 Ancr. R. 420 Sum wummon..were e brech of heare ful wel i-knotted.
c1380 WYCLIF Serm. Sel. Wks. II. 3 Joon hadde neier coote ne breche.
c1400 MANDEVILLE xxiii. (1839) 250 Alle the women weren Breech, as wel as men.
1480 CAXTON Chron. Eng. cci. 183 The good man..come thyder al naked sauf his breche.



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Postby gregory23b » Sat Oct 11, 2008 5:24 pm

Precisely Merlon ;-)


It does nto appear in the middle english dictionary either, but brai does, it has nothing to do with pants though.

It is a hangover from early WOTR days, A french influence methinks.


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Postby Allan Harley » Sun Oct 12, 2008 12:52 pm

So lets get this straight = breeches not braies

Sigh! its taken me years to get them not to say kecks or pants


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Postby Jenn » Sun Oct 12, 2008 3:00 pm

Just tell them it's more English you'll be fine!



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Postby gregory23b » Sun Oct 12, 2008 6:33 pm

According to the lexicon of Middle and Early modern English Alan, Breech(es) (cloth) is the word.

Braies are by all appearances a misuse of foreign medieval words and are now accepted as the right word for our period. I was only made aware of this about four years ago by my new group after using 'braies'. Of course, I did my checking to see if I was being wound up, and bang! there went another reenactment sacred cow.


I hear similar things about the word 'shift' but need to do more research before I kill that bovine.

Edit - a cursory look at the ME dictionary, shows smock and shirt to be the words.

But something is niggling me re 'shift' as possibly being a later term, in the ME dictionary it seems loosely linked with 'smock' but I can;t find the actual entry where the words shift and smock are together, someone else might enlighten us.


I would add the term 'padded jack', a jack is by definition a padded/quilted garment, they are referred to as jacks (plus various spellings), a jack is a jack.


It is all good stuff.


:D


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Postby Merlon. » Sun Oct 12, 2008 7:01 pm

gregory23b wrote:I hear similar things about the word 'shift' but need to do more research before I kill that bovine.

Edit - a cursory look at the ME dictionary, shows smock and shirt to be the words.

But something is niggling me re 'shift' as possibly being a later term, in the ME dictionary it seems loosely linked with 'smock' but I can;t find the actual entry where the words shift and smock are together, someone else might enlighten us.


The OED definitions are follows sorry its so verbose
Shift
10. a. A body-garment of linen, cotton, or the like; in early use applied indifferently to men's and women's underclothing; subsequently, a woman's ‘smock’ or chemise. Now chiefly N. Amer.
In the 17th c. smock began to be displaced by shift as a more ‘delicate’ expression; in the 19th c. the latter, from the same motive, gave place to chemise.

1598 B. JONSON Ev. Man in Hum. I. i, I haue knowne some of them, that haue..at length bene glad for a shift (though no cleane shift) to lye a whole winter in halfe a sheete.
1648 WINYARD Midsummer-Moon 4 Is the University Pim'd, and therefore must change shifts, or are men turnd out..for being scabby?
1691 D'Emilianne's Frauds Rom. Monks 96 They are stript stark Naked in another [room], without suffering them so much as to keep on their Shifts.
1712 ADDISON Spect. No. 367 5 A Lady's Shift may be metamorphosed into Billet-doux.
1756 F. BROOKE Old Maid No. 34. 204 But remember that Julia and Rosara..fail not to bring with them checqu'd shifts to appear in at church.

Smock
1. a. A woman's undergarment; a shift or chemise. Now arch. or dial. (common down to 18th cent.).
For the use as a plant-name see LADY-SMOCK.

a1000 in Wr.-Wülcker 210 Colobium.., loa, hom, uel smoc, mentel.
c1000 ÆLFRIC Gloss. Ibid. 125 Colobium, smoc, uel syrc.
c1200 Trin. Coll. Hom. 163 Hire chemise [is] smal and hwit,..and hire smoc hwit.
c1290 S. Eng. Leg. I. 182 Are hire smok were of i-nome. a1320 Sir Tristrem 1788 our smock was solwy to sen, Bi mark o e schuld ly.
c1386 CHAUCER Miller's T. 52 Whit was hir smok, and browdid al byfore And eek byhynde on hir coler aboute.
c1425 LYDG. Assembly of Gods 377 A smokke was her wede, garnysshyd curyously.
1483 CAXTON Gold. Leg. 371/1 He..wold not relece hir obedyence tyl that she was despoyled to hir smocke.
1559 W. CUNINGHAM Cosmogr. Glasse 173 Their shirtes and smokes are saffroned.
1591 GREENE Farew. Follie Wks. (Grosart) IX. 316 Shee..standing in hir smocke by the bed side.
1650 BULWER Anthropomet. 200 The women..weare but three cubits of cloth in their smocks.
1674 tr. Scheffer's Lapland xvii. 89 The use of smocks is no more known among women than the use of shirts among men.
1735 POPE Ep. Lady 24 Agrees as ill..As Sappho's di'monds with her dirty smock.
1837 BARHAM Ingol. Leg. Ser. I. Look at the Clock, You may sell my chemise (Mrs. P. was too well-bred to mention her smock). 1865 KINGSLEY Herew. xv, I would sooner have her in her smock than any other woman with a dower.
Prov.
1461 Paston Lett. I. 542 Nere is my kyrtyl, but nerre is my smok.
1639 J. CLARKE Parmiologia 254 Neare is my petticoat, but nearer is my smock.

Chemise
1. a. In early use: a long shirt or shirt-like undergarment worn (esp. by women) for warmth and to protect clothing from sweat; a shift, a smock. Subsequently esp.: a short nightdress or similar item of lingerie (cf. night-chemise n. at NIGHT n. and int. Compounds 3b); a long shirt worn as an overgarment.

eOE Cleopatra Gloss. in W. G. Stryker Lat.-Old Eng. Gloss. in MS Cotton Cleopatra A.III (Ph.D. diss., Stanford Univ.) (1951) 84 Camisa, ham, cemes. OE WÆRFER tr. Gregory Dialogues (Corpus Cambr.) I. ix. 68 He cwæ, æt..full oft butan his kemese [L. sine linea] & eac gelomlice butan his tunecan he eft on hire [sc. his meder] huse cyrde.
a1400 (c1300) in J. Small Eng. Metrical Homilies (1862) 124 His moder dremid..Al the mikel water of temis Rin in the bosem of hir kemes.
?a1400 (a1338) R. MANNYNG Chron. (Petyt 511) (1996) II. l. 2989 In e snowe for syght scho [sc. Matilda] ede out in hir smok; ouere e water of Temse at frosen was with iys, withouten kirtelle or kemse, saue kouerchef, alle bare vis.
a1225 (?a1200) MS Trin. Cambr. in R. Morris Old Eng. Homilies (1873) 2nd Ser. 163 Hire chemise smal and hwit..and hire smoc hwit.
1706 C. GILDON Post-boy robb'd of his Mail (ed. 2) II. lxxiv. 455 Hearing you lie without a Shirt, I do the same without a Chemise.



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Postby lidimy » Sun Oct 12, 2008 7:08 pm

But... what of when 'chemise' and 'smock' are used in the same source? Or am I missing something really basic? :shock:


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Postby gregory23b » Sun Oct 12, 2008 7:11 pm

Thanks Merlon, so 'shift' is post-medieval as far as we are concerned, smock and chemise (for women) are certainly medieval and with a long history.

Seems like some Tudors at play in the early WOTR reenactment days.

<cough> 'pourpoint' as a sleeveless doublet <cough> I definitely recall that as old days (reenactment) terminology that has now become a 'true' word, when it is not.

Suggest typing in pourpoint in the middle english dicitonary below and see the two very interesting entries that arise.


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Postby Merlon. » Sun Oct 12, 2008 7:21 pm

gregory23b wrote:<cough> 'pourpoint' as a sleeveless doublet <cough> I definitely recall that as old days (reenactment) terminology that has now become a 'true' word, when it is not.

Suggest typing in pourpoint in the middle english dicitonary below and see the two very interesting entries that arise.


Don't know how your using the MED, (never found it that user friendly) but "pourpoint" brings up no entries for me

However the OED gives the following
Pourpoint
1. A quilted doublet worn by men in the 14th and 15th centuries as part of civil costume and of armour.

c1330 (?a1300) Arthour & Merlin (Auch.) 9256 Arthour smot to king Rion..And his scheld ato ykitt, And alle his armes, verrament, To e purpoint of o serpent, Next his schert at sat o.
c1360 in Norfolk Archaeol. (1901) 14 314 Johannes de Hevyngham agistatus & arrayatus est ad unum hominem, peditem, armatum cum purpont, platt vel Alketoun cum hauberion.
a1450 (c1410) H. LOVELICH Merlin (1932) III. l. 23289 For ne hadde been a porpoynt at he hadde on, ellis he hadde be ere ful wo-begon, which porpoynt was mad of a Serpentis Skyn [Fr. porpoins dun serpent], That non egge tool myhte entren with-jn, with whiche vndir his hauberk j-clad he was. a1475 (?a1430) LYDGATE tr. G. Deguileville Pilgrimage Life Man (Vitell.) 7232 Next thy body shal be set A purpoynt or a doublet.



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Postby The Iron Dwarf » Mon Oct 13, 2008 7:43 am

and bang! there went another reenactment sacred cow.

best to warn Martin to be careful when turning it into jerky if they are likley to explode :shock:


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Postby Brother Ranulf » Mon Oct 13, 2008 9:04 am

Gregory23b wrote:

Braies are by all appearances a misuse of foreign medieval words and are now accepted as the right word for our period. I was only made aware of this about four years ago by my new group after using 'braies'. Of course, I did my checking to see if I was being wound up, and bang! there went another reenactment sacred cow.


Sadly this ignores the fact that England was home to more than one language during the 12th and 13th centuries. If all levels of society were speaking Middle English, then the MED would be a one-stop shop source for every word used at that time - the inconvenient truth is that the average knight, baron, sheriff, earl and duke, their families, their retainers, the Norman clergy, merchants and officials who lived in every part of this green and pleasant land were not interested in speaking English except in an emergency. They spoke Anglo-Norman French, they dreamed, thought and reasoned in that language. They used A-N terms for their garments and for every aspect of their lives. They tried very hard to avoid adopting any English terms, although "kertel" seems to have got into A-N somehow.

So if "in our period" (whatever that might be between 1066 and about 1400) a male member of the nobility pulled on his underpants, they were "braeuz", not breeches. If a forester in his hut or a minter in his workshop did the same thing they were breeches, not braies. If that same forester were in Cornwall or the Isle of Mann, different terms in Kernowek or Manx would be used.

So braies and breeches are both correct - depending on your status.



:wink:

Citations:
li cops avala, ne fist arestement Tresqu’il vint al brael (Horn, 3402), 1170

pl. breeches: lumbaria: brael, braeuz TLL i 227; lumbaribus: breelles, anglice bregeldelis TLL i 110 → becheus, braie1, brailers (13th century)


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Postby Dave B » Mon Oct 13, 2008 1:40 pm

However most reenactors are speaking english to the public and should therefore presumably default to english phrases unless they explain otherwise - which opens a different can of worms about portraying a norman speaker without knowing any Norman french I suppose.

I suspect that Jorge was talking about the late 15thC, where Breeches is probably the thing, that's how I understood him, although I agree he wasn't clear in this instance.


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Postby Medicus Matt » Mon Oct 13, 2008 2:37 pm

Brother Ranulf wrote: although "kertel" seems to have got into A-N somehow.



Perhaps the clue there is in the 'N' part of 'A-N'?
:wink:


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Postby Fox » Mon Oct 13, 2008 2:51 pm

Dave B wrote:However most reenactors are speaking english to the public and should therefore presumably default to english phrases unless they explain otherwise - which opens a different can of worms about portraying a norman speaker without knowing any Norman french I suppose.

I suspect that Jorge was talking about the late 15thC, where Breeches is probably the thing, that's how I understood him, although I agree he wasn't clear in this instance.


But clearly they didn't stop using Norman terms simply because Henry V [IIRC] changed the court languange, they simply anglosised the word (for want of a better description). e.g. bevoir => bever.

It may be true that braise becomes breeches in most common parlance, but I bet both terms were used simultaneously in the 15thC.



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Postby gregory23b » Mon Oct 13, 2008 5:05 pm

BR I was referring to the 15thc


"but I bet both terms were used simultaneously in the 15thC."

But finding a reference to Braies as we know them in either OED or MED yields no fruit, however on further looking, a braygirdle is mentioned as an item of underwear, surgical underwear and a money belt, mid 14thc and early 15thc. But breeches are used a heck of a lot more in literature, at least as far as the MEd goes.

see

(a) (1340) Ayenb.(Arun 57) 205: Þe writinge zayþ þet Ieremies brechgerdel rotede bezide þe wetere. (a1382) WBible(1) (Dc 369(1)) Jer.13.1: Haue to thee a lynene bregirdil [WB(2): breigirdil; L lumbare], and put it vp on thi lendus. (a1387) Trev. Higd.(StJ-C H.1) 3.85: Þis Ieremyas sigh his brigirdel [vr. brygurdel; Higd.(2): braygirdle; L lumbare] yrotet bysides þe ryuer Eufrates. a1425 *Medulla (Stnh A.1.10) 10b/a: Bractale: a brich gurdul. a1425 *Medulla (Stnh A.1.10) 38b/b: Lumbare: a breke gurdul. a1425 *Medulla (Stnh A.1.10) 49a/a: Perizoma: a breche gurdel. a1425 *Medulla (Stnh A.1.10) 55b/b: Renale: a bryche gurdel. (1440) PParv.(Hrl 221) 51: Brygyrdyll [Win: brykgyrdyl]: Lumbare, renale.

(b) ?a1425 *Chauliac(1) (NY 12) 48a/a: Be þe testiclez sustented with a ligature coifelike festened to þe bregyrdelle [L bracali]. ?a1425 *Chauliac(1) (NY 12) 96b/b: Ligaturez..in passions of þe towel & þe inguynez..ar made wiþ a breke girdel & a tuo forked bende hyngyng. ?c1425 *Chauliac(2) (Paris angl.25) 152a/b: Bynde it with þe forseid brygirdel [F brayer]. ?c1425 *Chauliac(2) (Paris angl.25) 153a/b: Bynde strongely with a good rolle, rollynge þe haunches and þe bakke in þe manere of a brigerdil.

(c) c1400(a1376) *PPl.A(1) (Trin-C R.3.14) [9.79] f.22b: He helpiþ þer nede is; Þe bagges & þe breigerdlis [vrr. breigudelis, bigurdeles] he haþ broken hem alle.



My contention is we use the term as if it was what they were known as, rather than more likely an archaism seeing as Breech is the predominant word even in earlier periods, see below for a sample.

"a male member of the nobility pulled on his underpants, they were "braeuz", not breeches.":

We cover all levels of society and the more numerous would be the commons.

(a) c1275(?a1200) Lay. Brut (Clg A.9) 16749: Ich and mine cnihtes scullen..in ure bare brechen gan ut of bur3en. c1275(?a1200) Lay. Brut (Clg A.9) 18028: Heo..gripen heore cniues, & of mid here breches. c1230(?a1200) *Ancr.(Corp-C 402) 113b: Sum wummon inohreaðe wereð þe brech of here ful wel icnottet. c1300 SLeg.Becket (LdMisc 108) 1444: A-non to is þies þe schuyrte tilde, þe brech ri3t to is to. c1300 SLeg.Cross (LdMisc 108) 489: His cloþes he caste of euer-echon A-non to is schurte and to is briech. c1300 SLeg.Edm.Abp.(LdMisc 108) 171: Of harde horses here..he hadde schuirte and briech, fram necke to þe hiele. (a1387) Trev. Higd.(StJ-C H.1) 1.353: Þey [the Irish] haueþ breche [L braccis] and hosen al oon of wolle. (c1390) Chaucer CT.Th.(Manly-Rickert) B.2049: He dide next his white leere, Of clooth of lake fyn and cleere A breech, and eek a sherte. (c1390) Chaucer CT.Pars.(Manly-Rickert) I.330: They sowed of figge leues a manere of breches to hiden hire membres. a1400(a1325) Cursor (Vsp A.3) 2048: Him [Noah, with a mantle]..þan hiled þai..Was funden þan na breke [Trin-C: no breeche] in land. a1400(?a1325) Bonav.Medit.(1) (Hrl 1701) 622: Þey had left hym no breche..with here kercheues hys hepys she wryde. a1400 Þo oure lord god (Mrg M 957) p.320: Who so wolde keche and habbe gode sy3te, þour3 out here breche here ers y se he my3te. c1400(c1378) PPl.B (LdMisc 581) 5.175: Baleised on þe bare ers, and no breche bitwene. (1411) in Rec.B.Nottingham 2 86: j breek, j d. (1415) Let.War France in Bk.Lond.E.(Gldh LetBk I & K) 64/7: Eny merchaundise, shertys, breches, doublettys, hosen. (1416) *Bench Bk.2 Hull f.243: Yai sall ga barehede & barefote, nakid of body, in serk and in breke. a1425(a1382) WBible(1) (Corp-O 4) Gen.3.7: Thei soweden to gidre leeues of a fige tree, and maden hem brechis. a1425(a1382) WBible(1) (Corp-O 4) Ex.28.42: And thow shalt make lynnen brecches, that thei coueren the flesh of her filthehed, fro the reynes vnto the hippes. a1425 Wycl.Serm.(Bod 788) 2.3: Joon was cloþid wiþ camele heer..Joon hadde neiþer coote ne breche. (1440) PParv.(Hrl 221) 48: Breche or breke: Braccæ. c1450 Alph.Tales (Add 25719) 365/25: Sho wolde neuer..lat hym lig with hur bod in his sark & his breke. c1450 I herde a carpyng (Sln 2593) p.44: Throw the sanchothis of his bryk it [a shot] towchyd neyther thye. ?c1450 Knt.Tour-L.(Hrl 1764) 63: Men that wered to shorte gownes and shewed her breches, the whiche is her shame. ?c1450 Knt.Tour-L.(Hrl 1764) 80: He toke the prioures breke..he wende to take oute his poke..and he fonde that it was a breche. (a1470) Malory Wks.(Win-C) 282/2: Whan he was unarmed, he put of all his clothis unto his shurte and his breche. (a1470) Malory Wks.(Win-C) 817/28: Other clothynge had he but lytyll, but in his shurte and his breke. c1475(c1450) Idley Instr. 2.B.49: Hir clothis..be cutted on the buttok even aboue the rompe..if they shull croke, knele, othir crompe, To the middes of the backe the gowne woll [not] reche: Wolde Ihesu they were than without hoose or breche! c1475 Mankind (Folg V.a.354) 334: But he wyppe his ars clen..On hys breche yt xall be sene. c1475 Wycl.Antichr.(2) (Dub 245) p.cxlix: To go in breche & shurte aboute churche & chepynge. a1500(?c1450) Merlin (Cmb Ff.3.11) 536: A maiden of v yere of age myght haue take from yow youre breche.

a reasonable spread of use across the strata of society, or do you have actual cites for:

Braies as an underwear term preferred by Anglo Norman gentry, or was that a guess?

So, what re the sources for the word braies - as an actual term as we use them, even allowing for breygirdle and when does Breech become more common? seemingly well before 1400.


Merlon

Pourpoint

c1450 Pilgr.LM (Cmb Ff.5.30) 59: The doublet is maad with poynynges, For whi it is cleped a purpoynt.

a1475(?a1430) Lydg. Pilgr.(Vit C.13) 7232: Next thy body shal be set A purpoynt or a doublet.


'Or' in the last sense is often used to denote an alternative term, not always an item, ie in one place it is doublet in another it might be pourpoint.

That is not discounting earlier uses of the word, there seems some evidence to support it as an earlier term for a sort of defensive garment both in reality and as part of literature, eg Mallory and a pourpoint of serpent skin.


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Postby guthrie » Mon Oct 13, 2008 8:32 pm

Fox wrote:It may be true that braise becomes breeches in most common parlance, but I bet both terms were used simultaneously in the 15thC.

Yes, very likely.
I've been looking through some copies of English records from circa 1300, and the long term historical records are in Latin, but the day to day letters from the King etc are in french. None of this silly english gobbledegook.



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Postby gregory23b » Mon Oct 13, 2008 8:52 pm

"Yes, very likely. "

So where are the parallel references then?

There is plenty of material (no pun intended) to make a sensible guess that in the 15th the term may not have been used, the word 'braies' appears not to occur at all except in French, eg Braies de acier, as per French ordinances (15thc).

"but the day to day letters from the King etc are in french"

How many of us actually portray so-called French speaking nobles? The language of the people in the 14thc was English. Even formal documentation starts to change from Latin/French to Latin and English as the time moves on.

I would like to see some English text references to the word 'braies' being used as we use them, because if we are portraying English speaking people and certainly for the 15thc amongst us, we are portraying normal people, then even if the nobs did for some reason only use the word, we should not be.

So, cites or evidence in other words please for braies being used in such a context, given that we seem to have many many entries for breech, preceding the 15thc by a wide margin....an archaism at best, possibly not actually in use as we know it.

Anyone else actually going to post some evidence to counter or balance this or will we be relying on 'instinct'?

;-)


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Postby Bittersweet » Tue Oct 14, 2008 4:51 am

Just to put a spanner in the works:

Why should people be going around discussing their underwear at all :shock: There should be no literary references at all in any language :oops:

:lol:


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Postby Fox » Tue Oct 14, 2008 6:29 am

I think once again we're bumping up against the problem of modern language and period language, and it depends what you're trying to achieve.

In the same way we use sallet to mean a very specific type of helmet, it's very likely that at the time it was a much more general term. We do that because it's useful to us in trying to communicate with each other.

In the same way breeches is a confusing term.
It's modern meaning is trousers, normally knee length trousers.
So by reusing that word it can lead to confusion.
But by co-opting a less common period word, one which is more specific in it's meaning, then we can avoid that confusion.



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Postby Laffin Jon Terris » Tue Oct 14, 2008 8:40 am

Fox wrote:In the same way we use sallet to mean a very specific type of helmet, it's very likely that at the time it was a much more general term. We do that because it's useful to us in trying to communicate with each other.

But by co-opting a less common period word, one which is more specific in it's meaning, then we can avoid that confusion.


I agree entirely, the problem comes when people stop saying

"WE call these braies"

and start saying

"THEY called them braies".

(Even worse is the navel gazing, arguing and pontificating as to the proper spelling of the word in the 15th century!)


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Postby Fox » Tue Oct 14, 2008 9:15 am

Laffin Jon Terris wrote:(Even worse is the navel gazing, arguing and pontificating as to the proper spelling of the word in the 15th century!)


There is no such thing as proper spelling in the 15thC; indeed often the same word is spelt in several different ways within the same document.



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Postby Laffin Jon Terris » Tue Oct 14, 2008 12:14 pm

Fox wrote:
Laffin Jon Terris wrote:(Even worse is the navel gazing, arguing and pontificating as to the proper spelling of the word in the 15th century!)


There is no such thing as proper spelling in the 15thC; indeed often the same word is spelt in several different ways within the same document.


Surely I'm not the only one who has been "corrected" on my spelling of braies?


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Postby Fox » Tue Oct 14, 2008 12:34 pm

Laffin Jon Terris wrote:
Fox wrote:
Laffin Jon Terris wrote:(Even worse is the navel gazing, arguing and pontificating as to the proper spelling of the word in the 15th century!)


There is no such thing as proper spelling in the 15thC; indeed often the same word is spelt in several different ways within the same document.


Surely I'm not the only one who has been "corrected" on my spelling of braies?


Ah, that's not to say there isn't an agreed modern spelling.



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Postby Colin Middleton » Tue Oct 14, 2008 1:11 pm

I thought that the change of court language happened under Edward I (or was it Edward III) because we were at war with France and didn't want to be bowing to the 'way the enemy did things'. Did I miss read that one?

I've been over the names thing with Sarah Thursfield a few times now (she's always trying to drum it into our group when we're at talks). I think that we both agreed on (assuming you're speeking English):
Breech not Braise
Smock or Shirt not Shift
Hosen not Chassuers
Doublet not Pourpoint
Coat not Tunic (unless you're writing accounts?!?)

That said, if you're talking about armour at any period, you may be using the French version of the word.


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Postby Allan Harley » Tue Oct 14, 2008 1:19 pm

I'm going to refuse to talk about clothing to any of teh public as being too demeaning and send them to a servant :twisted:


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Postby Fox » Tue Oct 14, 2008 1:28 pm

Colin Middleton wrote:I thought that the change of court language happened under Edward I (or was it Edward III) because we were at war with France and didn't want to be bowing to the 'way the enemy did things'. Did I miss read that one?

I'm almost certain it's a 100yrs War thing, and was done for the reason you say.
I was reasonably sure it was Henry V, but not 100% (hence why I wrote [IIRC]).
It is possible that it was Edward III. If I remember I'll check to tonight, I know a book that's got it in.



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Postby gregory23b » Tue Oct 14, 2008 3:49 pm

"But by co-opting a less common period word, one which is more specific in it's meaning, then we can avoid that confusion."

Are you saying that was hwo you were told to use the word, or are you suggesting it as a reason why we use it? I certainly do not recall being told such an elobarate rationale, I suspect few, if any of us have. It, like any other specific word is simply one we use out of reenactor habit. We owe it to the public and ourselves to be as accurate as possible with the use of exotic terms, even if they may seem confusing, that is what we are about.

So by using a word that was not used in that way, we cause more confusion, I don't think that is very useful.

We are happy to correct people that ale is unhopped and beer is (generally) hopped, both are terms that are in effect synonymous, now.

I would add that to most people 'breeches' is an archaism in any case, unless they ride, in which case it is merely another word to explain as we do in other cases.

"Ah, that's not to say there isn't an agreed modern spelling."

There is not one in terms of Braies as an English word, it seems to only appear as a French one, viz ordinances, any use of that spelling is foreign and borrowed, so as we can't find an OED or MEd ref to the word used on its own, ie as Braies, so far, only as part of a compound word, see Breysgridle above.

Furthermore, although there was not standardised spelling as we know it, there were spelling conventions, most of our words have changed little in spelling over the last 500 years and before that it is not that difficult to see spellings take shape.

So, have we gone from the possibility of dual use, without evidence to the use of a borrowed word for modern convenience?


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Postby Fox » Tue Oct 14, 2008 4:28 pm

You've misunderstood me, Jorge.

I'm suggesting the reason it may have drifted into re-enactor language is to avoid confusion; I'm not making a case for continuing to use it, only giving a reason why I think it may be the the most common word.

In truth, I wouldn't be suprised if the common use of the term hadn't originated in re-enactment. What are breech most commonly called in modern costume texts?

gregory23b wrote:"I would add that to most people 'breeches' is an archaism in any case

Unless you are a historian [of one flavour or another] dealing with other periods; hence my point above.


gregory23b wrote:"Ah, that's not to say there isn't an agreed modern spelling."
There is not one in terms of Braies as an English word.

Really? But since we use it all the time, then there almost certainly is an agreed modern spelling, even if only among re-enactors.

gregory23b wrote:So, have we gone from the possibility of dual use, without evidence to the use of a borrowed word for modern convenience?

I wouldn't say so.
Brother Ranulf suggests that for earlier medieval re-enactors the choice of word might depend on your social status. I've seen nothing to say that isn't true.
For later medieval re-enactors, using the written word to understand the spoken word is not ideal and no word simply stops being used; it fades out.

But as a modern word that represents a medieval item of clothing which has no modern equivelent, we can call it what we like. If that isn't true you need to turn upside down the idea of limited number of helmets museums label as sallets.

For preference, I think I will try and stop calling them braise....



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Postby gregory23b » Tue Oct 14, 2008 10:12 pm

"even if only among re-enactors. "

Sure, I guessed that, but we are a minute number of users, and it is very much only for our consumption and I suspect used for its exoticism, see below.


"Brother Ranulf suggests that for earlier medieval re-enactors the choice of word might depend on your social status. I've seen nothing to say that isn't true. "

But the esteemed Brother has not put forward any evidence to that, so linking it to braies as some possible mutation needs some form of example for us to chew over.

Re using any terminology, we are in the game of using exotic terms because that in many ways defines what we do, whether it be sword or falchion, or M16 or Lee Metford, or doublet or pourpoint, a myrmidon or retiarius. The flavour of any era is the strangeness of it, which is what makes this a very interesting excercise, the sifting of reenactor convention - which is very deep rooted - for actuality.

I enjoy demonstrating thigns that have seemingly odd names or how the names have changed, a prime example is pen:

Pen is short for penna, which is Latin for Feather, so we get what are called 'quill pens', in reality a pen pen, and a pen today has no real resemblance to a feather quill with free flowing ink, other than a smiliarity of form. Something so mundane can cause the odd raising of the eyebrow and an 'aaah, I get it' moment.


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Postby Brother Ranulf » Wed Oct 15, 2008 8:03 am

Gregory23b wrote
"Brother Ranulf suggests that for earlier medieval re-enactors the choice of word might depend on your social status. I've seen nothing to say that isn't true. "

But the esteemed Brother has not put forward any evidence to that, so linking it to braies as some possible mutation needs some form of example for us to chew over.



At the risk of seeming fractious, yes I did put forward evidence in the form of citations, but we were inadvertently discussing different time periods and perhaps some people didn't read far enough. If evidence from the 12th -14th centuries would be of any interest on here to anyone:

(Anglo-Norman is notoriously fickle in its spelling, unlike Latin for example. The term braies is found spelled as brael, braele; brahel, braihel, braiel, brail, braiol, braoil; braer; pl. braheals, braelis, braels, braeuz; breelles, braelleis and many more)

li cops avala, ne fist arestement Tresqu’il vint al brael [The Romance of Horn by Thomas, 1170]
Sun brael avala, cum ust mester, Si comença al pastur cunter tut son peché [W. de Wadington, Le Manuel des pechez, in Robert of Brunne’s Handlyng Synne [14th century]
brachile: brael [T. Hunt, Teaching and Learning Latin in Thirteenth-Century England, 3 vols. (Cambridge, 1991)]
al braiel ... Pen la lanere que vous attache Les. ij. chauces [Le Traité de Walter de Bibbesworth sur la langue française, 1250]
lumbare: brayel, uardecors, vesture de reyns [T. Hunt, Teaching and Learning Latin in Thirteenth-Century England, 3 vols. (Cambridge, 1991)]
ly baume ... vient des petites arbresteaux qe ne sont mye plus haut qe jusques au braier d’un homme [Jean de Mandeville, Le livre des merveilles du monde, 13th century]

Alexander Neckham, writing in the 1180s, describes sailors in the London docks wearing just coif and braies, adding a gonne in cool weather (De nominibus utensilium). In the same document he speaks of the dress of a baron - his term for a moderately wealthy knight: "Let a man at rest have a pellice and a cote or bliaut . . . . braies are needed to cover the lower limbs and chausses should be worn around the legs . . ."

Marie de France, writing at the court of Henry II for an audience of Anglo-Norman nobility writes in "Yvaine": Chemise risdee li tret Fors de son cofre, et braies blanches, et fil et aguille a ses manches. - and in verse 2978: Et avec ce met del suen Chemise et braies deliees

Chemise, incidentally, means shirt (as here), or shift, undergarment - en chemise means not fully dressed.

In the 12th century epic Moniage Guillaume book 2 verse 362 the term used is braiel and the context indicates them being made of very expensive material (although it is not defined).


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