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|Glossary of Words and Phrases|
Found in Combs &c. Research Reports
A Combs &c. Research Resource
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This glossary was initially developed as a result of numerous questions on the Combs Mailing List, primarily in respect to the meanings of unfamiliar words (both English and Latin) found in early records. The answers to the questions were not only helpful in terms of understanding the documents themselves, but also often led researchers down new and previously unexplored paths (See, for example, The Drapers Company of London, Its History, Function and Usefulness to Genealogical Researchers). The collection of words and phrases has grown ever since, and this glossary is the result of both Mailing List contributions and added entries collected by the Editor (See a partial list of Sources below).
In addition to words and phrases, early records also abound in abbreviations, most of which are in the Glossary proper. Additional abbreviations include alphanumeric designations of months of the year:
- 7ber: seventh month (September if Old Style, July if New Style*)
- 8ber: eighth month (October if Old Style, August if New Style)
- 9ber: ninth month (November if Old Style, September if New Style)
- 10ber: tenth month (December if Old Style, October if New Style)
* See Calendars re O.S. (Old Style) and N.S. (New Style) dating.
Many abbreviations employ the use of superscript to designate the omission of letters in a word. For example:
- cort court
- ltr letter
- Lops Lordships (also LLps)
- Matie Majestie (also Mts)
- yt yet
- yr your
Other designated symbols of abbreviations include the use of - or ~ over a letter to indicate the actual word includes more than one of that letter.
Also frequently used is the letter p followed by a colon (:) to indicate per. One frequently seen example is p:mission (permission).
The Combs &c. Glossary is dynamic: ever-growing, ever changing. Also, still to come is a form permitting addition of further words and phrases by visitors to our site. In the meantime, please email corrections to the Combs Webmaster
The Combs &c. Research Group
- Black's Law Dictionary, Henry Campbell Black (1891) et al, 6th Edition, West Group, St. Paul, Minnesota, 1990
- Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England, Oxford, 1765-1769
- Dictionary of Genealogy & Archaic Terms, Charlotte's Web, electronic edition
- Early Modern English Dictionaries Database (EMEDD), electronically published, includes 16 works, and a history of dictionaries. [University of Toronto, Access restricted]
- Encylopedia Britannica, electronic edition
- Latin Dictionary of Saxo Grammaticus (medieval Latin), electronic edition
- Latin-English-Latin Dictionary, Perseus Project, electronic edition
- Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary, electronic edition
* Incomplete listing due to the facts that (a) this report is research in progress; and (b) numerous other sources are electronically linked from specific words and phrases. Also note: Combs &c. does not warrant the accuracy of the definitions in this glossary, a number of which have been provided more by "example" than definition.
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