Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Appendix NF: Avoid the flumpf, get a Dictionary of Early English
Sure you can look up the roots of old words on the internet without owning a good ol' fashioned paper n' ink book; which is definitely handy when you're researching, say, the level title of your favorite character classes. But where texts like this beat out the internet and your kindle is in the serendipitous discoveries one unearths merely by flipping through the pages. Say you've got time to kill while you download the latest OSR retroclone from Bloated Houserules Publishing; you grab the ol' dictionary and flip it open to page 439. There's mordincancy, any old schooler is going to want to know if it has something to do with big creepy hands, right? Nope, it means biting or pungent. Then there's Rosencrantz's old buddy morgenstern; a spiked club, but, on hindsight, that seems obvious. Then comes morglay, from Welsh Mawr, great + cleddyf, sword--whence Claymore. And finally, moria; folly. With all due respect to the Professor, Sindarin for "Black Chasm" my ass!
Some other highlights:
Barbigerous--a most imposing beard
lant--urine, another interesting tidbit: it was a common ingredient in ale; bear this in mind the next time your home-brewing buddy offers you a pint of his latest batch of double-lanted.
Paynim--the country or lands of the heathens; Greyhawk Enthusiasts will appreciate this one
Penster--a puny wielder of the pen. Hmmmm, I'm thinking of renaming my blog...
and best of all: 120 different -mancies show you how to divine the future!