Synonymity and Semantic Variability in Medieval French and Middle English
Rothwell, W., The Modern Language Review
Texts in medieval French and English often string together two or even three (quasi-)synonyms carrying a wide range of senses, a feature commonly regarded by modern scholars as stylistic rather than semantic. However, while for the modern reader the dictionary has become the accepted arbiter of form and meaning, the printing-press which made possible the dictionary came only in the late Middle Ages. In the absence of any such prescriptive authority, the synonyms in a medieval text often play a semantic role.
The expansion over recent decades of linguistic knowledge gained from the rapid advances in the field of electronics is now making possible a far-reaching review of the lexicographical heritage of past centuries in both France and England. Kurt Baldinger's additions to the later volumes of the Franzosisches Etymologisches Worterbuch (1) in his Etymologien (2) have been followed in France by the start of a fundamental revision of the entire work involving both enrichment and correction, a project which is already producing a wealth of new material that will greatly increase the size of the dictionary and refine its contents in the process. What is more, this work has already borne fruit elsewhere, Jean-Paul Chauveau applying the results of his revision of the first volume of the FEW to correcting etymological material provided in the authoritative Tresor de la langue francaise, completed only a decade or so ago. (3) Also within the framework of this second major project (Projet TLF-Etym.), but in quite different lexicological areas, Frederic Duval has shed new light on the history of French vocabulary referring to the civilization of Rome, Pascale Baudinot has brought up to date the entry 'addition' in the TLF, and a recent conference on historical lexicography has produced papers on the place of Spanish and Occitan in the history of French as set out in the TLF. (4) These ongoing revisions of the FEW and TLF are joined by the early fascicles of the Dictionnaire etymologique de l'ancien francais, (5) to be followed by the Dictionnaire du moyen francais. (6) Similar advances in lexicographical knowledge are currently being made in respect of the principal languages of medieval England: the Middle English Dictionary (7) was completed at the beginning of this century, the Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British Sources, (8) now past the halfway stage of publication, is already much more extensive than the whole of the Medieval Latin Word-List from British and Irish Sources (revised in 1963) (9) from which it derives, and the early fascicles of the first edition of the Anglo-Norman Dictionary (1977-92) (10) have been completely revised over the last decade and are now being published in greatly extended form in a second edition, both in print and online. (11)
The body of new evidence being made available by all this work may now be used to illustrate an important difference between medieval vernaculars and their modern counterparts brought about by the invention of the printing-press. The medieval glossaries, the predecessors of the modern dictionary, which provided vernacular equivalents of Latin terms found in individual texts, were the work of many scribes of varying competence living in widely separated areas and at different times, with the result that the glosses they offer are of necessity uncoordinated. Only when a substantial number of them can be studied as an entity, as in the three volumes of Tony Hunt's Teaching and Learning Latin in Thirteenth-Century England, (12) can their true extent and, more importantly, their frequent diversity be fully appreciated. In the absence of any standard (13) lexical authority to which reference could be made, the meaning of a communication in the Middle Ages was often determined by the overall tenor of its context rather than by the modern method of interpreting each word as an independent unit whose spelling and semantic content are laid down authoritatively in dictionaries. (14) For example, in medieval French the meaning of astele could vary from 'a small piece of firewood' to 'a splint', 'a hame,' 'a club', and even 'a door-jamb'. (15) In the case of tangible objects of this kind the surrounding context is sufficient to indicate the correct interpretation of the word, but this does not apply universally. The reader is hardly likely to construe astele as 'a piece of fire-wood' or 'a splint' in a context of housebuilding, but in areas less contextually explicit, such as weights and measures, the difficulties caused by the different values attaching to 'pounds', 'stones', 'rods', 'perches', and the like up and down the regions of England in the medieval period resulted eventually in the imposition of the king's standards in order to facilitate national commerce.
This absence of any generally accepted linguistic authority to which reference could be made lies at the root of the common medieval practice of linking vernacular words whose sense may not be determined unequivocally in certain contexts with other terms capable of carrying roughly the same sense, thus producing what appears to the modern reader to be otiose repetition, with nouns, verbs, and particularly adjectives of similar meaning being strung together. (16) This procedure was made unnecessary towards the end of the Middle Ages by the advent of the dictionary and is now preserved only in a small number of isolated archaisms such as the English 'part and parcel', the legal phrase 'last will and testament', or the ecclesiastical 'in sure and certayne hope of resurreccion to eternall lyfe' in the Book of Common Prayer. It is not without significance that in these three cases only 'will' is not of French origin.
The abundance of such grouped synonyms in medieval French attracted the attention of a number of scholars in the course of the first half of the twentieth century, culminating in the large-scale study by Arnulf Stefenelli, Der Synonymenreichtum der altfranzosischen Dichtersprache. (17) As the word Dichtersprache in the title of his book makes clear, the texts from which he, in line with his predecessors, drew his evidence were almost exclusively literary. His list of medieval works consulted (pp. 5-6) includes just one unexpected nonliterary exception, the Anglo-French Traite sur la langue francaise by Walter of Bibbesworth. Given this preponderance of literary texts, it was perhaps inevitable that the synonyms would be treated from a stylistic rather than a semantic standpoint. Stefenelli's comments in the Zusammenfassung at the end of his 300-page study, which are based on the work of previous scholars as well as his own, show that he regarded the synonymity revealed in his accumulated evidence as indicating a general failure on the part of Old French to put its extensive lexis to good use by establishing clear stylistic distinctions between words of similar semantic content. (18) However, no explanation is advanced as to why successive generations of medieval French authors of repute should lay themselves open to such negative criticism of their writing. The possibility that their use of quasi-synonyms in this way may have been semantically rather than stylistically motivated is not entertained.
Yet, if account is taken of the absence of authoritative dictionaries at that time, it will be recognized that the frequent juxtaposition of quasi-synonyms in medieval French sentences served an eminently practical purpose, unconnected with style. When read as components of a semantic unit rather than as individual entities, the synonyms helped to clarify the sense of the communication. Leaving aside their use in legal and administrative documents, where the precise sense of terms is an essential requirement, just one small representative group of common adjectives--apert, baud, gai, and joli--will be examined in a variety of texts as they passed from medieval French into Middle English. Semantically, all four mean broadly 'forward', on the one hand in the positive sense of 'standing out from the crowd, conspicuous' and on the other hand in the negative sense of 'pushy' leading to 'wanton', but this synonymity did not continue into either modern French or modern English. Of these four words only gai and joli are still in current use in French, apert and baud having disappeared altogether, while English has preserved the counterparts of all four in the forms pert, bawdy, gay, and jolly, but the semantic content of the survivors has altered over the centuries, both internally in each language and also as between the two languages. (19)
Some years before Stefenelli's work, a short article by Raphael Levy, entitled 'The Etymology of English "Bawd" and Cognate Terms', (20) had drawn attention to what he called 'the inadequate treatment accorded them by the New English Dictionary' (p. 83), now the Oxford English Dictionary. (21) Although he deals with only one member of the group of synonyms to be examined here, Levy's criticism of the dictionary's entry under 'Bawd sb. 1' is germane to the general question of the role played by such synonyms and their treatment in the standard dictionaries of English and French. In the OED the etymology of the word is given as follows:
Of uncertain origin: the original sense shows no approach to that of OF. baud, baude, 'bold, lively, gay, merry' (see BAUDE), to which it has often been referred: even allowing that 'gay' might have passed into the sense of 'wanton, licentious, personally unchaste', no trace of such sense appears either in ME or Fr.; nor is the Fr. word found as a n[oun]. The earliest instance yet found occurs in Piers Plowman, 1362, where one MS. reads BAWDSTROT. Bawd may not improbably be an abbreviation of that word, which is found in Fr. a century earlier.
The NED/OED thus rejects an etymological link between English bawd and French baud on the grounds of both grammar and semantics, the French baud being allegedly not attested as a noun and the meaning of the English noun bawd ('One employed in pandering to sexual debauchery') having an erotic sense claimed to be absent from the French baud. The original compilers consequently turned to the variant reading bawdstrot in Piers Plowman in search of a derivation for bawd, on the ground that 'Godefroy, (22) s.v., quotes "pronuba, baudestrot," from a Latin-French glossary of 13th c.'. However, Levy was able to demonstrate (p. 83) that the chronology on which the OED's claim was based is faulty, Godefroy's quotation (I, 603a) dating not from the thirteenth century but the middle of the fourteenth, making it roughly contemporaneous with the citation from Piers Plowman, so that baudetrot would be attested in French no earlier than bawdstrot in English. However, Levy had no access to the new knowledge referred to above, which shows the word attested in a number of Anglo-French glosses as early as the thirteenth century, so there is no need to look across the Channel for the source of Piers Plowman's bawdstrot. (23)
None the less, Levy's statement that 'The gravamen of the debate is the contention in the NED that 'no trace of baud appears in French with the meaning "wanton, licentious, personally unchaste"' (p. 84) is correct. Although, relying on the accuracy of Godefroy's glosses, like the compilers of the NED before him, he signally failed to recognize quotations which would have allowed him to disprove this assertion categorically, he widened the scope of the enquiry by providing relevant circumstantial evidence from different times and places in support of his claim that baud and bawd are linked, quoting a derivative baudouin meaning 'the penis' in a thirteenth-century fabliau, 'derivatives of bald expressing the idea of "wanton" in modern French dialects' (p. 85), the use of 'baude to denote la maladie venerienne in the slang used by thieves in Paris' (p. 85), and 'several French glossaries of the fourteenth and thirteenth centuries composed originally in Hebrew characters', in four of which, dating from the thirteenth century, the forms bade and balde carry the sense 'debauchee, qui se conduit mal' (pp. 86-87).
The MED began publication soon after the appearance of Levy's article and so was able to refer to it in its entry 'baude (n.)'. The dictionary accepts the arguments advanced by Levy and derives the English noun from the French adjective 'OF baud(e "gay, licentious, dissolute"', in direct opposition to the above-mentioned dismissal of this derivation by the NED. Moreover, the MED treats the noun 'baud(e, -strote, -strott' as being derived from 'OF baude(s)trot pronuba', without any mention of bawd, ignoring the link between the two terms proposed by the NED. Yet two quotations in the MED itself expressly illustrate the existence of this link in the minds of writers in Middle English, where baude and bawdstrot are found as variant readings of the same text. The dictionary's first quotation under 'baude' from '(c1 390)' reads '[...] And eke be [thorn]i Baude [vrr. baudekyn, bawdstrot] and Bere wel [thorn]in ernde Among Clerkes and knihtes', and the same text is used again under 'baud(e-strote, -strott: Bawdstrot [Vrn: And eke be [thorn]i Baude and Bere wel [thorn]in ernde Among Clerkes and knihtes]'. Another quotation under this same headword reads 'Pronuba: a bawdstrot; Pronubus: a bawde', where again the two terms are unequivocally juxtaposed. This latter quotation might suggest a distinction by gender, the Latin masculine 'Pronubus: a bawde' being the 'procurer' and the feminine 'Pronuba: a bawdstrot' the 'procuress'; but this is contradicted by the quotation which immediately follows it: 'A Baldystott [Monson: Baldestrot]: pronuba, pronubus, [...]'. The result is that, although drawing attention to Levy's article, the MED fails to take account both of the presence of baude and baudestrot as synonyms in the same quotations and, crucially, of Levy's 'cognate terms', so that its entries are as flawed as those of the earlier OED, where the 'cognate terms' were similarly not taken into consideration.
This confusing divergence between the English dictionaries arises from their tacit assumption of the orthographical and semantic independence in the medieval period of the individual word as established in modern dictionaries, an assumption demonstrated by their separate entries for Levy's 'cognate terms'. Although it might be argued that the OED is primarily a dictionary of modern English, its entries are intended to cover the whole range of the language, so that it must be regarded as a historical, not merely a modern, dictionary. In addition to its noun 'Bawd' it has a separate entry for an adjectival form 'Baud(e', which consists of only one quotation from the Romaunt of the Rose with the spelling 'baude', said to be an obsolete form of the noun 'Bawd' 'a[dopted from] OF baud, gay, sprightly, a[dopted from] O[ld] L[ow] G[erman] bald bold, lively'. The MED follows the OED in using this same single quotation from the Romaunt of the Rose in its entry 'baud (adj.)', again separating it from 'baude (n.)', but draws on a different manuscript of the text, which has the spelling 'baud'. So 'baud' (MED) and 'baude' (OED) are adjectives with the same sense in the same text, but 'baude' (MED) is a noun (as in Levy's article) with the same sense as the 'baud' of the OED. Since there is no reference from one entry to another, the reader is not made aware of the links between them and might well attribute semantic significance to their minor orthographical differences. This occurs again in the OED's quotations under its noun 'Bawd'. In a citation from Chaucer the accepted reading is baude, with bawde as a variant, and three other quotations in the same entry have this spelling baude, while yet another one uses the plural bauds. All these forms are nouns, but their spelling is more in keeping with that of the alleged adjectival baud(e than that of the alleged substantival bawd. In similar vein the quotations in the MED under 'baude (n.)' contain the forms bawd, bawde(s), bawdys, baudis, and baudys, again all of them nouns, yet said to be derived from the French adjective baud. Such fluidity of spelling is present all through both Middle English and medieval French, one of their most obvious characteristics, (24) making it unwise to attempt to use orthography as a means of separating noun from adjective, as may be done in a modern language with a fixed spelling system. In terms of syntax the flexibility of movement between adjective and noun was no less common in medieval England than it is today. The other side of this coin is that, in the absence of prescriptive dictionaries, just as a medieval term may be found with multiple spellings, similarly it may carry a wide variety of senses, hence the use of synonyms to clarify the meaning. In this particular instance the clear distinction between 'bold, lively, gay, merry', claimed in the OED's 'Bawd' entry to be the meaning of the Old French baud, and 'wanton, licentious, personally unchaste', the sense given for the English bawd, will be shown to be valid neither in medieval French nor in Middle English.
The difficulties which may arise from the application to a medieval language of linguistic criteria belonging to the modern age are further confirmed by the treatment in the OED and MED of 'bold', the remaining 'cognate term' mentioned in Levy's article that has not yet been dealt with. In its entry 'Baude a[djective]' the OED maintains that the term was adopted into Old French with the meaning 'gay, sprightly' from an original Old Low German bald that had the sense of 'bold, lively', although its meaning in Middle English is given as the significantly different 'Joyous, gay'. Under 'Bold', however, in addition to the Old English and West Saxon bald and beald, the dictionary gives the forms 'bold, bolde, boold(e, boulde, bauld, balde, (bowde), bawlde'. Similarly, under the same heading the MED refers to original Germanic forms bald and beald, with the Middle English forms given as 'bold(e), boold, bald(e), bau(l)d, bowd(e), baelde, beald(e) and beld', the two dictionaries thereby attesting such a profusion of forms as to rule out any possibility of separating bawd, baude, and bold semantically by orthographical means.
After its primary meaning of 'Stout-hearted, courageous [...]', section 4a of the OED's entry for 'Bold' as an adjective gives the meanings 'Audacious, presumptuous, too forward; the opposite of "modest"', and one of the quotations under this heading refers to 'bald wemen', which can only be construed as 'loose, wanton women'. These are incontrovertibly 'bawdy women' or 'bawds', so that bold, which was used by the dictionary along with gay to define bawd, is here occupying the same semantic territory as bawd. This sense is confirmed in the Promptorium Parvulorum of 1440: 'Bolde, presumptuosus, effrons'. In its turn the MED gives two other quotations from the Promptorium Parvulorum under 'presumptuous', one of which links the word with Middle English bolde and malapert, the other with the Latin effrons and malapert. All these terms carry the same senses of 'immodest, too forward, shameless', (25) and verge on the semantic area of 'bawdy'. Moreover, section 4b in the OED entry 'bold' cites the word as a noun, 'An audacious or shameless person', showing that it is not only semantically but also grammatically identical with 'Bawd', and section 1c attests it also as a 'quasi-adv.'. These various senses and grammatical uses of the word occur in no fewer than fifteen different spellings. Moreover, the English bold is claimed by the OED to be derived from 'Com[mon] Teut[onic]: O[ld S[axon], O[ld] H[igh] G[erman] bald [...]', reminiscent of the 'O[ld] L[ow] G[erman] form bald, bold, lively' said to be the etymological root of 'Baud(e', the obsolete form of 'Bawd', thus bringing together the three entries 'Bawd', 'Baude', and 'Bold' that are separated in the dictionary. The meanings for bold given in the MED under its section 4a relating to persons tally with those in the OED, which defines it as 'overconfident, forward, rash; brazen, presumptuous, shameless, impudent'; of actions or gestures 'unrestrained, brazen, shameless'. This evidence would strongly suggest that the presentation of these three terms as independent entities in both historical dictionaries of English, without any reference to the semantic links between them in the medieval period, cannot be justified.
If the new material mentioned at the beginning of this article is brought to bear on the etymology of bawd, it will be seen that Levy was basically correct in his contention that the source of the word is to be sought in French, notwithstanding the NED's dual claim that it is not found in either France or England as an adjective meaning 'wanton, licentious, personally unchaste', or used as a noun in French. This latter claim may be dismissed outright, the substantival baud being printed repeatedly as early as 1859 in the Rolls Series edition of the Liber Albus, the early fifteenth-century administrative records of London: 'femme de fole vye, baude, putere, [...]' (p. 332); 'commune baude ou putere' (p. 337); 'comunes baudes et auxi femmes putaynes' (p. 457); 'comune putour ou baude' (p. 458); 'comune puteresse ou baude' (p. 458). (26) As far as the adjective is concerned, while the new AND now shows that bald/baud etc. occurs in a number of Anglo-French works running from the Chanson de Roland shortly after 1066 to the fifteenth century, (27) the sense of 'lascivious, wanton' that is at issue here is not fully developed in the dictionary entry and requires a more detailed examination.
In Godefroy's extensive entry under BALD its meaning 'outgoing' or 'forward' in both positive and negative senses results in two divergent sets of quotations which resemble those in Old High German, from which the word is said to have been taken into Romance. The Althochdeutsches Worterbuch of E. Karg-Gasterstadt and T. Frings (28) divides its entry for bald, balt, bolt, etc. into two sections, giving examples of its positive meanings 'im guten Sinne' centred on kuhn ('bold, valiant') and then the reprehensible ones 'im ublen Sinne' centred on dreist ('brazen, bare-faced'), keck ('impertinent, cheeky'), and vermessen ('forward, presumptuous'), senses that tally with those found centuries later under 'bold' in the English dictionaries. Godefroy's initial group of quotations under BALD similarly illustrate a socially positive aspect, being glossed as 'joyeux, plein d'allegresse et d'ardeur' (I, 561a), but in the next column a second group is glossed as 'fier, hautain, hardi, vain, presomptueux' (I, 561b), where fier carries the medieval meaning of the Latin ferus 'fierce' etc. rather than the modern 'proud'. These derogatory senses share a common fundamental trait of unpleasant forwardness that contrasts with the positive senses of the previous group. Like Godefroy, in their entry 'baut' Tobler-Lommatzsch (29) (I, 890) confirm the presence of the meaning 'bold' etc. and then give a separate group of citations glossed as 'frech' ('cheeky'). Since one of Godefroy's quotations and two in T-L are Anglo-French, although not labelled as such, (30) when this evidence is added to that of the insular Chanson de Roland it shows that the root senses of the word from its Germanic past were very much alive in French on both sides of the Channel from the early medieval period until its close in the late fifteenth century.
If applied to a child in medieval French, baud would class him as 'forward' or 'pushy', as in the moralizing tract Les Quatre Ages de l' homme of Philippe de Navarre from the mid-thirteenth century: 'qui norrit anfant, ne doit consentir [...] que il soit baux ne abandonez de paroles vilainnes' (T-L, I, 890: 'someone bringing up a child must not allow him to be cheeky or accustomed to use bad language'). When the same 'forward' attitude is found in someone at the adolescent stage in life, the word not unnaturally carries sexual overtones, in conformity with the physical development of the human body, and so provides the meaning of 'lascivious, wanton'. New evidence clearly illustrates this sense for baud in the Prologue to the Anglo-French translation of the gynaecological treatise known as the Trotula dating from the early years of the thirteenth century, (31) where girls are divided into two categories: 'L'une est froide, l'autre est plus chaude, | Ceste est humble, cele est plus baude' (p. 77, ll. 41-42). The contrasting pairings froide/humble and chaude/baude indicate that the first girl is 'frigid, reserved' (froide), while the latter one is 'forward, forthcoming' (chaude), (32) approaching the dividing-line between correct and incorrect behaviour. This line is crossed in other French texts dating from the same period as the Trotula that will be dealt with below.
Again, at about the same time baud is used to gloss the Anglo-Latin effrons, defined in the DMLBS as 'shameless', 'facta est filia Syon quasi meretrix effrons, non habens ruborem' (1237), where the linkage with meretrix leaves no room for doubt as to the erotic sense, and the same meaning is found yet again in one of the vernacular glosses to Alexander of Villa Dei's Doctrinale: 'effrons: gallice baud' (TLL, II, 16). The FEW (IV, 29-33) under '*bald (anfrk.) kuhn; dreist', matches this by glossing baud in an Old French text as 'effronte, insolent' (p. 30a). The widespread currency of forms of the fuller Anglo-French baudestrot used in the same erotic sense as baud at around the same time to gloss the Latin pronuba has been referred to earlier. All these are examples of the 'further semantic evolution from "gay" to the concept of "wanton"' claimed by the OED to be missing from the medieval French baud, and which Levy had sought in vain. (33)
The orthographical and semantic variation of the medieval French baud/ balt/baut etc. is further demonstrated by its membership of Stefenelli's Synonymenreichtum, being frequently accompanied by other adjectives which serve to define its various meanings, ranging from the laudatory through to the condemnatory. For instance, Godefroy's entry under BALD contains examples of 'baude et hardie' and 'bauz et fiers', where hardie (from the Germanic hardjan 'audacious') (34) and fiers ('fierce') confirm the sense of baude/bauz as 'bold, audacious'; the same adjectives applied to someone who has a countenance 'hardie et baulde' give the sense 'arrogant-looking'; similarly, a knight who is 'baut et entalente' in the context of battle is 'valiant and accomplished'; a person 'abille et bault' is 'competent'; 'balz e liez' or 'lie' (from the Latin laetus) and the frequent combination 'Lie et baus et joius' mean 'lively, gay, merry'. On the other hand, in 'baus e desmesures' the sense is clearly the derogatory one of 'presumptuous', as also in 'Ne trop baude ne trop parliere' ('Not too presumptuous or too garrulous'). Godefroy's quotations go beyond this into the unmistakable area of 'wanton, licentious', but this was not understood either by the compilers of the OED or Levy. When a girl who is described as being 'Oysive et baude contre Dieu' ('idle and cheeky towards God') is also said to have 'Cueur baud et fol', this must be read as 'a wanton, lascivious nature' (lit. 'heart') in the light of Godefroy's entry under FOL ('Fole femme, femme de mauvaise vie': IX, 634a) and a similar one in T-L, III, 1999, from a fourteenth-century glossary ('meretrix: fole fame/nonaria: fole fame'), clearly linking fol to 'debauchery'. This meaning is to be seen again in another quotation along the same lines in Godefroy's entry BALD (I, 561b), 'Vilaine garce et fole et baude', where the derogatory feminine noun garce that often carries the sense of 'whore' (e.g. 'une lede poure garce [...] deshoneste de son corps') (35) is accompanied by the equally derogatory adjectives vilaine ('common, vulgar') and fole, which, as shown above, could mean 'wanton' as well as 'mad'. The remaining adjective baude must inevitably be in the same semantic field as the rest of this totally derogatory phrase, whose components need to be treated as a semantic unit and interpreted in the light of the overall context.
Reinforcing these examples of baud meaning 'lascivious, wanton' in Godefroy's entry, T-L (I, 890) quote two relevant continental texts from that period containing two other adjectives which complicate the enquiry. The first comes from a Life of St Julian:
La contesse [...] Lor respont et dist sagement, Qui n'estoit baude ne estoute [...]
The second is from the Roman de la Rose:
Car bien voi ore apertement Par vostre parleure baude Que vous estes fole ribaude.
[I now see clearly by your obscene talk that you are a debauched scoundrel.]
The sense of 'obscene' for baude in this second quotation is guaranteed by 'fole ribaude', the whole semantic atmosphere surrounding the word-family of ribaud in both insular and continental medieval French being one of debauchery and rascality. Godefroy sums up its different senses as follows: 'terme d'injure dont la signification est tres etendue et tres variee, homme de plaisir, debauche, mechant, scelerat, vagabond'. (36) In England, long before the OED's early fifteenth-century quotation for ribaude in its BAUD (E) entry, ribaud is used in thirteenth-century Anglo-French to gloss the Latin scurilis (the related scurra being glossed as 'harlot' and 'lecheor'), (37) ambubagis (glossed also as 'glutuns' twice and 'hulers'), (38) and also lambrus: lechere. In addition, the verb ribauder is used to gloss the Latin propudiare.
However, while the sense of baude in the T-L quotation from the Roman de la Rose is not in any doubt, the first of these two quotations, from a Life of St Julian, associating baud with estout, would appear to provide no similar definitive confirmation of the meaning 'lascivious, wanton', none of the glosses for estout given in the dictionary--'verwegen; stolz, hochmutig, anmassend; toricht, dumm' (III, 1426)--or the senses of the Latin stultus from which it is derived ('foolish, simple, silly, fatuous') having any potentially erotic connotation. Nevertheless, in his long entry estout (III, 631a-632a), after a number of quotations in which the word carries the positive senses of 'bold', 'valiant' or 'hard', 'severe', Godefroy quotes a phrase from Chretien de Troyes which links estout with bald in the negative sense of 'foolhardy' rather than the positive one of 'hardy', another quotation in which estout is linked with fel ('perfidious, wicked') as opposed to 'umils e pius e dous', one where it is contrasted with simple, thus implying a similar lack of probity, and several in which it is linked with fol. The sense of the medieval term is to be determined by these surrounding contexts, not by a dictionary definition. The meaning 'lascivious' for estout is confirmed by an Anglo-French text dating from about 1240 and also by a thirteenth-century Anglo-Latin gloss. One of the Miracles de la Sainte Vierge refers to a sexual relationship between a cleric and a noble lady:
un clerk ke ama mult La dame, si fu jolif & estut. (39)
The erotic sense of the adjective jolif, (40) here used to describe the ostensibly celibate cleric, is attested in Anglo-French as early as the mid-twelfth century in L'Estoire des Engleis by Gaimar, with reference to a king whose life was ruined by his fondness for women:
De femmes ert jolif li reis. [...] Par femmes empeirat sa vie. (41)
This meaning for jolif is further confirmed by the gloss 'lascivus: jolis' and numerous other similar quotations in T-L, IV, 1748, so that 'baude ne estoute' and 'jolif & estut' must be in the same semantic field of 'lascivious, wanton'.
Another medieval French term which etymologically would not appear to lend itself to association with the less salubrious side of life is apert. Godefroy (I, 335c-337b) gives many examples of senses arising from its source in the reputable Latin aperire--'ouvert, decouvert, visible, evident, manifeste'--leading to 'ouvert, franc, en parlant du regard, du visage'--all of them positive features in the same general area of meaning. There follow numerous others carrying the sense of 'bold', of which the following from one of the Brut manuscripts may serve as an example:
Mais Brutus saili des deserz Od .iii. mil cevaliers aperz. (I, 336b)
[But Brutus came out of the desert with 3000 valiant knights.]
However, these are followed by two fourteenth-century quotations in which the word has the derogatory sense of 'indiscret, impudent, effronte' (I, 336b), thus setting it on a par with the similar senses of baud referred to above--'Elle fut bien aperte, car elle me pria deux fois ou trois que je ne demeurasse point a la venir voir' ('She was very forward, for she begged me two or three times not to hesitate to come to visit her'); 'On ne pardonne point a une pucelle qu'elle, a la premiere requeste, face appert octroy, ne descouvre son couraige' ('It is not acceptable that a young woman, at the first time of asking, should give uninhibited consent and reveal her feelings'). In these quotations the basic sense of 'open' has led to 'unrestrained, uninhibited'.
This semantic equivalence of apert and baud in certain cases is further proved by two Anglo-French texts dealing with hunting. A passage on fox-hunting in Henry of Lancaster's fourteenth-century Le Livre de Seyntz Medicines states that the third method of catching the fox is to put down the fox-hole a keen little terrier bold enough to chase the fox up and down around the den and not desist until it is cornered. The Anglo-French text runs as follows: '[...] prendre un petit chien qe soit apert et ose entrer les pertuz [i.e. fox-holes], et ne finera tantqe il eit le renard tant chacee a mont et a val en cele court qu'il soit enanglez'. (42) The context of 'daring' and 'tenacity' shows that apert is being used in the same sense as the baud found in another Anglo-French text, La Venerie de Twiti, (43) the earliest French treatise on hunting. This time the quarry is the deer: 'Et si issi seit que ses chiens sunt baudz, s'il ount pris le cerf a force [...]'. The Middle English translation of this passage runs: 'And yf the houndes be hardy and take the hert by strength [...]' (p. 55, ll. 112-13). In addition, two of the three Anglo-Latin examples of baldus from the early thirteenth century in the DMLBS are also concerned with fox-hunting, 'iiij gupillerettos bonos et baldos' and 'canes wulperettos et baldos'. The forms gupillerettos and wulperettos are a clear indication that they originate in Anglo-French, being derived from the Old French goupil 'fox'. In all these texts the essential quality of the dogs is that they are 'forward' in the aggressive sense of 'bold', 'daring'. The different senses of apert are often confirmed by other adjectives that were seen above to be linked with baud, indicating yet again that such apparent duplication of synonyms was a standard practice designed to ensure that the desired sense would be conveyed. The following examples are just a selection from the many provided by Godefroy (I, 335c-337b): (in the sense of 'lively, bright'), 'Oilz dreiz e apers'; 'le vis apert e cler'; 'elle est apperte e courtoise'; 'honeste, cointe, apperte; biaus et apers'; 'sages et apers'; (in the meaning 'bold') 'preux et apers'; 'Prous, hardi [...] et apert'; 'hardiz et appert'; (war-horses) 'fors et appers'.
When apert and its acephalous form pert passed from medieval French into English, they showed the same kind of positive and negative senses 'bold, valiant' and also 'too forward, pushy' that were seen in the Middle English bawd/baude. In the complimentary senses of a man who is 'bold', 'skilled (in arms)' the word was in frequent use: 'a full pert knight' (MED), 'This Pellus pert, prudest in armys' (MED), 'geffray, that was pert in armes [...]' (OED), '[THORN]er nas non in al [thorn]e Kynges londe | More apert man [thorn]an was he' (MED). When applied to a lady, (a)pert indicated a pleasing character or appearance: 'Demure, appert [...]' (MED); 'She was [...] full apert, avenaunt and comely' (MED); 'the prise quene, pertest of ladies' (OED), etc. On the other hand, Chaucer's description of the Miller's wife in the Reeve's Tale as being 'proud and pert as a pye' (MED under PERT 3b) suggests rather a forward, forthcoming woman, more like the girl in the Trotula who was baude, an implication signalled more explicitly in another quotation found in the same section of the dictionary: 'she was so pert and so light of maners that caused me to be discoraged from her'. The phrase 'light of maners' points towards 'pert' carrying the sense of the modern 'loose' or 'wanton'.
Another English term used by both the OED and MED to define baud and baude is gay, which presents its own particular etymological problems. While both dictionaries agree that it comes from Old French (i.e. continental medieval French), only the MED notes its dual senses in Middle English, corresponding to those seen above for baud etc.: 'Joyous, merry, gay; lighthearted, carefree; also wanton, lewd, lascivious'. The OED gives no hint of this second set of meanings, even in its online additions for 1993, 1997, and June 2003, all of which are taken from late twentieth-century writings. Yet the dictionary's own second quotation, from Chaucer's Miller's Tale, refers to the parish clerk Absolon, who has designs on the old carpenter's young wife and is 'iolif (l. jolif) and gay' (l. 3339), or 'jolif and amorous' (l. 3355). (44) To this could be added the description by the Wife of Bath of her sexually active fifth husband, 'in oure bed he was so fressh and gay' (l. 508), quotations which put the erotic meaning of gay in fourteenth-century England beyond any doubt and add not only gay but also jolif and fresh to the quasi-synonyms linked with baud.
However, this erotic sense for gai is not recorded in French, so it might be mistakenly assumed that Chaucer was coining a new meaning for the Middle English gay. Godefroy (IX, 679a) glosses gai only as 'qui est d'humeur riante', and is followed by T-L (iv, 38-39), for whom it means 'heiter, munter, unbekummert, schon, stattlich, bunt'. The FEW (XVI, 6b-9b) derives the word from a Gothic form gaheis meaning 'ungestum' ('impetuous', 'boisterous'), and repeats Godefroy's gloss: 'qui est d'humeur riante'. The new DEAF, although mentioning Guillaume de Poitiers's use of the term in the late eleventh or early twelfth century, does not venture to add 'wanton' or 'lascivious' to the range of its meanings. However, Guillaume's Vida is unequivocal: 'Lo coms de Peitieus si fo uns [...] del majors trichadors de dompnas [...] e larcs de dompnejar.' Excommunicated more than once, he admits that as a sinner:
Mout ai estat cuendes e gais, Mas nostre Seigner no*l vol mais. (45)
It is difficult to remain within the glosses 'qui est d'humeur riante' or 'heiter, munter' in the face of such evidence. If the contexts surrounding the term are examined, with evidence from Anglo-French added to the continental material, it will be seen that Chaucer was in no way breaking new semantic ground. In all three of T-L's quotations where gai is glossed by 'unbekummert' the gloss is incorrect. In the extract from Wace's Roman de Rou it is said that 'La gent de Danemarche [...] Fiere fu [...], gaie e luxuriuse', where the accompanying luxuriuse ('lustful') suggests a parallel sense of 'wanton' for gaie; in the second quotation, taken from a religious text, the heart is described as
trop vains Et vis * et vilains Et gais et volages ([dagger]) * =vils, i.e.'vile'. ([dagger]) 'flighty'.
--a list of derogatory adjectives which again points towards the sense of 'wanton' for gais; finally, in 'La dame a trop le cuer en folour gai [...]', the presence of the noun folour ('wantonness') confirms the erotic sense of gai. Like T-L, Stefenelli does not go beyond 'frohlich', 'heiter', and 'munter' in his glosses (p. 229), although two of his quotations link gai with amoros and another one with legier (cf. 'les legieres femmes' glossed as 'les femmes de mauvaise vie' in Godefroy, iv, 756a). Anglo-French texts confirm this undeniable sense of 'lecherous'. In a version of the Ancrene Riwle dealing with the temptations of the flesh it is said that 'le gai oil' of a man betrays what his mouth is afraid to say when he seeks to seduce a woman (p. 175, ll. 27-28). A similar reference to a man's eyes is found again in the Manuel des Pechiez: 'Les oils guais [var. gais] ne devez aver [...] pur changer le qeor de femme qe est espuse'. (46) In a translation of an epistle of St Jerome (47) gai is used to gloss the Latin petulans ('wanton, lascivious'); in the Mirur of Robert de Gretham gai is linked with leccherie. (48) In spite of not registering this sense, the FEW mentions a Judaeo-French form gaigaie meaning 'femme de mauvaise vie', along with gayoloez meaning 'vache en chaleur', a verb gaieter glossed as 'desirer le taureau (de la vache)' and finally geitu--'parties sexuelles de la femme'.
The question of gai in medieval French is complicated by the presence of vai. Godefroy and T-L treat gai and vai as being totally independent entities, without giving any cross-references, and the FEW (XIV, 127b) similarly has a separate entry VAGUS glossed as 'umherschweifend, unbestimmt', together with the French glosses 'errant, vagabond; inconstant, frivole' as found in Godefroy. However, the FEW goes further, adding 'Mfr [i.e. Middle French] vague "debauche"', which is consistent with the Classical Latin sense of 'promiscuous' attested for vagus in Horace, Columella, and Martial. (49) Whether the separate etymologies proposed by the FEW for gai and vai are correct or not, the semantic convergence of the two in French is clear, although the glosses in Godefroy and T-L would suggest otherwise. Godefroy's three quotations under [vai.sup.2] (viii, 130b) are all taken from one single thirteenth-century religious writer lamenting the passivity of the clergy in the face of the ravages of the Devil preying on their flocks like a wolf. Each quotation is given a different gloss, but the first one is incorrect. Referring to the Devil, vai is said to mean 'errant, vagabond', but the context contradicts this. The Devil rejoices in the inaction of the clergy, which gives him access to their flocks, so Godefroy's definition of gai--'qui est d'humeur riante'--would be more appropriate. The second refers to the human heart, which is 'vain et vai', glossed as frivole. In the third vai is part of a deliberate play on words used to describe a world that is 'vais [glossed as "trompeur"], vius, vuis et vains', meaning 'frivolous, old, empty, and unsubstantial'. The earliest attestation of vai in T-L is provided by the Anglo-French Les Proverbes de Salemon by Sanson de Nantuil, dating from the mid-twelfth century. (50) Although T-L give only one quotation from this text and gloss the word as 'umherschweifend' ('wandering, roaming', clearly following in the steps of Godefroy's 'errant, vagabond'), with no mention of the context of 'prostitution' which surrounds it, there are three occurrences of what is spelt as vai, vaie, and vais. In all three cases the word is linked with jolif, always in the context of the prostitute--meretrix, meretriz, and putain. (51) The dictionary goes on to record vai for continental Old French in a similar context:
Li pechies * est vius et malveis, Dont l'arme ([dagger]) est souple et li cors vais Por le diable qui l'esfroie. * Hurerei, i.e. 'harlotry, fornication'. ([dagger]) I.e. 'soul'.
The glosses provided for this term--'irrend', 'unsicher', 'unstet'--are all in roughly the same semantic area of 'unstable', 'inconstant', but again no reference is made to the decisively important link with harlotry. This same unsavoury sense attaching to vai is found again in numerous Anglo-French glosses in TLL, which replace its initial 'v' by 'w': 'petulans: .i. luxuriosus, way'; 'petus: way, qui petit plures mulieres' (I, 148); 'petulans: way' (II, 3); 'las[c]ivo: way' (II, 5); 'lacivis: way'; (II, 6); 'lasciva: gallice way' (II, 30). This use of 'w' instead of 'v' is not unusual in medieval French. (52)
Another adjective frequently found accompanying the likes of baud, apert, and gai is jolif, already referred to above. Although there is no mention of any 'lascivious' sense in Godefroy's entry (IV, 653a-c), T-L (IV, 1746-51) provide more than a full column (1748-9) of examples labelled 'mutwillig, leichtfertig (auch in geschlechtlicher Hinsicht)', and including Anglo-French examples from the twelfth century onwards, to which may be added the following from Les Proverbes de Salemon:
Sunt alquant large doneor A lecheors e a jolis. (l. 10963)
This material shows that the derivation of the word from Old (i.e. continental) French and Middle English as given in the English dictionaries needs to be rectified. Moreover, both dictionaries fail to recognize the meaning 'lascivious' in a number of their quotations. For instance, although the OED has a section (III.7) entitled 'Amorous; amatory; wanton, lustful', this meaning is also present but unnoticed in its very first section (I.1) 'Of gay and cheerful disposition or character; bright, lively; joyous, gladsome; mirthful', where a quotation from Chaucer's translation of the Roman de la Rose reads:
Ne she was gay, fresh ne Iolyf, But seemed to be ful ententyf To gode werkes.
The original French of this quotation from Guillaume de Lorris's Roman de la Rose is cited in T-L, but again in the wrong section, under 'heiter, frohlich, lustig'. The correct sense 'lascivious' is made clear by the context, in which the allegorical figure Hypocrisy
ne fu gaie ne jolive, Ainz fu par semblant ententive Dou tot a bones uevres faire; E si avoit vestu la haire.
The oppositions leave no doubt as to the meaning. Hypocrisy pretends not to be lascivious ('gaie ne jolive') but dedicated to doing good works, and has even donned a hair shirt. The MED similarly puts an unambiguous example of 'lascivious' under its '1.a. Merry, cheerful, glad, joyful, happy':
Bot thou in al thi lust jolif, The bodily delices soghtest.
The linking of jolif with bodily delights in what is a condemnatory statement must indicate the meaning 'lascivious' rather than 'merry'. Once again, the true sense of the adjective is determined by its surrounding context.
In addition to the four terms examined above, two others are to be found alongside them which are not usually associated with lechery in either the French or English dictionaries. The etymologies of cointe/quaint and frais/ fresh would suggest positive rather than negative senses, so it is only to be expected that the glosses for cointe given in Godefroy (II, 173c-174b) largely reflect its origin in the Latin cognitus--'habile, sage, prudent; brave, vaillant; joli, gentil, agreable, aimable'. Only one quotation carries the derogatory sense of 'malicieux' (i.e. 'clever, skilled' in an underhand way). T-L (II, 542-43) add to this sense ('schlau') the mildly condemnatory 'hochfahrend', 'stolz', and 'dreist', but without any trace of lasciviousness. Nor does this sense appear in Anglo-French (AND2 478-79). However, as was seen above, in a context of repentance for worldly sins the licentious troubadour Guillaume de Poitiers admits to having been 'cuendes e gais', so the possibility of a less savoury sense for the word cannot be excluded. In Middle English queinte is found as a noun in what the MED calls a 'punning sense' (under QUEINT(e) (n.)).The dictionary shows that Chaucer was not the first to use the noun in a sexual sense in English, but it occurs no fewer than four times in The Canterbury Tales, three of them in the Wife of Bath's Tale and the most explicit one in the Miller's Tale, where it is set in deliberate conjunction with the adjectival form:
[...] this hende Nicholas Fil with this yonge wyf to rage (53) and pleye [...] As clerkes been ful subtil and ful queynte, And pryuely he caughte hire by the queynte. (ll. 3272-76)
The other member of the group--fresh--was quoted above from Chaucer's translation of the Roman de la Rose:
Ne she was gay, fresh ne Iolyf, But seemed to be ful ententyf To gode werkes,
where fresh cannot be separated from its surrounding synonyms. However, the French original ('ne fu gaie ne jolive') did not have this third adjective, nor is it found elsewhere in French in this 'lascivious, wanton' sense. Yet Chaucer gives it an undeniably sexual application on a further two occasions in the Wife of Bath's Tale ('In oure bed he was so fressh and gay', l. 508) and ('Housbondes meek, yong and fressh abedde', l. 1259) and also in the Shipman's Tale ('Buxom unto his wyf and fressh abedde', l. 177). However, no hint of this sense is given under the MED's 'fresh 7 (a)', although all these quotations are present. The glosses provided by the dictionary are all positive. The OED's earliest quotation under '15. [Perhaps influenced by G[erman] frech saucy, impudent.] Forward, impertinent, free in behaviour. orig[inally] U.S.' is as late as 1848.
The life of Caxton (c. 1422-91) coincided with the final stages of the absorption of Anglo-French into Middle English which had been taking place since the eleventh century and the adoption of that Middle English as the official language of record used by government at national and local level as well as by the commercial classes. From this time onwards the quasi-synonyms discussed above would evolve independently on both sides of the Channel, some disappearing and those remaining becoming less polysemous. Only the derogatory senses of the medieval French baud are retained in the English bawd and bawdy, the positive ones now being covered by bold. Conversely, the positive sense of the English pert is all that is left of the pair (a)pert/pert. In English gay has taken on a homosexual meaning which has been exported back into France. Cointe has disappeared from French and is barely recognizable in the semantically very different English quaint. Joli has lost any dubious connotations in French and is used only in positive senses, especially of women, while jolly is applied mainly to jovial English males, although the numerous inns called 'The Jolly Sailor' may possibly hint at the survival of an earlier sense.
The semantic evolution of the single set of quasi-synomyms studied above is not to be regarded as an isolated phenomenon. For example, in a quite different semantic area alien, estrange, and forain, all derived from Latin terms whose core meanings were connected with the idea of 'exclusion', were largely synonymous in both their French and English forms, being found together as adjectives or nouns, particularly in official documents, (54) a synonymity that no longer exists in either language. Whatever their origin, visitors to the Houses of Parliament who go up into the Strangers' Gallery today are all equally 'strangers', not 'foreigners' or 'aliens', because they do not belong to the closed circle of parliamentarians: they are 'outsiders' in the sense of the Latin extraneus and are in the gallery on sufferance, not as of right. Similarly, the august denizens of the British Foreign Office who deal with 'foreigners' may have little to do with the 'strangers' who visit the Strangers' Gallery or those other strangers who might live next door to them, and even less in common with 'aliens', who are now predominantly creatures from outer space. Nor, despite the etymological link suggested by their title, do they fraternize with the humble 'marchand forain' who peddles his wares at the 'fete foraine' in French villages. The medieval alien, in common use in continental and insular French as both adjective and noun in the company of estrange and forain, has disappeared from the modern French lexis, leaving a number of derivatives, all of which are associated either with legal alienation of property or with madness, while the 'alien' of contemporary English is now an extraterrestre in France.
The wealth of new lexicological material that will increasingly come into the public domain from the current researches into the past of both French and English will need to be incorporated into future dictionaries with due regard for the many differences between medieval and modern society, not the least of which is the absence or presence of the dictionary.
(1) Walter von Wartburg and others, Franzosisches Etymologisches Worterbuch, (Bonn and Basel: Zbinden, 1925-); hereafter FEW.
(2) Etymologien: Untersuchungen zu FEW 21-23, Zeitschrift fur romanische Philologie, Beiheft 288 (Tubingen:Niemeyer, 1988).
(3) Ed. by Paul Imbs, 16 vols (Paris: CNRS, 1971-94), hereafter TLF. Chauveau's article is entitled 'Remarques sur la derivation dans les notices historiques et etymologiques du Tresor de la langue francaise', in Actes du Seminaire demethodologieen etymologie et histoire du lexique, ed. by Eva Buchi (Nancy:/ATILF, annee universitaire 2005/06), ATILF (CNRS/Universite Nancy 2/UHP)
(4) Frederic Duval, 'Pour la revision des mots de civilisation romaine du Tresor de la langue francaise (informatise)'
(5) Ed. by K. Baldinger and F. Mohren (Paris: Klinksieck, 1971-), hereafter DEAF.
(6) Ed. by RobertMartin (CNRS, 1998-), hereafter DMF.
(7) Ed. by Hans Kurath and others (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1956-2001), Hereafter MED.
(8) Ed. by R. E. Latham, D. F. Howlett, and others (Oxford: Oxford University Press for the British Academy, 1975-), hereafter DMLBS.
(9) Ed. by R. E. Latham (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1963).
(10) Ed. by W. Rothwell and others, 7 fascs (London: MHRA, 1977-92), hereafter AND.
(11) A-C, D-E, 2 vols (London: MHRA, 2005), and A-F online
(12) 3 vols (Cambridge: Brewer, 1991), hereafter TLL. See W. Rothwell, 'From Latin to Anglo-French and Middle English: The Role of the Multilingual Gloss', MLR, 88 (1993), 581-99.
(13) The word 'standard' itself is a case in point. See Frankwalt Mohren, 'Englisch "standard": Ein Beispiel franzosisch-englischer Wort- und Sachgeschichte', in Englisch und Romanisch, Romanistisches Kolloquium, 18 (Tubingen: Narr, 2005), 53-75, and his 'Auch Worter sind Geschichte', in Ruperto Carola, Forschungsmagazin der Universitat Heidelberg, 2004.2, 30-36.
(14) A short online article 'Dictionaries for the Study of Medieval Latin' emanating from the University of Michigan
(15) See W. Rothwell, 'The Semantic Field of Old French Astele: The Pitfalls of the Medieval Gloss in Lexicography', French Language Studies, 12 (2002), 203-20.
(16) E.g. 'le manier [='manor'] [...] lour est done [...] en pure e perpetuele aumone' (Rotuli Parliamentorum, vols I-IV (London: Record Commission, 1767-77), I, 155a); 'come W. de la M. eust done et graunte [...]' (ibid., I, 156a); 'vous mandoms que meismes les lettres veues & examines entre vous, en eez consail & avisement' (ibid., I, 208a); etc. Many examples of this practice in Middle English are given by Laura Wright in her book Sources of London English (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996), e.g. '[...] so narow, strait, jeoperdous and perilous' (p. 53), 'at theire propre costes & expenses purpose and entende to enlarge [...]' (ibid.). See also pp. 73, 176, and 177.
(17) (Graz, Vienna, and Cologne: Bohlau in Kommission, 1967). For details of his predecessors, see his Sekundarliteratur, pp. 6-12.
(18) E.g. 'Die Wortvielfalt kann in ihrer Gesamtheit weder als expressiver Nuancierungsreichtum noch als formaler embarras de richesse gesehen werden' (p. 313); 'diese expressiven Moglichkeiten werden aber nicht konsequent ausgeschopft' (p. 316).
(19) See W. Rothwell, 'The Legacy of Anglo-French: Faux amis in French and English', Zeitschrift fur romanische Philologie, 109 (1993), 16-46.
(20) Philological Quarterly, 32 (1953), 83-89. The cognate terms were 'baude', 'bawdstrot', 'bronstrops', and 'bold'.
(21) 2nd edn (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989), revision in progress; hereafter OED.
(22) F. Godefroy, Dictionnaire de l'ancienne langue francaise, 10 vols (Paris: Bouillon, 1880-1901).
(23) 'lena (stupri consiliatrix): baudistrot' (TLL, I, 141). See also TLL, I, 150, 157; II, 11, 19, 25, 105.
(24) For example, the OED lists no fewer than 39 different spellings for 'cointe', while the MED has 28. Godefroy has 18 spellings for er raument and AND2 gives 25 forms of the infinitive coillir.
(25) For effrons in Classical Latin see Lewis and Short, A Latin Dictionary (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1879; rev. edn 1933), and in Anglo-Latin the DMLBS, one of whose quotations links the word with meretrix.
(26) References are to Munimenta Guildhallae Londoniensis, ed. by H. T. Riley, 4 vols (London: Rolls Series, 1859-62), vol. 1; see also pp. 259 and 592.
(27) 'De guereier fu ferme bald, var. [...] estoit mult baud' (L'Estoire des Engleis, ed. by Alexander Bell, ANTS, 14-16 (London: ANTS, 1960), MS (H), l. 2126 (1139)); 'l'oisel ki volet halt | U il est plus seurs e bald' (Les Proverbes de Salemon, by Sanson de Nantuil, ed. by C. Claire Isoz, ANTS, 44, 45, 50, 3 vols (London: ANTS, 1988-94), ll. 4067-68 (c. 1150)); 'Nen avoit dute de nul hume; | Kar sun frere fu riche e baud' (Adgars Marienlegenden, ed. by C. Neuhaus, Altfranzosische Bibliothek, 9 (Heilbronn, 1886), III. 40-41 (end 12th cent.)); (St Francis) 'A freres dist, joyus e baud' (La Vye de Seynt Fraunceys, ed. by D. W. Russell, ANTS, 59-60 (London: ANTS, 2000), l. 2301); 'joius e le e balt' (Thomas of Britain, Tristan, ed. by Stewart Gregory, Garland Library of Medieval Literature, 78 (New York and London, 1991), l. 2972 (second half 12th cent.)); 'Horn se fet baud e led: sa bataille ad vencue' ('The Romance of Horn' by Thomas, ed. by M. K. Pope, ANTS, 9-10, 2 vols (Oxford: Blackwell, 1955), l. 1709 (c. 1170)); 'Vindrent il tuit bald e seur' (La Deuxieme Collection anglo-normande des Miracles de la Sainte Vierge, ed. by H. Kjellman (Paris: Champion, and Uppsala: Akademiska bokhandeln, 1922), l. 3122 (late 12th cent.)); 'Mult quidez estre sutil e beaut [var. baud], De un sen kemult poi vus vaut' (Le Petit Plet, ed. by B. S. Merrilees, ANTS, 20 (London: ANTS, 1970), ll. 249-50 (early 13th cent.)).
(28) (Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 1968).
(29) Adolf Tobler and Ehrhard Lommatzsch, Altfranzosisches Worterbuch, 11 vols (Wiesbaden: Steiner, 1955-2002), hereafter T-L.
(30) That from the Statutes of Henry VI in Godefroy and those from La Vie de Saint Thomas le martyr and Le Sermon en Vers respectively.
(31) Tony Hunt, Anglo-Norman Medicine, 2 vols (Cambridge: Brewer, 1997), II, 68-107.
(32) The use of chaude here is not dissimilar to the modern phrase 'on heat' used of animals, the sense en rut being attested by the FEW in the Savoie region (XV, 30a).
(33) At p. 85 n. 9 of his article he writes concerning two contradictory hypotheses advanced by Sainean to explain a particular use of baude: 'Both explanations will become untenable once baud can be located with the meaning "lascif" in a mediaeval text.'
(34) FEW, XVI, 155-56.
(35) Le Livre de Seyntz Medicines, ed. by E. J. Arnould, ANTS, 2 (Oxford: Blackwell, 1940), p. 179, l. 25.
(36) See Godefroy, VII, 183a-184b, and T-L, VIII, 1253-57, under RIBAUT.
(37) TLL, I, 147; II, 169; and I, 380 respectively.
(38) TLL, II, 66 and 110. Both glutun and huler are highly pejorative: glotun 'Oft als Schmahwort gebraucht: Schurke' (T-L, IV, 390); holeor: Hurer (i.e. 'whoremonger, debauchee' cf. English 'whore') (T-L, IV, 1130).
(39) La Deuxieme Collection anglo-normande des Miracles de la Sainte Vierge, ed. by H. Kjellman, p. 11, ll. 7-8.
(40) This is the semantically much-altered jolly of modern English.
(41) Ed. by Bell, ll. 3592-94.
(42) Ed. by Arnould, p. 104, ll. 29-31.
(43) La Venerie de Twiti: le plus ancien traite de chasse ecrit en Angleterre. La version anglaise du meme traite et Craft of venery, ed. by Gunnar Tilander, Cynegetica, 2 (Uppsala: Almqvist & Wiksell, 1956), p. 38, ll. 155-56.
(44) The Riverside Chaucer, 3rd edn, ed. by Larry D. Benson (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987).
(45) Anthology of the Provencal Troubadours, ed. by Raymond T. Hill and Thomas G. Bergin (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1941), pp. 1 and 10 respectively.
(46) Ed. by F. J. Furnivall (London: Roxburghe Club, 1862), ll. 3137 ff.
(47) 'L'Epistle de Jerom a Paulinum le chapellain de touz les livres de devine estoire', BL MS Royal 1. c. iii, fols 1ra-5ra (fol. 4vb).
(48) 'E cum plus aime leccherie | E plus ert guai en sa folie' (fol. 155va, ll. 1-2), ed. by Linda Marshall, 'A Lexicographical Study of Robert de Gretham's Miroir' (MA thesis, University of Manchester, 1971).
(49) Lewis and Short, A Latin Dictionary.
(50) Ed. by Isoz (above, n. 27).
(51) 'Lor eires sunt nent trachable, Vai e jolif e nent estable' (ll. 3567-68) ('The prostitutes' ways ["paths" used figuratively] are untraceable [i.e. their doings are unregulated], provocative, and lascivious and unpredictable'); 'Vais e jolis est lor errer' (l. 3645), a repeat of ll. 3567-68; in l. 4751 the prostitute is 'Vaie e jolive'.
(52) For example, under GANT (IX, 682b) Godefroy has the forms guant, guent, gand, vuans, and wans.
(53) A footnote glosses 'rage' by 'sport (sexually)'.
(54) E.g. in the Rotuli Parliamentorum: 'null estrange merchant alien' (III, 308a); 'qe chescun nief ou vesselle alien, et estraunge alien' (III, 663a); 'qe chescun forein & alien' (III, 492a), etc.…
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Publication information: Article title: Synonymity and Semantic Variability in Medieval French and Middle English. Contributors: Rothwell, W. - Author. Journal title: The Modern Language Review. Volume: 102. Issue: 2 Publication date: April 2007. Page number: 363+. © 2008 Modern Humanities Research Association. COPYRIGHT 2007 Gale Group.
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