View Full Version : I need a word

Marian Perera
05-09-2013, 07:00 PM
Hi guys,

I have a character who's in charge of security for a group (this is all in medieval times, so it can't get too modern). She collects information avidly, and writes it all down, because you never know if an inconsequential detail might be important later on. What would be a good term for the collection of notes she keeps?

E.g. "She wrote up yesterday's events in her _____" ? Any suggestions?

05-09-2013, 07:01 PM
Doomsday book.

05-09-2013, 07:05 PM
Her 'book'.

That's what they were called.

"Manuscript" might also do. "Record" is good too. Also "Letters" Think about "Chronicle".

"Diary" and "Journal" have latin routes - so you might could get away with them, depending on how accurate you want to be.

Margery Kempe c1373-1440
English religious mystic whose autobiography is one of the earliest in English literature.
The daughter of a mayor of Lynn, she married John Kempe in 1393 and bore 14 children before beginning a series of pilgrimages to Jerusalem, Rome, Germany, and Spain in 1414. Her descriptions of her travels and her religious ecstasies, which often included “boystous” crying spells, are narrated in an unaffected prose style that uses such contemporary expressions as “thou wost no more what thou blaberest than Balamis asse.” Apparently illiterate, she dictated her Book of Margery Kempe to two clerks from about 1432 to about 1436. It was first published (modernized) in 1936 and in Middle English in 1940.
The Paston Letters
The family of Paston takes its name from a Norfolk village about twenty miles north of Norwich, and the first member of the family about whom anything is known was living in this village early in the 15th century. This was one Clement Paston (d. 1419), a peasant, holding and cultivating about one hundred acres of land, who gave an excellent education to his son William, and enabled him to study law. Making good use of his opportunities, William Paston (1378-1444), who is described as "a right cunning man in the law," attained an influential position in his profession, and in 1429 became a Justice of the Common Pleas. He bought a good deal of land in Norfolk, including some in Paston, and improved his position by his marriage with Agnes (d. 1479), daughter and heiress of Sir Edmund Berry of Harlingbury, Hertfordshire. Consequently when he died he left a large and valuable inheritance to John Paston (1421-1466), the eldest of his five sons, who was already married to Margaret (d. 1484), daughter of John Mauteby of Mauteby.

The word diary comes from the Latin diarium ("daily allowance," from dies "day").[1] The word journal comes from the same root (diurnus "of the day") through Old French jurnal (modern French for day is jour).[2]
The earliest use of the word to mean a book in which a daily record was written was in Ben Jonson's comedy Volpone in 1605.[3]

Drachen Jager
05-09-2013, 08:12 PM
My vote would be for "Log".

The first known printing of the word for the use you're intending was in 1823. It was probably in use far earlier, so I think it's pretty safe to say you could get away with it.

05-09-2013, 08:14 PM
I would go for Record or Chronicle. Diary and Journal would strike me as too modern. Chronicle just reads more mediaeval. Unless of course it has a specific meaning. Medi will know.

Marian Perera
05-09-2013, 08:21 PM
"Record of Events" sounds great. Will go with that.

I like "diary" and "journal", but they sound too personal. The Record of Events is something my character should be able to present without bias or emotion in a court of law, if that's ever called for. "Log" would work too, but I used it for a ship's captain in a previous manuscript.

Thanks for your help, everyone! Especially WriteKnight for the background info. Very informative.

05-09-2013, 08:32 PM
Record of Events is good. "Chronicle" is a good word to use in exchange, something to give you flexibility.

chron•i•cle (ˈkrɒn ɪ kəl)

n., v. -cled, -cling. n.
1. a chronological record of events; a history.
2. to record in or as if in a chronicle.
[1275–1325; Middle English cronicle < Anglo-French, alter. of Old French cronique < Medieval Latin cronica (feminine singular), Latin chronica (neuter pl.) < Greek chroniká annals, chronology; see chronic]
chron′i•cler, n.

" I meant to chronicle the events of the day..."

05-09-2013, 08:39 PM
Thanks Writeknight. I was wondering if it only referred to, say, pilgrimages or something but it doesn't.

05-09-2013, 08:49 PM
Chronicle and you can look it up in the Encyclopedia of Medieval Chronicle: http://referenceworks.brillonline.com/browse/encyclopedia-of-the-medieval-chronicle

I think you would name the notes after her or after the town they are being written in. Sometimes after the lord who she is working for: The "QoS Chronicle."

Cathy C
05-09-2013, 08:49 PM
How about annal or recountal? Both were used by scribes at the time. :)