Colonial Sense logo
Home
     
Login:
Member:      Password:
Remember Me Lost your info?    
Colonial Sense NavBar Start


   Featured Articles

   Community
     10 Questions
     Event Calendar
     Downloads
     Business District
     Online Resources
     Marketplace
     Town Square Forums
     Broadsheet Archive
     Ye Olde CS Shoppe

   Society-Lifestyle
     Holidays
     Signs of the Times
     Food and Farming
     Recipes
     Colonial Dictionary
     Colonial Quotes
     Kolonial Kids

   Antiques
     Furniture
     Other Antiques
     Auction Results

   How-To Guides
     Crafts
     Interior
     Outdoors
     Restoration

   Architecture
     Houses
     Towns

   Regional History
     Timeline
     Trivia Challenge
     Journals
     Oddities

   Colonial Sense
     FAQ
     Contact Us
     Advertising
     Member Info
     About Us

Colonial Sense NavBar End

Colonial Dictionary

 


This section is an ongoing project dedicated to the words of the Colonial Era. Granted, many of these words would not be used at the local tavern, but may well have been employed in more learned circles. In addition to words used then that are not used now, we also include words that may still be around whose meanings have changed since early America.

Whenever possible, we try to provide a full etymological background of each entry, as well as examples of usage from then-current literature.

Though we use a wide variety of resources for this project, we'd be remiss not to mention Dictionary of Early English by Joseph T. Shipley (Introduction by Mark Van Doren), which you can find in its entirety HERE, readable online, or as a downloadable .pdf file...

Please Contact Us if you have any additions (that we haven't added yet -- this is a work-in-progress) or corrections to these entries...we hope you find this Colonial Dictionary interesting and useful.

-- The Colonial Sense Team


Search Text:    Search Where:  Words Only   Words & Definitions


Browse
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ

1 of 1400 Entries
Displaying Entries 1 to 1
   


WordDefinition
MerkinThis is a variant of malkin, a diminutive of Maud. Malkin became a general term of contempt, meaning a slattern; then it was applied to a mop or (in the navy) to a sponge on a stick, for cleaning cannon; also to a scarecrow or grotesque effigy. It was also used as a name for a witch (in Shakespeare's MACBETH, 1605, Grimalkin, gray malkin), hence, for a cat. In the form merkin, a pussy, it was used for the female "pudendum" and also (15th to 18th century) for a wig or counterfeit hair for a woman's privy parts. Just as the small-pox (so common that, in the 18th century, servants were sought that had already recovered from the disease, hence could not contract it and infect their masters) disfigured the face, so the great pox often left traces farther down, which a merkin might mercifully mask.

1 of 1400 Entries
Displaying Entries 1 to 1
   

[Colonial Ads -- click for more info]Colonial Sense Ad

Amazon Music Start
Colonial Music



Find this
and other items in
Ye Olde CS Shoppe


Colonial Sense NavBar End

Colonial Sense Ad

Go2Top
Go to Top

Colonial Sense is an advocate for global consumer privacy rights, protection and security.
All material on this website © copyright 2009-14 by Colonial Sense, except where otherwise indicated.
ref:T5-S25-P40-C-M