In the first chapter of Scott’s “Ivanhoe” (1819), Wamba the jester informs his fellow Saxon the swineherd Gurth, and with him the readers, about the clear-cut name differences between living and cooked animals in Anglo-Norman England, something which will become an English trait from the Middle Ages onwards, e.g.: swine and sow vs pork, ox vs beef, calf vs veal.
The Durham recipes also take us to that period, but in a Latin text. Set down ca. 1160 to 1180, at least eight years after the wedding of Henry II Plantagenet to Eleanor of Aquitaine (18-5-1152) and purposed to be the oldest extant list of its kind in Medieval Western Europe, they consist, according to the University of Durham web-page, of
(…) sauces to accompany mutton, chicken, duck, pork and beef. (…) The sauces typically feature parsley, sage, pepper, garlic, mustard and coriander (…). According to the text, one of the recipes comes from the Poitou region (…). This proves international travellers to Durham brought recipes with them. https://www.dur.ac.uk/news/newsitem/?itemno=17380.
This acceptance of food and cooking-related loans is not limited to foodstuffs. The nouns kitchen (ca. 1000, WS standard, “Anglo Saxon and Old English Vocabulary”), cook (ca. 1000, WS standard, “Anglo-Saxon Psalter”) and, most obviously, cuisine (1786, More, “Florio”) are Latin and French loans.1 As a matter of fact, the kitchen as a separate part of the house (the culina in a Roman domus) was unknown in Northern Europe; the long-house, the hall (OE heall = OS and OHG halla or ON hǫll, hall-) where humans and animals huddle together, has a mere hole in the middle of the roof and eating and sleeping take place around the central fire within a shallow pit in the ground …the closest technological approach of the Germania to the Roman hypocaustum!
If we consider the Flavian period, the end of the first century AD, with the stabilization both of the Empire itself and of the limes against the Germanic tribes and compare the meals described in the Coena Trimalchionis of Petronius’ “Satyricon” (arguably, end of the 1st century AD) and Tacitus’ “De origine et situ germanorum” (ca. 98 AD), the contrast between the sheer luxuriousness of the dishes presented to Trimalchio’s guests and the paucity and austerity of the trans-Rhenanian and trans-Danubian eating habits beggars all description. Since the presentation of the Coena would require too much space, let us recall what Tacitus has to say about the Germanics:2
To drink night and day without interruption is not considered shameful. Quarrels, such as [habitual] among drunks, are seldom settled by insults, more frequently with deaths and wounds. (…) They drink a liquid made from barley or wheat, which, once fermented, resembles wine; those near the river banks [of the Rhine or Danube] also buy wine. Their eating is simple: wild fruit, recently fresh[ly killed] venison or curdled milk; with no trappings or fineries they sate their hunger. On the contrary, there is no temperance when it comes to quenching their thirst. (Our translation)
Scarcely any mention is made of actual food in Anglo-Saxon literature. Indeed, in his presentation of Anglo-Saxon culture, Mitchell’s (1995 : 221) references to food, not even to cooking, merit one single paragraph of sixteen odd lines, in which he basically lists the names found in the “Colloquy”.
Beowulf” (composed 975 to 1025) and Germanic poetry in general is brimming with drinking references; the nobility showing off their wealth and their generosity by presenting drinking cups and goblets to chosen followers and/or fellow carousers in the hall.3 In the various banquets found in “Beowulf”, the only subjects the scop sings about are: drinking (verses 480, 485, 1016), specifically beer drinking (verses 495, 531, 2021), and killing someone while drunk (verse 2179);4 nothing is said about food and the only edible animal mentioned is a deer that is fleeing the hunting dogs (verse 1369).
In the eWS (late 9th century) translation of Bede’s “Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum”, we learn that the late 7th century, would-be first Old English religious alliterative poet, Caedmon, leaves the gebeorscipe,5 the drinking party (conuiuio in Bede’s original), because he cannot sing to the accompaniment of the harp; no mention is made about what they were eating.
As we already said, in the “Colloquy”, the teacher interviews his would-be pupils as part of a didactic role-play. Three of them represent primary-sector workers: the hunter (hunta), the fisher (fiscere) and the fowler (fugelere). As expected, the list of the animals mentioned is almost purely native West-Germanic: birds (fugelas) and hawk (havoc) by the ‘fowler’; harts (heortas), boar (bár), dogs (hundas), horses (hors), roes (rann), she-roes (rǽgan) and hares (haran) by the ‘hunter’; eels (ealas), pike(s) (hacod), minnows (mynas), eelpouts (ælepútan), trout(s) (sceotan), lampreys (lampredan), herring(s) (herincgas), salmon (leax), dolphins (mere-swýn, literally “sea-swine”), sturgeons (styrian), oysters (ostran), crabs (crabban), mussels (muslan), periwinkles (winewinclan), cockles (sǽcoccas), plaice (fagc), flukes (flóc) and lobsters (lopystran) by the ‘fisherman’. All in all: 24 edible animals, 18 of which are fish or sea-food, one refers to birds in general and four to land mammals. The four Latin loans are mentioned by the ‘fisherman’; the sea mammal whale (hwal) is also named, but not as prey, since he thinks it too dangerous to hunt.
Additionally, the teacher interviews three secondary-sector craftsmen: a ‘salter’ (sealtere) —who underlines the fact that salt was highly recommendable for the preservation of food (cf. Tannahill 1979 : 184 ff.)— a ‘baker’ (bæcere) and a ‘cook’ (cocc) and asks each one to tell the rest “how thy skill benefits us” (hwæt ús fremaþ cræft þín). The ‘cook’ declares that his craft would allow them to eat vegetables (wyrte) which are not green (gréne), meat (flǽscmettas) that is not raw (hréawe)6 and rich (literally “fat”) soups (fǽtt broþ). Interestingly enough, the teacher rejects him, since a monastery is self-sufficient and, as he says, can roast or fry (brǽdan)7 its food with no help from the outside.
As far as the monastic kitchen is concerned, we learn from one of the novices that the staple diet is obviously non-carnivorous (so the Benedictine “Regula”: XXXIX, 11) and consists of vegetables (wyrta) eggs (ǽigra), fish (fisc), beans (béana), cheese (cyse) and butter (butera); the last two being CGmc OE Latin loans. This said, the “Regula” (XXXVI, 9 and XXXIX, 11) allowed minors and sick monks to eat meat and, while Ælfric’s novices can drink ale whenever available, monks (“Regula”: XL) were also allowed to drink wine, especially if they suffered from any physical weakness.
When it comes to medieval recipes, one of the principal references is Tirel’s “Le Viandier”, composed between 1340 and 1390. Within the Iberian Peninsula, Jewish and Arabic cooking influenced the “Llibre de Sent Sovi” already, published in 1324; but, in the main, Western European recipe collections begin to be written in the vernacular in the second half of the 14th century. Around 1350, we have the “Buch von guter Spise” in Germany and “Le Grand Cuisinier de toute Cuisine” in France. England sees “Ancient Cookery” in 1381. Finally, “Le ménagier de Paris” (1392-1394) includes many of the “Viandier” recipes, and so does the first of the two books in our corpus (Paczensky & Dünnebier 1999 : 70 f.).
The two books of our corpus pivot around the first and last of the Lancastrian kings: Henry IV and Henry VI. Team-drafted by King Richard II’s master-cooks in 1390, the year of his deposition by Henry Bolingbroke, in the closing decade of half a century marked by the Black Plague and the demographic, social and religious crises it triggered off, the “Forme of Cury” (henceforth F) brings us 196 recipes. For our purposes it is ground breaking, since it documents 13 of the first citations of the (medieval) French cookery loans in English. We have used Constance B. Hieatt and Sharon Butler’s EETS edition, published by the Oxford University Press in 1985.
Dated ca. 1450, in the middle of the turmoils that England suffered under the weak-willed and mentally unstable Henry VI and a few years before the onset of the Wars of the Roses, the Harleian MS 4016 (henceforth H) presents some 77 recipes [with collations from the Douce MS 55 (ca. 1450) and the Harleian 279 (ca. 1430), by the editor] which may complement or restate recipes already given in the latter. It first documents two of the Gallicisms and one of the Germanic phrasal lexemes in our corpus. We have used Thomas Austin’s EETS edition of 1888, reprinted in Millwood (N.Y.) by Kraus Reprints in 1988.8
I. Soups, salads and cold dishes
salat (F, pg. 115), roo broth (F, pg. 101), sauce verte (H, pg. 77), ffelettes in galentyne (H, pg. 82).
II. Fish and sea-food
gele of fyssh (F, pg. 121), cawdel of muskels (F, pg. 126 f.), stokffissh in sauce (H, pg. 100), pike boyled (H, pg. 101).
III. Meats: fowl and poultry, venison and livestock
chykens in hocchee (F, pg. 105), for to boile fesauntes, partruches, capons and curlewes (F, pg. 106), hare in wortes (H, pg. 69), pigge or chikenn in sauge (H, pg. 72).
blank maunger (F, pg. 106), crème of almaundes (F, pg. 117), custarde (H, pg. 74), payn purdeuz (H, pg. 83).
Some malevolent Continentals are of the opinion that the English love for sauces, condiments and spices is the natural consequence of their utterly insipid cooking. If so, the late Middle Ages must have been a case-study of such maladroitness10; though, to be fair, this craze for spices was not peculiar to Britain: the Island alone could not make the wealth of Venice. Out of 57 plant and vegetable lexemes, 32 are spices, condiments and seasonings, with two WGmc lexemes [garlic (garlec) and salt (salt)); 6 OE Latinisms (beet (betus), fennel (fenel), hyssop (isoppe), mint (mintes, myntes), parsley (parcel, parsel, parsle, persel, parcelly), pepper (peper) and savory (sauerey) and 25 Gallicisms (anise (aneys), avens (auens), betony (betany, betayn), borage (borage), cinnamon (canel(l)), (spring) onions (chibolles), cloves (clo(u/w)es), flower of cinnamon (flour of canel), ginger (g(i/y)nger), maces (mac(e/y)s), mustard (mustarde), onions (oyno(u)ns), porrettes (porretes), powder (po(o/w)der, powdour), powder of ginger (powder of ginger), powder douce (po(u/w)der/podour douce), powder fort (powdour fort), powdring (powdryng), rue (rew), rosemary (rosemarye), saffron (saf(f)ro(u)n(n)), sauge (sa(u/w)ge), syrup (sirippe), verjuice (vergeous, verious) and vinegar (vinegar, v(i/y)negre, vynegour)]. Such a stark unbalance might be explained in part because spices would reach Britain through France, but let us bear in mind that many herbs were both medicinal (officinalis) and culinary and that the texts of reference were written in Medieval Latin or else in Old French. As far as the greens is concerned, the distribution is much more balanced with leeks (leek, lekes), and cresses (toun cressis, literally “the one (of) cresses”) on the one side, patience (pacience), purslane (purslarye) and the generic salad (salat) on the other, plus the CWGmc and OE Latin loan beet (betus) as a sort of ‘balance pointer’. As usual in this kind of society, doublets and triplets will spring up, regardless of etymology. We have, the OE-OE crop (croppe) and stalk (stalkes), the OE-ON-OF wort (wort(e/y)s), cole (cole, colys) and herb (erbes), the OE-MF nettle (netle) and pellitory (peleter) or the ONF-F dates (dates) and raisins or currants (raysouns de corauns).
In an insular society, marine and fresh water fish as well as sea-food ought to be household names. And indeed, out of the nine lexemes (three sea, five freshwater and the hypernym fish proper), two of the freshwater ones (eels and pike) are found in OE and mussel (muskels) is a Second Period OE Latin loan. Three of the four Gallicisms: plaice (plays), salmon (samond) and tench (tenches), replace native Germanic lexemes (see 3.2.3. below) while turbot (turbut) is a gap-filling loan.
As with the fish names, most of the fowl and poultry lexemes are of OE stock: the hypernym fowl (fowle), but also goose (gose) and chicken (chiken, chikenns, chykens, chykenns); additionally, the three poultry-related names, OE yolk (yolkes) and (eyren) alongside its correlative ON/regiolectic N eggs (egges), and the hybrid OE-ON white of eggs (white of egges). The three Gallicisms are capon (capouns), pheasant (fesauntes) and partridge (partruches). The first one is a pre-Norman Conquest (ca. 1000), ONF borrowing and the other two were first documented in the late 13th century: 1290 (N, (Durham)) and ca. 1270-1285 [SW (Worcester?)] respectively.
The nine lexemes referring to venison and livestock are, as Wamba said, ‘Saxon’ (i.e. OE) when the animal is alive and ‘Norman’ (recte OF, since all are first dated around 1300, except veal which is documented ante 1325) when dead, cooked and served: boar (boor), hare (hare), pig (pigge) and roe (roo) vs. beef (beef, beff), mutton (mottonn), pork (pork(e)) and veal (vele). The related noun milk [mylk(e)] is OE, but phonetically influenced ([łk] instead of [łʧ]!) by Old Norse.
Even in such a mongrel language as English, one of the most resilient lexical fields to borrowing is that of human or animal anatomy. No surprise, then, that, out of 19 lexemes, only five are Gallicisms: quarters (quarters) and its hybrid fore quarter (fore quarter), (fish) pouch (pou(u)che), fee (fey) —which will doublet with liver (lyuer) in ME—, and grease (grece, grees).
On the other extreme, the Processed Foods group is the one with the greatest number of Gallicisms: 25 out of 35 lexemes. Except for ale (ale), bread (brede), broth (bro(th/þ)) and its ME near-synonym sew (sewe), meal (mele, which also meant “flour”), and the CGmc OE Latinisms butter (butur) and wine (wyne), we only find Gallicisms: caudle (cawdel), comfit (confyt), cream (crème), custard (custarde), fillet (ffelettes), galantine (galentyne), jelly (gele), gravy (gravey), †hachy (hochee)11, oil (oile, oyle), pottage (potage), sauce (sauce) and sauce verte (sauce verte), all of them documenting the importance of French cookery in late medieval England. Last but not least, let us underline the ca. 1325 OF loanword brawn (brawn) (in ME “boiled flesh”), which had evolved from CGmc *brádon (cf. G braten, Du. braden) and was, thus, related to OE brǽdan.
Out of the 12 lexemes related to cooking utensils, there are only five Gallicisms: the large serving dish called chargour, coffin (coffin, cof(f)yns), mortar (morter) and strainer (straynour, streyn(o)ur). Worth pointing out are the CGmc OE Latinism dish (dish, dishes, dysshes) and the ON loanword knife (knyfe).
Together with the unmarked verbs and the immense majority of the adjectives, this group is of little interest, since it does not correspond to the technical terminology of cookery: the culinolect. Nonetheless, six of the nine lexemes are OF loans: ME cury (“cuisine”) and leche (long slice); but also pieces (peces, pecys), places (peces, placys), portion (porcioun), and quantity (quantite). Germanic are the core-vocabulary lexemes fire (fire, fyre) and water [water(e)], plus the abstract noun wise (wise) “way” (cf. G Weise).
We have 40 non-marked verbs in our corpus, including several ON loans which have entered the common-core language and abound in all our recipes: cast [cast(e)] (27 times) and once its phrasal cast out (cast abrode), take [tak(e)] (48 times), plus three times its phrasal take up (take vppe). Gallicisms are colour (colour), florissh (“garnish”), press (in the phrasal presse out) and serve (serue, seruyst) —which, here, is implicitly culinary, in a restricted sense first found ca. 1300 in the SEM (London) romance “Kyng Alisaunder”.
With 20 Gallicisms out of 31 lexemes, in third place after the Processed Foods and the Plants Spices and Condiments, the Cookery Verbs group also underlines the relevance of French gastronomy in medieval England. Basically associated with liquids or fats and applying heat or not (boil and parboil, cole, fry, lave, skim, strain), these verbs also cover the other actions upon solids, either in a purely mechanical way (couch, carve, leche, scotch) or else through the application of heat (roast, scald). In a group apart, those referring to the preparation of the dishes, e.g. alay (actually taken from metal-mixing), season; or else, like ME mess, “waiting the table”. Some, like bray “to crush small” and mince (myce) will doublet with OE verbs like grind (grinde, grynd(e), yground) or pick (pyke), and certainly, boil (boile, boyle, boileth, boyled, boyling) is a regular doublet of the more frequent OE seethe (seeþ, seeth(e), sodden, ysode). Purely WGmc are bake (bake), be enough [spelt inogh, ynogh and ynow(e)] in the sense of “suffice”, steep (stepe), plus the near doublets hew [hew(e)] and the originally MDu. chop (choppe). Of unknown origin is the denominal verb nape, with our H selection documenting its first culinary entry: “to cut a fish’s neck”.
It is not easy to substitute modifiers, neither the purely physical ones, i.e. those related to temperature (colde, hote), colours (grene, rede, whyt)12, size (faire, ful, grete, litul/littul, small), age (fresh, rawe, olde, yonge) and texture (hard, styff) nor to cultural values like clean (clene) —both “unblemished” and “fully, totally”— or good (gode/goode). There are only four Gallicisms, two of which are culinary or can be associated with cooking. The deverbal blaunched referred to “cookery whitening”. As to round (rownde), it is remarkable that the Romance modifier will be accepted in all Germanic languages, to wit: German Swedish and Danish rund or Dutch rond.
When a foreign lexeme enters a language, we observe a line of procedure similar to that of colonization in the course of history: a) it occupies wilderness b) it crams together with the previous dweller, sharing the space given c) it expels the prior inhabitant and appropriates the entire area. Thus, we could classify three varieties of loan entry: Type I would imply foundation or baptism, Type II diatopic/distratic/diaphatic allocation or specialization and Type III eviction or replacement. We shall now sub-classify them accordingly.
The OE Latin loans have been traditionally divided into three periods, variously labelled Continental or Zero Period; Celtic, Settlement or First Period (often associated with toponyms); Christian or Second Period.13 The first and the third ones are present in the common-core terms of our corpus. The Type I lexemes are gap-fillers, incorporated alongside with their physical referents and augmenting the given thesaurus. Continental, CGmc Latinisms in our corpus are: betus (< beta), butter (buttur), dissh (< discus), mintes (< menta, menthe), muskels (< muscula), peper (< piper) and wyne (< uinum). Latinisms of the Christian Period are betus (ca. 1000, WS standard, “Anglo-Saxon Leechdoms” béte < bēta) and isoppe (ca. 825, eMerc. ‘Vespasian Psalter’ l. 9. [li. 7] < L hyssōpus < Gr. ὕσσωπος (hýssōpos), ultimately < Heb. 'ēzōb). Our ME parcel, parsel, parsle, persel and parcelly result from a second borrowing, in which the OE Second Period Latinism petersilian (ca. 950, eWS “Bald’s Leechbook” < post-classical Latin pretesilium) is replaced by the Gallicism (first ca. 1390, N (York), “Pistel of swete Susan” (Vernon) 107 persel [v.rr. percel, percel, percele, persile] < OF persil). In the case of savory, the lME loan (ante 1400, Mirfield, “Sinonoma Bartholomei” (1882) 37 saverey < OF savoree, documented since the 13th century.) also superseded an OE Second Period Latinism: saeþerige (< L satureia) in the same text, the ca. 950, eWS, “Bald’s Leechbook” (Royal) (1865) iii. xii. 314.
The corpus contains seven ON (plus the heads of two phrasal verbs) and two WGmc, ascertained or probable MDu. loans: to chop (doublet to hewe) and stockfish (stokfissh) (1290, Scots, “Chancery Rolls in the Public Record Office” 249 stocfihs) which specifies one of the most common ways (Tannahill 1979 : 191) to preserve fish like cod and haddock in Northern Europe: halved and air-dried.
The noun skin (ON skinn) will diaphatically specify both OE hýd and fell as appertaining to animals, even though in its first English citation (in an Old English charter of a gift made by Bishop Leofric to Exeter Cathedral), reference is made to a bear (bera scin), not to a person.
The denominal verb cast, taken from ON kasta, begins to supersede OE weorpan (cf. G werfen) from the late 12th century, (MSS ca. 1230-1250, SWM, (Wigmore Abbey, Herefordshire) “Ancrene Riwle”/“Ancrene Wisse” (Cleo. C.vi) (1972) 47 kasten) and definitely since 1513, Douglas’ translation of the “Ӕneis” I. Prologue 280 warp being the last OED entry.
In ME, the noun cole (probably from ON kál) begins to supersede OE cawel (ca. 1000, WS standard, “Anglo-Saxon Leechdoms” II, 80), both descending from a CGmc Latinism of caulis; while cál will evolve to PDE, mainly N (Scots), kale.
The geolectic, Danelaw noun egg (< ON egg), began to supersede OE ǽg as of lME (1376-1377, SWM, Langland, “Piers Plowman” B. xi. 343 egges). In our corpus, the substitution has not been fully achieved yet and we see it alongside with its close relative, OE eyren. Substitution will take place, as fowl product in 1486 (“Book of St. Albans” A ij. a) and as food product in 1596 (Shakespeare, “First Part of King Henry IV” II, i, 164).
The noun gall (< ON gall) supersedes, as of eME [(ca. 1200, SEM (London, with Essex traits)] “Vices and Virtues” (1888) 119), the closely related OE gealla.
The noun knife (lOE cníf < ON knífr) begins to supersede OE seax (cf. the tribe of the seax-wielding Continental Saxons!), in the general sense before 1100 and definitely after 1298 (SW, Robert of Gloucester “Chronicles”). The noun sax would be allocated a very restricted, technolectic and regiolectic sense of “slate-chopper”, its last OED citation being a West Somerset lexicographic entry in 1866.
The verb take already documented in OE as tacan, will not definitely supersede the OE niman until 1486 (“Book of St. Albans” b iiij). In 1547 and his “Fyrst boke of the introduction of knowledge”, Boorde allocates it as regiolectic Cornish.
As indicated above (see 2.1.), our corpus contains 15 first citations: 13 in F and two in H, of which 12 are absolute first entries and three culinary first entries.
Absolute first citations in the ‘Forme of Cury” (1399) are: cole (vb.), gravy, ME leche (vb.), mess (vb.), powder of ginger, powder douce, powder fort, rosemary, salad and sauce verte … although this last one is neither documented in OED nor in MED; and custard and fee in the 1450, Harleian 416. The culinary first entries are all found in the “Forme of Cury”: coffin, flourish (vb.) and raisins of Corinth.
Among other first entries we can list the following:
The noun blancmange (< OF blanc-manger) is first documented ca. 1376-1377 SWM in Langland’s “Piers Plowman” B xiii, 91 as blancmangere.
The verb boil (< OF boillir) is first documented in eME (ante 1225, “Juliana” 172) in the past participle form boili.
The noun fillet (< OF filet) is first documented as a culinary term in the Harleian MS 279 (1430).
The verb fry (OF frire) appears in 1290 in the nominal present participle form frijnge within the SW (Worcester), “South English legendary” 187/86.
The noun jelly (< OF gelee) is first found in the lME (1393) Latin narration of the Earl of Derby’s expedition.
The ME noun payn purdeuz appears ca. 1420 for the first time, in the Harleian MS 279 as Payn pur-dew; it is an adaptation of OF pain perdu (1384).
The verb parboil (< OF parboulir) is first documented 1381 in the lME “Diuersa Servicia”, included by Hieatt & Butler in their 1985 “Curye on Ynglisch” edition.
The verb skim (probably derived from OF escumer) is first documented in the 1430 Harleian MS 279.
The ME verb blaunchen (< OF blanchir) as a culinary term specifies OE hwitan, which still meant “to whiten” in general.
The noun grease (< OF graisse, greisse, etc.) will result in a technolectic (not only as a cookery term) specification vs. WGmc fat.
The noun herb (< OF erbe), first found 1290 in the SW (Worcester) “South English legendary” will, in eModE, impose itself diaphatically to OE wort, which —in contrast, say, to G Würze— only remains extant in word-combinations and in very restricted senses.
The verb bray (< OF breier) begins to supersede OE cnucian in the lME translation of the Bible undertaken by Wycliff (1382, SEM, ‘The First Book of Samuel’ xxv, 18 brayid corn)15.
The noun cream (in our corpus as the adoption crème) superseded two OE nouns, flíete “cream, curds” (cf. Da. fløde) and réam “cream” (cf. G. Rahm, Dutch room), first as “milk cream” in 1332 (“Document” edited in Rogers’ “Hist. Agric.”1 404: Creyme) and, in 1381 (Pegge (ed), “Cooking Recipes” (Dc 257) 103: crem of Almaundys) as a culinary term.
The noun mustard (< OF mo(u)starde) substitutes, in 1298 and in a private household entry, the CGmc16 OE Latinism sen(e(a)p (< L sināpi < Gr. σίναπι (sínapi)).
The noun oil (< OF oile, olie) superseded the CGmc OE Latinism ele from the eME period onwards (its last MED entry is 1451 in the sense of “holy oil”); in 1221, we find it in the hybrid Romance-Germanic and artisan-derived surnames Vlimaker and Hulimakiere.
The noun onion (< OF oignon) begins to supersede OE hwítléac (literally “white leek”) in lME (1356-1357, N (Durham), “Extracts Acct. Rolls Abbey of Durham” (1899) II 558 unyon)17.
The noun pheasant (< ONF faisant) superseded the OE compounds wildhænn (literally “wild-hen”) and worhana (literally “moor-cock”) since ca. 1299, as documented in the northern “Extracts Acc. Rolls Abbey of Durham”, edited by J.T. Fowler in 1888.
The adjective round (rownde) superseded OE sineweal(t/d) in the physical sense and the spiritual fulfremed “perfect” in the hagiographic “St. Edmund Rich” of the ca. 1300, SW (Worcester), “South English legendary” and Chaucer, ca. 1380, in the “Second nun’s tale” respectively.
The noun saffron (< OF safran) substitutes OE croh in the eME, ca. 1200, SEM (London and East Anglia), “Trinity College homilies”.
The noun salmon (< OF saumon) superseded (or geolectically specified) OE leax (cf. G Lachs, Swed. lax and Da. laks) in the lME (ante 1387, SW with Midland traits) Trevisa translation of Higden’s “Polychronicon”. Today the OE noun remains regiolectal and non-standard.
The noun tench (< OF tenche) began to supersede OE slíw since the lME (1390) Latin narration of Earl Derby’s 1390-1391 expedition.
The highest percentage of Gallicisms is to be found in the Processed Foods (71.42%) group, followed by the Plants, Spices and Condiments (69.64%) and by the Cookery Verbs (67.81%). Unexpectedly, 6 out of 9 (66.66%) of the Other groups are Gallicisms. Then come the Fish (55.55%) and the Venison and Livestock groups (44 %), the Fowl and Poultry (37.50) and the Cooking Utensils groups (36.36%) being almost even. Unsurprisingly, Body Parts (30%), Unmarked Verbs (10%) and Adjectives (8.33%) close the list. In counterbalance, of CGmc or WGmc OE ascendancy are 95% of the Unmarked Verbs, 91.66% of the Adjectives, 70% of the Body Parts, 55.55% of the Meats in general 62.50% of Fowl and Poultry 60% of the Fish, 55.55% of Venison and Livestock, 45.45% of the Cooking Utensils, 33.33% of the Others, 25% of the Cookery Verbs, 20% of the Processed Foods and 17.85% of the Plants, Spices and Condiments group. Of the OE Latin loans, those of Plants, Spices and Condiments are most significant (12.50%), followed by the Fish (11.11%), Cooking Utensils (9%) and Processed Foods (5.71%) ones. The ON loans represent 12.50% of the Fowl and Poultry groups, 10% both of the Body Parts, and of the Unmarked Verbs, 9% of the Utensils and 1.78% of the Plants, Spices and Condiments. The two MDu. loans represent 11.11% of the Fish and 3.5% of the Cookery Verbs, in which last group, to nape, of unknown etymology, as said above, perfects the addition.
The results confirm the sensible hypothesis that the majority of the Medieval French loans would correspond to the termini technici proper —among other reasons already pointed out, because many of the recipes were versions of previous French ones—, with a special mention for plants, spices and condiments, either imported through France or else found (see 18.104.22.168. above) in French pharmaceutical or culinary texts.
One fact does remain indisputable. For 400 years, the culture of the English court had been French: not only had the English kings systematically (minor exceptions would be Berengaria of Navarre wife to Richard Lionheart, Eleanor of Castile-Leon first wife to Edward I and Anne of Bohemia wife to Richard II) married French noblewomen up until the Wars of the Roses; but, from William the Conqueror (1066-1087) onwards, we shall have to wait until Henry V (1413-1422) to find a monarch capable of speaking the English vernacular fluently.
Table of abbreviations
CEM Central East Midland
CGmc Common Germanic
CWGmc Common West Germanic
eME early Middle English
eMerc. early Mercian
eModE early Modern English
eOE early Old English
eWS early West Saxon
lME late Middle English
lOE late Old English
MDu. Middle Dutch
ME Middle English
MED “Middle English Dictionary”
MF Middle French
N Northern regiolect
OE Old English
OED “Oxford English Dictionary”
OF Old French
OHG Old High German
ON Old Norse
ONF Old Northern French
OS Old Saxon
OSp. Old Spanish
PDE Present-day English
S Southern (also called Southwest) regiolect
SE South Eastern (and Kentish) regiolect
SEM South East Midland regiolect
SW Southwest (also called Southern) regiolect
SWM South West Midland regiolect
WGmc West Germanic
WS West Saxon
Annex I: Corpus
I. SOUPS, SALADS AND COLD DISHES20
Take persel, sawge, grene garlec, chibolles, oynouns, leek, borage, myntes, porretes, fenel and toun cressis, rew, rosemarye, purslarye, laue and waische hem clene. Pike hem. Pluk hem small wiþ þyn honed, and myng hem wel with rawe oile. lay on vyneger and salt, and serue it forth.
ROO  BROTH. (F)
Take the lire of the boor oþer of the roo, perboile it. Smyte it on smale peces; seeþ it wel half in water and half in wyne. Take brede and bray it wiþ the self broth and drawe blode þerto, and lat it seeth togydre with powdour fort: of gynger oþer of canell and macys, with a grete porcioun of vyneger, with raysouns of corauns.
SAUCE VERTE. (H)
Take parcely, Mintes, Betany, Peleter, and grinde hem smale ; And take faire brede, and stepe hit in vinegre, and drawe it thorgℏ a streynour, and cast thereto pouder of peper, salt, and serue it fortℏ.
FFELETTES IN GALENTYNE. (H)
Take faire porke of þe fore quarter, and take of the skyn̄, and put þe pork on a faire spitte, and roste it half ynogℏ ; and take hit of, and smyte hit in peces, and cast hit in a faire potte ; and þen̄ take oynons, and shred and pul hem, not to smaƚƚ, and fry hem in a pan̄ with faire grece, And then̄ caste hem to þe porke into þe potte ; And then̄ take good brotℏ of beef or Motton̄, and cast thereto, and set hit on̄ þe fire, and caste to pouder of Peper, Canel, Cloues & Maces, and lete boile wel togidur ; and þen̄ take faire brede and vinegre, and stepe the brede with a lituƚƚ of þe same brotℏ, and streyne hit thorgℏ a streynour, and blode with aƚƚ ; or elles take Saundres and colour hit therewith, and late hem boile togidur, and cast thereto Saffron̄ and salt, and serue hit forth.
GELE OF FYSSH. (F)
Take tenches, pykes, eelys, turbot, and plays, kerue hem to pecys. Scalde hem & waische hem clene; drye hem with a cloth. Do hem in a panne; do þerto half vyneger & half wyne & seeþ it wel, & take the fysshe and pike it clene. Cole the broth thurgh a cloth into an erthen panne; do þerto powdour of peper and safroun ynowh. Lat it seeþ & skym it wel. Whan it is ysode dof grees clene; cowche fisshe on chargours & cole the sewe thorow a cloth onoward, & serue it forth colde.
CAWDEL OF MUSKELS. (F)
Take and seeþ muskels; pyke hem clene, and waisshe hem clene in wyne. Take almaundes & bray hem. Take somme of the muskels and grynde hem, & some hewe smale; drawe the muskels yground with the self broth. Wryng the almaundes with faire water. Do alle þise togider; do þerto verious and vyneger. Take whyte of lekes & perboile hem wel; wryng oute the water and hewe hem smale. Cast oile þerto, with oynouns perboiled & mynced smale; do þerto powdour fort, safroun and salt a lytel. Seeþ it not to to stondyng, & messe it forth.
STOKFISSH IN SAUCE. (H)
Take faire brotℏ of elys, or pike, or elles of fressℏ samond, And streyn hit thorgℏ a streynour ; and take faire parcelly, And hewe hem smaƚƚ, And putte the brotℏ and þe parcelly into an̄ erthen̄ potte, And cast þerto pouder ginger, and a litul vergeous, And lete hem boyle to-gidre ; and þen̄ take faire sodden̛ stokfissℏ, and ley hit in hote water; and whan̄ þou wilt serue it forth, take þe fissℏ fro þe water, and ley hit in a dissℏ, And caste the sauce al hote there-on̄, and serue it fortℏ.
PIKE BOYLED. (H)
Take and make sauce of faire water, salt, and a lituƚƚ Ale and parcelly ; and þen̄ take a pike, and nape him, and drawe him in þe bely, And slytte him thorgℏ the bely, bak, and hede and taile, witℏ a knyfe in to peces; and smyte þe sides in quarters, and wassℏ hem clene ; And if thou wilt have him rownde, schoche him by þe hede in þe backe, And drawe him there, And skoche him in two or iij. Peces [Douce MS placys] in þe bak, but noȝt thorgh ; And slyt the pouuche, And kepe the fey or the lyuer, and kutte awey the gaƚƚ. And whan̄ þe sauce biginneth to boyle, skem̄ hit, And wassℏ þe pike, and cast him þere-in, And caste þe pouche and fey there-to, And lete hem boyle togidre ; And þen̄ make the sauce thus: myce the pouche and fey, [in. Douce MS and Harl.] a litul gravey of þe pike, And cast þere-to pouder of ginger, vergeous, mustarde, and salt, And serue him fortℏ hote.
III. MEAT: FOWL AND POULTRY, VENISON AND LIVESTOCK
CHYKENS IN HOCCHEE (F)
Take chykenns and scald hem. Take parsel and sawge, with[oute eny oþere] erbes; take garlec & grapes, and stoppe the chikenus ful, and seeþ hem in gode broth, so þat þey may esely be boyled þerinne. Messe hem & cast þerto powdour dowce.
FOR TO BOILE FESAUNTES. PERTRUCHES. CAPOUNS AND CURLEWES. (F)
Take gode broth and do þerto the fowle, and do þerto hool peper and flour of canel a gode quantite, and lat hem seeþ þerwith; and messe it forth, and cast þeron powdour dowce.
HARE IN WORTES. (H)
Take Colys, and stripe hem faire fro the stalkes. Take Betus and Borage, auens, Violette, Malvis, parsle, betayn̄, pacience, þe white of the lekes, and þe croppe of þe netle ; parboile, presse out the water, hew hem smaƚƚ, And do there-to mele. Take goode brotℏ of ffressℏ beef, or other goode flessℏ and mary bones ; do it in a potte, set on þe fire ; choppe the hare in peces, And, if þou wil, wassℏ hir in þe same brotℏ, and then̄ drawe it thorgℏ A streynour with the blode, And þen̄ put aƚƚ on̄ the fire. And if she be an̄ olde hare, lete hire boile weƚƚ, or þou cast in thi wortes ; if she be yonge, cast in aƚƚ togidre at ones ; And lete hem boyle til þei be ynogℏ, and ceson̄ hem witℏ salt. And serue hem forth. The same wise thou may make wortes of A Gose of a niȝt, powdryng of beef, or eny other fressℏ flessℏ.
PIGGE OR CHIKEN̄ IN SAUGE. (H)
Take a pigge, Draw him, smyte of his hede, kutte him in .iiij. quarters, boyle him til he be ynow, take him vppe, and lete cole, smyte him in peces; take an̄ hondefuƚƚ. or .ij. of Sauge, wassℏ hit, grynde it in a morter with hard yolkes of egges ; then̄ drawe hit vppe with goode vinegre, but make hit not to thyn̄ ; then̄ seson̄ hit with powder of Peper, ginger, and salt ; then̄ cowche thi pigge in disshes, and caste þe sirippe þer-vppon̄, and serue it forthe.
BLANK MAUNGER. (F)
Take capouns and seeþ hem, þenne take hem vp; take almaundes blaunched, grynd hem & alay hem vp with the same broth. Cast the mylk in a pot. Waisshe rys and do þerto, and lat it seeth; þanne take brawn of þe capouns; teere it small and do þerto. Take white grece, sugur and salt, and cast þerinne. Lat it seeþ; þenne messe it forth and florissh it with aneys in confyt, rede oþer whyt.,and with almaundes fryed in oyle, and serue it forth.
CRÈME OF ALMAUNDES. (F)
Take Almaundes blaunched, grynde hem and drawe hem up thykke, set hem ouer the fyre & boile hem. set hem adoun and spryng hem wicii Vyneger, cast hem abrode uppon a cloth and cast uppon hem sugur. whan it is colde gadre it togydre and leshe it in dysshes.
Take Vele, and smyte hit in lituƚƚ peces, and wassℏ it clene ; put hit into a faire potte with faire water, and lete hit boyle togidre ; þen̄ take parcelly, Sauge, Isoppe, Sauerey, wassℏ hem, hewe hem, And cast hem into flessℏ whan hit boileth ; then̄ take powder of peper, canel, Clowes, Maces, Saffron̄, salt, and lete hem boyle togidre, and a goode dele of wyne witℏ aƚƚ, And whan̄ the flessℏ is boyled, take it vppe fro þe brotℏ, And lete the broth kele. Whan̄ hit is colde, streyne yolkes and white of egges thorgh a streynour, and put hem to the brotℏ, so many that the broth be styff ynowe, And make faire cofyns, and couche iij. or iiij. peces of the flessℏ in þe Coffyns ; then take Dates, prunes, and kutte hem ; cast thereto powder of Gynger and a lituƚƚ Vergeous, and put to the brotℏ, and salt ; then̄ lete the coffyn̄ and the flessℏ bake a lituƚƚ; And þen put the brotℏ in the coffyns, And lete hem bake till they be ynogℏ.
PAYN̄ PURDEUZ. (H)
Take faire yolkes of eyren̄, and try hem fro the white, and drawe hem þorgh a streynour; and then take salte, and caste thereto; And then take manged brede*. [Douce MS. maynche brede. Manchet.] or payn̄man̄, and kutte hit in leches; and þen̄ take faire buttur, and clarefy hit, or elles take fressℏ grece and put hit yn̛ [folio 12b.] a faire pan̄, and make hit hote; And then̄ wete þe brede weƚƚ there in þe yolkes of eyren̄, and then ley hit on̄ the batur in þe pan̄, whan̄ þe buttur is al hote; And then̄ whan̄ hit is fried ynowe, take sugur ynowe, and caste there-to whan̄ hit is in þe dissℏ, And so serue hit fortℏ.
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Anonymous. The Forme of Cury, in Curye on Inglysch. English culinary Manuscripts of the fourteenth century (including the Forme of Cury), Hieatt, Constance B. / Butler, Sharon. Eds. Published for the Early English Text Society (SS 8), London : Oxford University Press, 1985.
The previous Pegge edition The Forme of Cury: A Roll of Ancient English Cookery ...:, in the Scholar’s Choice Edition, 2015 is available on-line at :
Anonymous. Two fifteenth century Cookery-Books. Harleian MS 279 (ab. 1430), & Harl. MS 4016 (ab. 1450), with Extracts from Ashmole MS 1439, Laud MS 553, & Douce MS 55, Austin, Thomas, Ed. Published for the Early English Text Society (Original Series, No. 91) London : Oxford University Press. 1888. Facsimile reprint Millwood N.Y. : Kraus Reprint, 1988.
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3. Dictionaries, glossaries and other lexicographical references
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