The Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue was first published at the end of the eighteenth century, and given that the Coronavirus crisis is giving too much time to read books, I thought I’d pick a daily word from it until I got bored…..
Defined as “a long round-about tale”, this has an obvious source which is from the long, tedious and winding stories of the fourteenth-century Canterbury Tales. I’ve just denigrated what is perhaps one of the most important medieval books, but they are a bit long…. There’s a possibility that it didn’t derive from Chaucer’s book, but instead from pilgrims on their way to Canterbury on a pilgrimage when they told elaborate and excessively long stories. But, that’s an excusable thing to do to pass the time.