Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue – Day Sixty

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…..

Canterbury Story

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.