(note that the stress is on the second syllable)
The Dutch word (de) knecht2
means (male) 'servant' - interesting how a word had different
development in the two languages. Also note that in Dutch K before N
The Dutch word (de) keizer
('emperor') comes from the Latin name and title 'Caesar.'
['caesarean section'] - 'caesarean' - Julius Caesar
may have come into the world that way.
Yonkers, New York got its name from a Dutch jonker2 ('squire')
In the early Middle ages till about the Crusades there were next to
the free 'vrijen'23
two lower classes of people: lijfeigenen2
(singular: (de) horige2)
The lijfeigenen were like slaves (Dutch:
/ slaven2) though they
had some 'right' to marry. Originally they were probably captives
and vanquished enemies from the wars between tribes.
'serfs' were 'bound to the soil,' peasants who
in lawless times had sought out powerful lords (or monastries) for
protection and paid them with part of their harvest and work. They
could not be sold but could be passed on with the land to new masters
and were not allowed to just leave.
One of stone-age man's first weapons must have been the (de) vuistbijl
(['fist-axe'] 'hand axe' - 'celt'?)
- a rock with a sharp point held in the hand.
Clubs and spears have also been found in Stone Age digs.
Swords and shields were developed
in antiquity; the Germanic tribes already had swords and shields
before they came into contact with the Romans.
English 'catapult' is both the large medieval siege
machine, precursor of the cannon (het) kanon
and a contraption that helps launch airplanes from ships;
is also the
handheld Y-shaped device with a rubber band used by
teenagers and violent 'protestors' to shoot projectiles - 'slingshot'
The sling as used by David against Goliath is called
(the Crusades) -
Godfried van Bouillon23
(Godfrey of Bouillon - like in English, Dutch
(de) bouillon2 also means
'soup stock, broth') - Richard Leeuwenhart23
(Richard the Lionheart)
- of course the Crusades were wrong, but wasn't it equally wrong or
even more wrong how the Arab Muslims came to occupy the Holy Land and
other parts of the world? Was that a 'lawful occupation'?
'the Battle of the [Golden] Spurs'
- Flemish citizen militia (guilds, workers, and peasants)
defeated the French army near
(Bruges) in 1302 - after the battle hundreds of
golden spurs were collected from the French noblemen fallen on the
The supporters of an independent Flanders were called the
after the claw - (de) klauw2 -
of the Flemish lion, and those in favor of French rule were called the
after the French lily - (de) lelie.
The Clauwaerts used the
shibboleth 'schild en vriend'2
to distinguish friend from foe.
French-speakers have difficulty with sounds like Dutch 'short I' and SCH.
- the (bubonic) Plague epidemic that killed 30% of the European
population ca 1350
'incunables' - the first printed books
(Dutch (de) wieg2 means 'cradle')
('cods') were late-Medieval warring factions.
De Hoekse en Kabeljauwse Twisten
Late Medieval warring factions in the North of The Netherlands:
By clever marriages, other rulers' lack of heirs and wars, in the
early 1400s most of present-day Holland and Belgium passed on to the
rule of the Dukes of Burgundy.
The Dutch word
Bargoens2 ('slang') may be a corruption of the Dutch word for 'Burgundian'
- the strange language of the new officials.
'stronghold' (think of: 'bulwark') - also figuratively
a regent, guardian who rules during the absence of the ruler
medieval city official - bailiff? (Het) beleg
'siege' of a city or castle (also: 'bread covering, sandwich
filling') - (de) staat van beleg2
('state of siege' - the emergency situation where martial law is
(Het) ontzet2 'lifting of a siege.'
the lifting of the Spanish siege of Leyden (1574)
was poured from the top of the walls of a besieged fortress or city on
enemy soldiers that tried to scale those walls. 'Boiling oil,' not
['children's heads'] cobblestones, the old street pavement
Dutch (de) boog
is both the weapon 'bow' and the building feature 'arch.'
The 'bow' that a person takes as a sign of respect is
(de) buiging2; the
'bow' to play a violin and similar instruments is called
- and the 'bow' with loops that ties shoelaces etc. is
(English 'bow' is pronounced in various ways.)
The guilds (gilden2) were Medieval
organisations of craftsmen, tradesmen and traders. A young man would
start as an apprentice (leerling2)
- after a few years of good work become a journeyman
- and finally a 'master'
after successful completion of a 'master's test'
proeve van bekwaamheid2
"proof, proving of ability")
Many Dutch cities had a mostly ceremonial militia called
('the Night Watch')
is a portrait of the Amsterdam militia of the early 1640s.
The militia meeting place was called
- originally the militia's shooting range, but later
more a community center or an inn than a military headquarters
- (het) doel
From the late Middle Ages until the French occupation at the end of
the 18th Century,
the Schout en Schepenen
were a combined city police force and court of justice.
(the person in charge) -
(his chief officers) - singular (de) schepen
- which is a funny word to Dutchmen, because it also is the
plural of (het) schip
Johan Huizinga2'Herfsttij der Middeleeuwen'2
'The [Autumn Ebb Tide] Waning of the Middle Ages' - a famous 1919 book
about the atmosphere and mindset of the late Middle Ages in France and
The Low Countries De Oudheid
('Antiquity') - de Steentijd2
('the Stone Age') - (de) Bronstijd
('(the) Bronze Age' - (de) bronsttijd (with the same pronunciation)
is 'mating season.') (de) IJzertijd