This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Monday, 28 March 2016

Spot the Frippet: cramoisie.

Cramoisie: a word that conjures up feasts and oak beams and tapestries blowing in a sudden gust of wind from an open window. It could hardly look more mediaeval if it wore a chaperon on its head.

(This is probably a self-portrait of Jan van Eyck.)

You can say it either CR-moy-zee or CR-muh-zee, and cramoisie (or cramoisy, for like so many mediaeval words it isn't fussy about its spelling) means crimson in colour, or, especially, a crimson cloth such as is made for the most royal of shoulders.

Coronation mantle of Roger II of Sicily 1133-4

What pieces of cramoisie can I spot from here? This is a cream and green room, but I can see the odd cramoisie spine of a book, and some dried cramosie rose petals in a bowl with pine cones and spices.

I might love those rose petals even better now I know they're not just crimson, but cramoisie, too.

Image result for wikimedia commons cramoisie

Spot the Frippet: cramoisie. This word comes from the Old French cramoisi, from the Arabic qirmizī, obtained from the kermes scale insect Kermes vermiliofrom the Sanskrit krmija- red dye, literally produced by a worm, from krmi, worm.

That's Queen Elizabeth I of England, quite possibly in kermes-dyed cloth.

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