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Medieval phrase book

c.1493 - 1496

Medieval phrase book


  • Intro

    This English-French phrase book gives us a glimpse of everyday English expressions of the 15th century. It was probably intended as a guide for merchants who traded with France, equipping the reader with a set of common colloquial phrases. Several phrases, though familiar, sound distinctly old-fashioned, such as Sir god spede you and Sir howe fare ye. Others may seem quaint, but hint at current expressions. Sir god gyue you good day is not unlike ‘have a nice day’ in present-day American English. Right wele is still used in the north of England in response to someone asking after our health.


    Here is a Good Boke to Lerne to Speke French, c.1493–96.

    Shelfmark: IA.55535.

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