Almost half way through the Family History Through Alphabet Challenge, and my head has decided to go on holidays, it has had no bright inspirations for the letter K at all. I’ve been trying to come up with something super exciting for K for the past couple of weeks, and still nothing! So for this post I’ve decided to take a look in my copy of “What Did They Mean by That?: A Dictionary of Historical and Genealogical Terms Old and New” and list a few of the old words starting with K that are in there.
K is for … Old Words
I probably should be writing about my Kelly family from the Isle of Man, or the Kemp’s from Cornwall, or Mr Lonetester’s Kerslake or Kuchel families, but I don’t feel that I have done enough research on any of them to do them justice at this stage … so they shall wait for another day … and old words it is today!
keck: a very early term to vomit, to retch.
kelderkin: a small barrel.
kersey: a heavy wool and cotton fabric used for outer coats.
kick the can: ‘tag’ of sorts, timed by reaching a kicked can.
killing time: that time of the year, quite usually late Autumn, when swine and cattle were slaughtered and the meat prepared or preserved for the Winter.
King’s Evil: draining and widespread eruptions on the body and, as were many diseases, thought subject to being cured by a touch from the king (or queen); also meaning a disease or affliction apparently affecting glands in the neck.
King’s X, King’s Cross: a very ancient expression by which children declare themselves temporarily exempt from game rules.
kippacks: shoes homemade by the poor or rural settlers and fashioned of three pieces of leather, one upper, one for the sole, and for the heel.
kitchen table: a medium sized, sturdy, drawered table, occasionally with one or more small bins mounted below the drawers.
knee buckle: buckles used to fasten breeches below the knee.
knell, birth knell, death knell: early, knell was the south of a bell rung at a funeral; now, any sound signalling a birth, marriage or death.
knight: that rank of British honour next below a baronet. Since mediaeval times, a person who has been accorded that non-hereditary dignity by a sovereign of Britain.
knock down at auction: the accomplishment of a sale at auction, signalled by the banging of a small wooden hammer by the auctioneer.
knot tray: a open small container, sometimes with a lid, used to hold/store fancy head or dress decorations, often called knots.
kraut cutter: a common wooden kitchen utensil, usually from 18-36″ long and 6-9″ wide having a sliding platform that moved to and fro across a sharp blade thereby shredding cabbage (and other fruits and vegetables). Also known as a cabbage chopper.
So there you go, there’s a whole bunch of K words most of which you haven’t heard of, and probably won’t ever use. But if you read through all of them, I bet you actually learned something. I know I did when reading and typing them out. Now the trick will be to remember them ….. hmmmmm