Saturday, November 3

Word of the week: quispels








During my work with 16th century probate inventories, I come across a lot of lovely words for things related to clothing, sewing and silkwork. I decided to share them with you every now and then. The first word in what will hopefully become a row, is 'quispel'. The modern Dutch equivalent 'kwispel(en)' means 'to wag' or in a very archaic use: a brush or tassel. In this inventory dated 1580 from Antwerp, we find "ij flouwijnen met witte quispels"(two pillow cases with white tassels). I will never ever be able to think about tassels again without thinking of wagging tails :-)

2 comments:

Lynne Williams said...

Wagging tails....lovely indeed. Thanks for sharing, I am looking forward to future installments.

Rachel Jackson said...

A wonderful word discovery! A few years ago I was reading inventories of Italian fifteenth and sixteenth-century households, and I really loved the descriptions of the fabrics and furniture, I think they went far beyond merely assessing the value - the attention to the details is such a pleasure to read.
Thanks for sharing this!