Tag Archives: Vocabulary


The Gloaming

Gloaming: Evening twilight; shade or dusky light; or even as an adjective as in: gloaming-sky, gloaming-hour, etc.

If you are of Scots heritage, you may recognize this word. I first heard it at one of my husband’s family gatherings. It was part of a poem: ‘roamin’ in the gloamin’. At the time, I’d no idea what it meant, but it sounded cool.

Our wonderful Old English Dictionary has ‘gloaming’ blossoming into written usage sometime in the eleventh century, possibly even before, which means it’s quite possible the characters in Avelynn, set in 869, might have looked up and admired the gloaming-sky. Or perhaps they took a walk in the dimming of the gloaming-hour.

Here’s a wee excerpt from Book #2 in the Avelynn series (still untitled because coming up with titles is hard! 🙂

Alrik laughed, seemingly amused at her antics, and let her perch on his lap for most of the evening. Gil tried valiantly to engage me in conversation, but as the candles burned lower, my discord grew. Incensed by Marared’s grating laughter and the deep rumble of Alrik’s voice, I pulled Alrik aside, feigning a need for fresh air.

We walked side by side under the weak light of a waning gibbous moon. The wind was sharp, and the damp chill from the sea sent shivers down my spine.

“What is it, Hjartað?”

“Marared desires you.”

“I have known her for several years. We are good friends.”

Friends my ass. I scowled at him, the force of my displeasure obscured by the gloaming around us. “I’d just as soon you not fawn over her so much.”

He roared with laughter. “The vixen is threatened by the mouse!” He reached out and played with a lock of my hair, his fingers brushing the skin above the kirtle’s neckline.

To be continued … ;D

In gratitude,

Marissa xo


You Draggle-tailed Bicche!

The Latest Word: Draggle


To wet or befoul (a garment, etc.) by allowing it to drag through mire or wet grass, or to hang untidily in the rain; to make wet, limp, and dirty.


A draggle-tailed person; a woman whose skirts are wet and draggled, or whose dress hangs about her untidily and dirty; a slut.

Oh, I can have fun with this one! Used around the fifteenth/sixteenth century, I can’t wait to sneak this into one of my manuscripts.

During the many rounds of edits for Avelynn, I had the opportunity to work with a wonderful copyeditor, whose job it was to point out words that sounded grossly anachronistic for the tone and style of the novel. After perusing the changes, I sort of set upon a kind of lose time frame for my writing—anything that originated prior to the seventeenth century most likely stayed in the manuscript. Anything that was first used after 1600 tended to sound rather modern, but then again, not always. It was definitely a one word at a time approach, and sometimes, I had to leave the word in because there really wasn’t a good alternative.

Here’s some exciting ways to use our new D words:

I draggled behind. (The word can also mean to go slowly, trailing).

The onslaught was relentless; the horse’s pace mired to a crawl. I slid down, landed squelching in the muck, and pulled on the reins, urging the beast to press onward. We needed to find shelter. My cloak draggling behind soon weighed as much as a small cow, so drenched was it in mud and slime that the horse began to grow impatient with me.

“You draggle-tailed bicche!”

Yes, I think I’ll have fun with this.

In gratitude,

Marissa 🙂 xo