I feel naked without my online Oxford English Dictionary, but at $19.99US a month, I had to let it go. That leaves me with relying on free internet resources when searching the etymology of words. I still use my beautiful, hoary glue-bound 1977 copy of The Living Webster for my definitions, but the OED was handy for finding out where and when words originated and when they came into common usage. Bear with me then as we navigate the world of free sources together.
Today’s magical word is hoar: whitish grey; venerable, ancient, or old; white or grey, often referring to age. I particularly like hoarfrost, which is a whitish mist. The hoary old mule lazed about the meadow. The poor young thing is always surrounded by a horde of hoary men.
From what I can piece together, the word first appeared in the 1200s. It was in common usage by the 1500s. These dates make it a perfect word to include in my Avelynn series.
Bertram was certainly a hoary character. He might even be the hoariest in the cast of characters floating around in my head. He was an ancient druid, and he had long white hair, both particularly hoary details. I liked Bertram. He was a kind-hearted soul but had a mysterious edge about him. He walked a fine line between politics, religion, and familial obligations.
(If you haven’t read the first book in the series, you may want to skip this next paragraph)
We lose touch with Bertram and many of the characters from the first book as Avelynn’s journey pulls her elsewhere. In the second book, Avelynn finds herself in Wales and becomes embroiled in one of the hoariest of human conflicts: politics and power, not to mention another hoary issue: desire and deception. We get to meet an entire cast of new characters, each with their own agendas and goals. Despite the current predicament Avelynn sees herself in, she still yearns to solve problems and conflicts created in the first book. Home is never far from her mind.
Stay tuned to the series for all the thrilling details from the hoary ninth century.