Episode 64: Feudalism and Early Normans

The Normandy of William the Conqueror was a product of the feudal age of Western Europe. In this episode, we explore the history of feudalism, and we examine words associated with feudalism which entered the English language. We also look at the early history of Normandy to see how it fits into the feudal puzzle.  Along the way, we examine certain aspects of Norman French, and we explore some of the differences between the Norman French dialect and the standard Old French spoken in places like Paris.

6 thoughts on “Episode 64: Feudalism and Early Normans

  1. Regarding the word “tender” and its related words pertaining to stretch, English retains a common phrase used at least in the UK, though not in the Americas. It’s “to be on tenterhooks”. It means to be in tense, in a state of anticipation. There’s a whole article about it in Wikipedia; tenters were used to stretch cloth back in the day.

  2. Is the Hindu European root word ‘peku’ that meant moveable related to the word ‘ped’ (foot), or are those different root words?

    • Hi Helena,

      Those are distinct Indo-European words. The PIE root *peku meant ‘moveable property,’ and the PIE root *ped meant ‘foot.’

  3. Just listened to your episode on the rise of feudalism in continental Europe and was intrigued by the PIE root *peku or however it’s written — the one that gave us all those derived words for property.

    You talked about the development of the concept of property and its link to cattle.

    You may know this already, but if not, it may interest you to learn that the german word for cattle is “Vieh”, pronounced “fee”. !! 🙂

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