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The Virginia Gazette

Today in the 1770s: November 29

WILLIAMSBURG, November 29, 1776.
Tuesday the remains of the Hon. Peyton Randolph, Esq; late President of the Continental Congress, were brought here from Philadelphia, and interred in the family vault in the College chapel.

Virginia Gazette (Dixon & Hunter) November 29, 1776


About this entry:

Peyton Randolph had died on October 22, 1775 in Philadephia and buried in the family burying-place of Mr. Francis. A year later Edmund Randolph brought the body of his uncle home where he was buried with proper ceremony in the Wren Chapel.

Sources: Cowden, p.648-9

Brought to you by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

Word of the Day

Colonial Williamsburg

  • October 1

    Today's word
    calamanco

    A checkered woolen fabric often used for the uppers of women's shoes in the 18th century.

  • October 2

    Today's word
    patriot

    An ardent supporter of one's country, devoted to the protection of its people and principles. Particularly applied to North Americans opposing continuing English rule.

  • October 3

    Today's word
    gridiron

    A small, standing iron grate used to broil meat over a fire.

  • October 4

    Today's word
    fire dogs

    A pair of iron supports used in a fireplace to suspend burning wood above the hearth.

  • October 5

    Today's word
    public vendue

    A public auction.

  • October 6

    Today's word
    moil

    To work hard, to labor at dull chores. Heard in the phrase "toil and moil."

  • October 7

    Today's word
    tyre

    The iron rim on a wooden wheel of any vehicle.

  • October 8

    Today's word
    taffeta

    In the 18th century, a shiny silk used in dressmaking.

  • October 9

    Today's word
    ready money

    Cash.

  • October 10

    Today's word
    cudgel

    A crude, heavy walking stick.

  • October 11

    Today's word
    japanning

    Decorating wood or metal to imitate Oriental designs.

  • October 12

    Today's word
    spider

    A frying pan with short legs and a long handle used for cooking on a hearth.

  • October 13

    Today's word
    specie

    Any type of coined metallic money.

  • October 14

    Today's word
    marriage bond

    A legal document signifying a couple's intent to marry, and if the bride is underage, the consent of her father.

  • October 15

    Today's word
    gown

    A lady's dress, worn over a petticoat.

  • October 16

    Today's word
    hemp

    Plant fiber used for making rope and heavy fabrics.

  • October 17

    Today's word
    reale

    A Spanish silver coin used throughout the American colonies; also called a dollar.

  • October 18

    Today's word
    flax

    The plant that provides linen fibers.

  • October 19

    Today's word
    fowling piece

    A smooth-bore long gun that shoots shot; usually used for hunting birds.

  • October 20

    Today's word
    bowfat

    A built-in storage cupboard.

  • October 21

    Today's word
    luster

    A glass chandelier.

  • October 22

    Today's word
    calash

    A large, folding hat built with arches of cane covered with silk.

  • October 23

    Today's word
    cistern

    A vessel used at the dinner table to hold large quantities of wine.

  • October 24

    Today's word
    headright

    A grant of 50 acres of land promised to each person brought to settle in the colony.

  • October 25

    Today's word
    joe

    A coin made of gold from Portugal.

  • October 26

    Today's word
    quit rent

    Small sums paid by individual landowners to the king for the use of land, since theoretically all land belonged to the crown.

  • October 27

    Today's word
    muster

    A periodic calling together of militia troops from their homes for inspection and training.

  • October 28

    Today's word
    shagreen

    Untanned shark's skin, often dyed green or black.

  • October 29

    Today's word
    sempstress

    A seamstress.

  • October 30

    Today's word
    warp

    Lengthwise thread on the weaver's loom.

  • October 31

    Today's word
    wight

    An unfortunate wandering spirit or supernatural being.

  • November 1

    Today's word
    apprentice

    A young person taken in by an accomplished tradesperson for the purpose of learning a trade.

  • November 2

    Today's word
    glebe

    A portion of land set aside for the support of an Anglican minister.

  • November 3

    Today's word
    stock

    A short, unattached, stand-up neckband.

  • November 4

    Today's word
    hustings

    The name given to the municipal courts of towns like Williamsburg and Norfolk, Virginia.

  • November 5

    Today's word
    cresset

    An iron basket that holds burning wood, coal, or pitched rope to provide outdoor heat and light.

  • November 6

    Today's word
    farthing

    A coin worth a quarter of a penny.

  • November 7

    Today's word
    retreat

    A beat of the drum at the firing of the evening gun; the end of the soldier's working day.

  • November 8

    Today's word
    castor

    A hat made of beaver pelt.

  • November 9

    Today's word
    gesso

    A preparation of glue and inert white powder, like gypsum or chalk, used as a priming or grounding material onto which paint or metal leaf was applied.

  • November 10

    Today's word
    carbine

    A gun used by cavalry that is not as long as a traditional musket.

  • November 11

    Today's word
    gabions

    Large cylindrical wicker baskets, open at both ends, to be filled with earth and incorporated in earthen fortifications.

  • November 12

    Today's word
    draught

    When the term is applied to animals, it indicates a strong beast used for drawing a weight or pulling heavy loads.

  • November 13

    Today's word
    landau

    A four-wheeled carriage with a convertible top, named for the town in Germany where it originated.

  • November 14

    Today's word
    journeyman

    A person who has completed an apprenticeship and has become sufficiently skilled to work in a shop.

  • November 15

    Today's word
    hogshead

    A cask, specifically a wooden container for shipping tobacco in the colonial period, measuring four feet high and 30 inches in diameter at each end.

  • November 16

    Today's word
    halfpenny

    Half of a penny, pronounced "hay-penny."

  • November 17

    Today's word
    three-cornered hat

    A turned up, or "cock," hat.

  • November 18

    Today's word
    fortnight

    A phrase used to describe the span of fourteen nights.

  • November 19

    Today's word
    spatterdashes

    Gaiters of leather or canvas shaped to the leg, covering from the knee to the ankle.

  • November 20

    Today's word
    review

    The drawing out of all or part of the army for inspection.

  • November 21

    Today's word
    skep

    A straw beehive.

  • November 22

    Today's word
    brimstone

    Sulphur used in gunpowder, fireworks, and medicines.

  • November 23

    Today's word
    counting room

    An office in which a bookkeeper kept the records of the store.

  • November 24

    Today's word
    pilgrim

    A traveler who undertakes a journey, particularly one to a place of religious significance.

  • November 25

    Today's word
    tattoo

    The order for all enlisted men to retire to their quarters.

  • November 26

    Today's word
    gallipot

    A small jar often used in apothecaries to hold ointments and medicines.

  • November 27

    Today's word
    Pontefract cakes

    A licorice candy, not too sweet, from Pontefract, England.

  • November 28

    Today's word
    pence

    More than one penny.

  • November 29

    Today's word
    weft

    Crosswise thread carried in the shuttle of the loom; the woof.

  • November 30

    Today's word
    teetotum

    A top with numbered sides used instead of dice in children's games.

  • December 1

    Today's word
    parterre

    A garden feature with geometric beds planted with bushes and flowers and separated by paths.

  • December 2

    Today's word
    lancer

    A cavalryman armed with a lance who rides a light, fast horse.

  • December 3

    Today's word
    poll

    The head, as in "poll tax," or "poll comb."

  • December 4

    Today's word
    salamander

    A circular iron plate with a long handle. The plate was to be heated in the fire and used to brown the top of a pudding or other food item.

  • December 5

    Today's word
    bowling alley

    Any long, flat, outdoor green space for bowling or playing skittles.

  • December 6

    Today's word
    trencher

    A wooden disk or square from which food was served or eaten.

  • December 7

    Today's word
    hussar

    A cavalryman on a medium horse, carrying little equipment, often used as a messenger.

  • December 8

    Today's word
    apothecary

    Similar to today's pharmacists, the 18th-century apothecary diagnosed ailments and prepared treatments to ease their symptoms.

  • December 9

    Today's word
    loo

    A card game similar to whist played with either three or five cards. The penalty for losing a trick or breaking a rule is being "looed," or compelled to add money to the pool.

  • December 10

    Today's word
    treenware

    Small, useful articles made from wood.

  • December 11

    Today's word
    ha-ha

    A ditch or sunken fence to contain livestock. Because it could not be seen from the house or garden, it unified the garden with the surrounding countryside.

  • December 12

    Today's word
    calumet

    A tobacco pipe with a clay bowl, a long reed stem, and decorated with feathers.

  • December 13

    Today's word
    blind man's buff

    A party game in which one person is blindfolded and the other players jostle and taunt him. The "blind man" has to catch and name another player to end his turn.

  • December 14

    Today's word
    piggin

    A little wooden bucket with a long handle made from one of its staves, sometimes used like a ladle.

  • December 15

    Today's word
    duffle

    Thick, rough cloth made from wool and used to make rugged clothing.

  • December 16

    Today's word
    factor

    One who buys or sells for another.

  • December 17

    Today's word
    fusil

    A type of musket that weighs comparatively little.

  • December 18

    Today's word
    ninepins

    Nine skittles, or pins, are knocked down with a rolling ball in a game similar to modern bowling.

  • December 19

    Today's word
    trammel

    Several rings used to hook a cooking pot by its bail over the fire.

  • December 20

    Today's word
    gartering

    The banding used to create garters, which are small loops secured around the calf to hold stockings up.

  • December 21

    Today's word
    bateau

    A small boat used on rivers.

  • December 22

    Today's word
    firkin

    A cask roughly a quarter of the size of a barrel.

  • December 23

    Today's word
    peltry

    Fur skins or pelts.

  • December 24

    Today's word
    portmanteau

    A piece of luggage for traveling.

  • December 25

    Today's word
    holiday

    Literally, "holy day," an occasion of religious observance.

  • December 26

    Today's word
    freeholder

    Any person who owns land, including women and children under legal age.

  • December 27

    Today's word
    goose

    An 18th-century game played with counters on a compartmentalized board decorated with pictures of geese.

  • December 28

    Today's word
    snuff

    Tobacco that has been dried and ground into powder, to be inhaled or placed between the lip and gums.

  • December 29

    Today's word
    hominy

    Maize finely ground or beaten, soaked with lye-water, then boiled or baked.

  • December 30

    Today's word
    barrow

    A castrated male hog.

  • December 31

    Today's word
    rout

    A large formal evening party.

  • January 1

    Today's word
    fishgigs

    A kind of fish spear.

  • January 2

    Today's word
    ninemen's morris

    A board game similar to tic-tack-toe played between two players, each with a number (usually nine) of pebbles, wood or metal discs, pegs, or pins.

  • January 3

    Today's word
    pirogue

    A canoe-like vessel, with or without sails.

  • January 4

    Today's word
    tun

    A cask often used to hold wine or beer.

  • January 5

    Today's word
    gorget

    A metal plate worn around the neck by military officers as a symbol of rank.

  • January 6

    Today's word
    riding chair

    A light, two-wheeled vehicle built to accommodate one or two passengers, drawn by a single horse.

  • January 7

    Today's word
    pied

    Multicolored, originally black and white like a magpie.

  • January 8

    Today's word
    steelyards

    A balance with two unequal arms, the longer having a movable counterpoise and the shorter bearing a hook to hold the object being weighed.

  • January 9

    Today's word
    baroque

    A popular 18th-century architectural style with whimsical embellishments as its hallmark.

  • January 10

    Today's word
    curiosity

    A hobby or interest; a recreational pursuit.

  • January 11

    Today's word
    housewifery

    The job of running a household and managing the expenses thereof.

  • January 12

    Today's word
    spinster

    A woman who spins thread, also the legal term for an unmarried woman.

  • January 13

    Today's word
    corn

    The seed of a cereal crop, such as wheat, barley, or rye.

  • January 14

    Today's word
    pullet

    A young domestic fowl that is older than a chick but not fully mature.

  • January 15

    Today's word
    sack

    Dry white wine or sherry made in what is now the Jerez region of Spain.

  • January 16

    Today's word
    undertaker

    One who undertakes a task or job in contract with another.

  • January 17

    Today's word
    waste-book

    A blank book for rough notes on expenses and purchases. Figures from the waste-book would later be copied into a formal ledger.

  • January 18

    Today's word
    drugget

    Wool, wool-linen, or wool silk-cloth for wearing apparel, or for spreading under a table to catch crumbs.

  • January 19

    Today's word
    rococo

    A decorative or architectural style marked by ornate scroll and shell patterns.

  • January 20

    Today's word
    phaeton

    A light, four-wheeled, open vehicle drawn by a pair of horses.

  • January 21

    Today's word
    smelt

    The process of melting ore to separate pure metal from dirt, sand, and impurities.

  • January 22

    Today's word
    hoecake

    A simple bread made with cornmeal, salt, and water, fried on a hoe in front of a fire.

  • January 23

    Today's word
    bloom

    The process of melting ore to separate pure metal from dirt, sand, and impurities.

  • January 24

    Today's word
    blancmange

    Almond cream in gelatin form, a popular 18th-century dessert.

  • January 25

    Today's word
    collation

    A small meal served late in the evening, usually light food requiring little preparation.

  • January 26

    Today's word
    isinglass

    A semitransparent, whitish, pure form of gelatin made from the air bladders of sturgeons.

  • January 27

    Today's word
    pillory

    An instrument of punishment built to confine the neck and wrists in a wooden yoke.

  • January 28

    Today's word
    marchpane

    A kind of candy made from pounded almonds and sugar, formed into small cakes or ornamental shapes.

  • January 29

    Today's word
    dinner

    The main meal of the day, in the 1700s, served about 2:00 p.m.

  • January 30

    Today's word
    sweetmeats

    Delicacies such as candied fruits and nuts or sugared pastries.

  • January 31

    Today's word
    plantation

    A farm or estate where a staple crop such as cotton, sugar, or tobacco is grown.

  • February 1

    Today's word
    mantuamaker

    A dressmaker who makes mantuas, a popular style of gown in the 17th and 18th centuries.

  • February 2

    Today's word
    chariot

    An enclosed vehicle with one forward-facing seat that accommodates two to three people.

  • February 3

    Today's word
    tenement

    Any rented property, whether land or buildings.

  • February 4

    Today's word
    supper

    The last meal of the day, usually a light meal of leftovers. Also an elaborate meal for a festive social occasion.

  • February 5

    Today's word
    parish

    The district under the oversight of a single minister.

  • February 6

    Today's word
    vestry

    An assembly of elected representatives of a parish, held originally in the part of the church where robes, or vestments, were kept.

  • February 7

    Today's word
    clerk

    A legal profession of the 18th century.

  • February 8

    Today's word
    printer's devil

    A young boy hired to perform small tasks or errands in the printer's office.

  • February 9

    Today's word
    dilettante

    A connoisseur of fine arts.

  • February 10

    Today's word
    pier

    The brick or stone composing the structure of walls set between windows or doors.

  • February 11

    Today's word
    tessera

    The small bits of colorful marble and glass that comprise a mosaic.

  • February 12

    Today's word
    gaol

    Jail.

  • February 13

    Today's word
    form

    A backless bench.

  • February 14

    Today's word
    beau

    A young lady's suitor or male admirer.

  • February 15

    Today's word
    forcemeat

    Finely chopped and highly seasoned meat, formed into small balls and used as stuffing or garnish.

  • February 16

    Today's word
    beaker

    A large drinking cup with a wide mouth.

  • February 17

    Today's word
    pitch

    A sticky resin made made from the distillation of wood tar or turpentine, used to seal and waterproof ships.

  • February 18

    Today's word
    milliner

    A shop that carries exquisite goods, particularly those from Milan, Italy.

  • February 19

    Today's word
    porter

    A beer prized for its dark, bitter composition.

  • February 20

    Today's word
    carter

    The driver of a cart.

  • February 21

    Today's word
    gazette

    A newspaper or other periodical.

  • February 22

    Today's word
    twelfth night

    January 5th, the end of the Christmas holidays.

  • February 23

    Today's word
    lottery

    A fund-raising scheme for a charitable institution, wherein a distribution of prized is determined by the random selection of numbered tickets, or lots.

  • February 24

    Today's word
    commonwealth

    The happiness and security of the public, also the population of a state.

  • February 25

    Today's word
    stocks

    An instrument of punishment consisting of two planks set edgewise with two holes cut in the center. The person sat with his ankles locked between the two planks.

  • February 26

    Today's word
    visto

    A view or prospect, especially as seen through an avenue of trees or similar long and narrow opening.

  • February 27

    Today's word
    barm

    The frothy mass of fermentation formed on top of ale.

  • February 28

    Today's word
    brawn

    The fleshy part of the back leg of an animal, suitable for roasting.

  • March 1

    Today's word
    betwattled

    Surprised; confounded, out of one's senses.

  • March 2

    Today's word
    catsup

    A sauce of mashed anchovies, oysters, mushrooms, or walnuts.

  • March 3

    Today's word
    collop

    A slice of meat.

  • March 4

    Today's word
    blackjack

    A large leather jug for beer or other beverages, made black by an external coat of tar.

  • March 5

    Today's word
    comfit

    A dry sweetmeat; any kind of nut, fruit, seed or root that has been dried and preserved with sugar.

  • March 6

    Today's word
    hartshorn

    The horn or antler of a hart, or deer, used as a source of gelatin.

  • March 7

    Today's word
    ashcake

    A batter of cornmeal, salt and water, cooked in the coals of a fire.

  • March 8

    Today's word
    johnnycake

    In England, an oatmeal or barley cake. In North America, the recipe is adapted and made with cornmeal.

  • March 9

    Today's word
    jelly

    A moist gelatin of sweetmeat or preserved fruit.

  • March 10

    Today's word
    lights

    An anatomical reference to the lungs.

  • March 11

    Today's word
    tripe

    An animal's stomach, prepared as food.

  • March 12

    Today's word
    pottage

    A hearty meat and vegetable stew.

  • March 13

    Today's word
    ragout

    A flavorful stew of vegatables and chopped meat.

  • March 14

    Today's word
    sago

    The starchy pith of West Indian palms, used to thicken soups and puddings.

  • March 15

    Today's word
    shoat

    A weaned young pig.

  • March 16

    Today's word
    sippet

    A crunchy garnish of toasted or fried bread.

  • March 17

    Today's word
    souse

    A boiled, seasoned, pressed loaf of scraps from a pig's head.

  • March 18

    Today's word
    coxcomb

    A flirtatious, frivolous man.

  • March 19

    Today's word
    squab

    An immature pigeon.

  • March 20

    Today's word
    rennet

    Undigested, curdled milk from a calf's stomach used in the cheese-making process.

  • March 21

    Today's word
    standing dish

    A favorite item at the table, served each day or at each meal.

  • March 22

    Today's word
    caster

    A ceramic, glass, or metal dispenser for condiments such as vinegar, pepper, or dry mustard.

  • March 23

    Today's word
    cruet

    An oil or vinegar dispenser for use at the table.

  • March 24

    Today's word
    demijohn

    A large glass jug with a three to ten gallon capacity, often protected with a wicker or rush covering.

  • March 25

    Today's word
    firkin

    A cask made to convey fish, butter, or other liquids, equal in volume to one fourth of a barrel.

  • March 26

    Today's word
    flagon

    A hefty, lidded drinking bottle with a handle and spout.

  • March 27

    Today's word
    tureen

    A serving dish for soup or stew, characterized by its deep oval shape.

  • March 28

    Today's word
    minuet

    A triple-time dance performed by a single couple.

  • March 29

    Today's word
    cotillion

    The term for a number of French dances composed of an assortment of steps and figures.

  • March 30

    Today's word
    country dance

    A family of English dances in which couples line up in facing pairs.

  • March 31

    Today's word
    lard

    An exclamation expressing surprise, taken from the word "lord."

  • April 1

    Today's word
    fie

    A phrase denoting denial or rejection of the comments of another.

  • April 2

    Today's word
    buss

    A lusty kiss.

  • April 3

    Today's word
    coquette

    A flirtatious, silly woman.

  • April 4

    Today's word
    gallant

    A man who is a woman's partner in intrigue, often a married woman's lover.

  • April 5

    Today's word
    swain

    A charming country beau.

  • April 6

    Today's word
    twire

    A flirtatious glance.

  • April 7

    Today's word
    baggage

    An immoral woman unworthy of respect.

  • April 8

    Today's word
    bugbear

    Something superficially frightening but actually powerless.

  • April 9

    Today's word
    hussy

    A bold, saucy, or ill-mannered woman.

  • April 10

    Today's word
    puppy

    A disparaging term for a man who is young, foolish, or both.

  • April 11

    Today's word
    genteel

    A well-bred person with charming manners.

  • April 12

    Today's word
    vulgar

    Low bred or ill-mannered.

  • April 13

    Today's word
    beauty spot

    A mole-like spot which fashionable ladies applied to the face.

  • April 14

    Today's word
    huzzah

    An exclamation of agreement or encouragement: a hurray.

  • April 15

    Today's word
    watertable

    A sloping angle incorporated into masonry to channel water away from the foundation.

  • April 16

    Today's word
    upright

    A charming country beau.

  • April 17

    Today's word
    above stairs

    A building's upper floors: upstairs.

  • April 18

    Today's word
    vice

    Wicked or immoral habits or behavior.

  • April 19

    Today's word
    constitutional

    Something that is understood to have a positive effect on health, like a walk or fresh air.

  • April 20

    Today's word
    melancholy

    Suffering the effects of black bile; to be irritable, angry, or peevish.

  • April 21

    Today's word
    phlegmatic

    To have phlegm as the dominant bodily humor, characterized by passivity and inactivity.

  • April 22

    Today's word
    bilious

    To be snappish, bad-tempered.

  • April 23

    Today's word
    humors

    A medical theory that credits health with a balance of four humors: blood, phlegm, choler, and melancholy. Excess or deficit of any could cause illness or mood changes.

  • April 24

    Today's word
    spermaceti

    A fatty substance harvested from sperm whales used to make medicines and candles.

  • April 25

    Today's word
    coney

    A rabbit.

  • April 26

    Today's word
    rush

    A straight-stemmed marsh plant used as fuel for light and as a floor covering.

  • April 27

    Today's word
    diversion

    Recreation or amusement.

  • April 28

    Today's word
    entertainment

    Hospitable accommodation for the needs of a guest, especially a formal meal.

  • April 29

    Today's word
    hall

    A dwelling's principal multipurpose room.

  • April 30

    Today's word
    passage

    In Southern domestic architecture, the space at the center of a house which runs from the front door to the back door, providing a waiting area and allowing air to circulate.

  • May 1

    Today's word
    palladian

    An architectural style referring to an 18th-century English preference for the neoclassical style of Palladio and reaction against the baroque.

  • May 2

    Today's word
    gill

    A liquid measure equal to two ounces or a fourth of a pint.

  • May 3

    Today's word
    dram

    A modest serving of a cordial or alcohol, equal to one eighth of an ounce.

  • May 4

    Today's word
    ell

    A textile measurement which varies by country.

  • May 5

    Today's word
    tithe

    A tax for the support of religious establishments.

  • May 6

    Today's word
    levy

    A tax assessed by person.

  • May 7

    Today's word
    tonic

    An invigorating or bracing medicine.

  • May 8

    Today's word
    pocketbook

    A folding case for carrying papers in one's pocket, or another term for a man's wallet.

  • May 9

    Today's word
    loyalist

    In the Revolutionary War, one who remained loyal to England.

  • May 10

    Today's word
    tarring and feathering

    To smear an individual with tar and then cover him with feathers; a mob punishment inflicted on unpopular or scandalous characters.

  • May 11

    Today's word
    osnabrug

    A coarse linen or cotton made in Osnabruk, Germany. The rugged fabric was ideal for hard-wearing clothing, sacks, and tents.

  • May 12

    Today's word
    saltpeter

    Potassium nitrate used in making gunpowder and some medicines.

  • May 13

    Today's word
    spectacles

    Eyeglasses.

  • May 14

    Today's word
    queue

    A long braid of hair.

  • May 15

    Today's word
    damask

    A richly woven silk fabric ornamented with elaborate patterns.

  • May 16

    Today's word
    bohea

    One of the finest types of black tea.

  • May 17

    Today's word
    leghorn

    Braided and bleached straw used in the construction of hats and bonnets.

  • May 18

    Today's word
    hornbook

    The alphabet and Lord's prayer, mounted on a piece of wood and covered by a thin sheath of horn, used as a child's learning aid.

  • May 19

    Today's word
    lanthorn

    A transparent or translucent case made to protect a flame; a lantern.

  • May 20

    Today's word
    dunghill fowl

    Poultry, chickens.

  • May 21

    Today's word
    idle

    Once who is lazy, worthless, and of no value.

  • May 22

    Today's word
    industrious

    One who is hardworking, able, and clever.

  • May 23

    Today's word
    liberty pole

    A center of community protest.

  • May 24

    Today's word
    midden

    A domestic trash pit.

  • May 25

    Today's word
    proclamation

    Originally a king's formal order, later used to refer to any official announcement.

  • May 26

    Today's word
    declaration

    A public statement contained in a document or public act.

  • May 27

    Today's word
    freshet

    A flood caused by heavy rains or melted snow.

  • May 28

    Today's word
    instant

    The current, or present. For example, "the 21st instant" would refer to the 21st of this month.

  • May 29

    Today's word
    vizt.

    An abbreviation of the Latin "videlicet," meaning "namely," or "to wit." Used in correspondence or conversation to introduce an amplification or explanation.

  • May 30

    Today's word
    do.

    An abbreviation for "ditto," meaning "the same."

  • May 31

    Today's word
    candlelight

    The time when candles are lit: nightfall, or dusk.

  • June 1

    Today's word
    chamberpot

    A vesel kept in the bedchamber for nighttime emissions.

  • June 2

    Today's word
    necessary house

    A small structure with an enclosed seat on a raised platform built to house a latrine.

  • June 3

    Today's word
    lady

    A genteel female, or the wife of a lord.

  • June 4

    Today's word
    dyet

    An allowance or provision of food: board.

  • June 5

    Today's word
    bumbo

    A punch made from rum, sugar, water and nutmeg.

  • June 6

    Today's word
    small beer

    Beer low in alcoholic content, taken at meals and throughout the day.

  • June 7

    Today's word
    limner

    One who paints portraiture.

  • June 8

    Today's word
    matron

    A woman in charge of the maintenance and operation of a charitable institution.

  • June 9

    Today's word
    comedian

    An actor who is not a tragedian.

  • June 10

    Today's word
    playhouse

    A theater where plays are performed.

  • June 11

    Today's word
    player

    An actor or actress who performs in plays.

  • June 12

    Today's word
    remonstrance

    An appeal or request.

  • June 13

    Today's word
    apron

    A decorative or protective article worn over a woman's gown.

  • June 14

    Today's word
    petticoat

    A skirt worn under a woman's gown.

  • June 15

    Today's word
    colors

    The flag or standard of a military unit or ship.

  • June 16

    Today's word
    stays

    A shaping garment which molded a woman's torso into a conical form.

  • June 17

    Today's word
    pap

    Soft baby food made of bread moistened with milk or water.

  • June 18

    Today's word
    pudding cap

    A padded bonnet worn by toddlers to protect the head during play.

  • June 19

    Today's word
    leading strings

    Fabric lines sewn to a child's clothing used to tether a toddler to an adult.

  • June 20

    Today's word
    pater

    One who performs the duties of a legal or biological father.

  • June 21

    Today's word
    wet nurse

    A woman hired to breastfeed an infant.

  • June 22

    Today's word
    clout

    A baby's diaper.

  • June 23

    Today's word
    dissenter

    One who separates from a specified church.

  • June 24

    Today's word
    gambol

    To caper or romp like children or playful animals.

  • June 25

    Today's word
    lark

    A lighthearted adventure.

  • June 26

    Today's word
    epergne

    A branching centerpiece at the table used to hold sweetmeats, fruit, nuts, and other delicacies.

  • June 27

    Today's word
    sexton

    An officer of the church whose duties include ringing the bell and digging graves.

  • June 28

    Today's word
    orphan

    A child rendered parentless by death or abandonment. In colonial Virginia, the term might apply to a minor whose father has died but whose mother is living.

  • June 29

    Today's word
    runaway

    A fugitive or deserter.

  • June 30

    Today's word
    ague

    A malarial fever marked by fits or paroxysms. Sufferers experience cold, hot, and sweating stages.

  • July 1

    Today's word
    quarter

    A slave dwelling.

  • July 2

    Today's word
    closet

    A small room or office used for study, writing, or privacy.

  • July 3

    Today's word
    syllabub

    A sweetened cordial made with milk or cream mixed with wine or cider.

  • July 4

    Today's word
    gentry

    The rank of a gentleman or lady.

  • July 5

    Today's word
    militia

    A supplemental civilian military force.

  • July 6

    Today's word
    sheepshead

    A large, abundant, and prized species of fish found in coastal North America.

  • July 7

    Today's word
    train oil

    An oil boiled from the blubber of whales, seals, and other fish.

  • July 8

    Today's word
    drum line

    A line strung for catching a drum-fish, which gets its name from the drumming noise it makes.

  • July 9

    Today's word
    subscriber

    One who signs a letter or formal document: the undersigned.

  • July 10

    Today's word
    wit

    Sharpness, cleverness, or one who embodies those qualities.

  • July 11

    Today's word
    artful

    To be dexterous or clever.

  • July 12

    Today's word
    posset

    A sweet, curative drink of hot curdled milk and ale or spirits.

  • July 13

    Today's word
    waistcoat

    A vest-like article worn by gentlemen who would have pronounced the word "weskot."

  • July 14

    Today's word
    neck handkerchief

    A piece of fabric worn at the top of a woman's low gown.

  • July 15

    Today's word
    dutch oven

    A capacious iron cooking pot which is nested in embers and whose lid is covered with coals.

  • July 16

    Today's word
    wench

    A young enslaved female servant.

  • July 17

    Today's word
    greengage

    A greenish plum with a fine flavor.

  • July 18

    Today's word
    salad oil

    olive oil

  • July 19

    Today's word
    N.B.

    An abbreviated form of the Latin phrase, "nota bene," meaning "note well."

  • July 20

    Today's word
    perukemaker

    One who makes perukes, which today are known as wigs.

  • July 21

    Today's word
    cordwainer

    A shoemaker.

  • July 22

    Today's word
    bursar

    An organizations' treasurer.

  • July 23

    Today's word
    embargo

    A boycott which prohibits the entry of foreign ships and the departure of native ones, generally issued under threat of conflict.

  • July 24

    Today's word
    treatise

    A literary work which examines a particular subject in some detail.

  • July 25

    Today's word
    compleat

    Entire; complete

  • July 26

    Today's word
    sparrowgrass

    Asparagus

  • July 27

    Today's word
    middling

    The middle class, or people of moderate means.

  • July 28

    Today's word
    shift

    A long, sleeved undergarment worn under a gown.

  • July 29

    Today's word
    banyan

    A man's slightly fitted dressing gown; popular leisure wear in the 18th century.

  • July 30

    Today's word
    draper

    A seller of wool or linen cloth.

  • July 31

    Today's word
    punch

    The most popular mixed drink of the 18th century, made with citrus, sugar, water, spice, and spirits.

  • August 1

    Today's word
    Michaelmas

    The feast of St. Michael, celebrated September 29 and pronounced "Mickelmas."

  • August 2

    Today's word
    cimling

    A summer squash with a scalloped edge.

  • August 3

    Today's word
    dentifrice

    Tooth powder, or toothpaste.

  • August 4

    Today's word
    landskip

    A painted depiction of inland scenery, as distinguished from a sea picture, portrait, or other subject.

  • August 5

    Today's word
    tea canister

    A caddy for holding dry, unused tea leaves.

  • August 6

    Today's word
    perry

    A cider-like alcoholic beverage made from pear juice.

  • August 7

    Today's word
    arrack

    A distilled beverage made from the fermented sap of the coconut palm.

  • August 8

    Today's word
    tippling

    To drink alcohol often and in small quantities; the habitual indulgence in intoxicating beverages.

  • August 9

    Today's word
    dropsy

    A morbid condition characterized by the accumulation of fluid in the body's serous cavities or connective tissue.

  • August 10

    Today's word
    wassail

    A beer-based hot holiday punch popular in the Christmas season.

  • August 11

    Today's word
    pettiauger

    A common pleasure boat of the colonial period, adapted from American Indian log canoes.

  • August 12

    Today's word
    post rider

    One who delivers mail on horseback.

  • August 13

    Today's word
    physick

    The professional practice of medicine.

  • August 14

    Today's word
    indenture

    A binding contract which obligates a servant to a master or an apprentice to a trade.

  • August 15

    Today's word
    joiner

    A woodworker who creates objects by joining wood.

  • August 16

    Today's word
    slipshod

    Wearing loose or shabby footwear suggestive of an overall state of decrepitude.

  • August 17

    Today's word
    allarums

    A call to arms; a signal for men to arm themselves.

  • August 18

    Today's word
    tocsin

    A ringing alarm bell.

  • August 19

    Today's word
    domestic economy

    The knowledge of household management, to include food preparation, sewing, and laundry.

  • August 20

    Today's word
    billet

    An order to provide food and shelter for troops.

  • August 21

    Today's word
    consort

    A companion or partner, sometimes a spouse.

  • August 22

    Today's word
    bother

    A petty trouble or disturbance, or the exclamation made in the presence of one.

  • August 23

    Today's word
    bepester

    To nag or annoy.

  • August 24

    Today's word
    chocolate

    A beverage made from roasted and ground seeds of the cacao pod and heated milk, water, brandy, or wine.

  • August 25

    Today's word
    outlandish

    A strange and unfamiliar denizen of a foreign country.

  • August 26

    Today's word
    circular letter

    Correspondence written to be circulated among people with a shared interest in its contents.

  • August 27

    Today's word
    metropolis

    A country's foremost city or seat of government.

  • August 28

    Today's word
    continental

    A designation attributed to those things coming from or belonging to the colonies during and after the Revolutionary War.

  • August 29

    Today's word
    quartermaster

    A military officer whose responsibility is the overseeing of military provisions and supplies.

  • August 30

    Today's word
    pamphleteer

    A writer of brief political tracts or pamphlets.

  • August 31

    Today's word
    orangerie

    A greenhouse optimized for the cultivation of oranges and other exotic citrus in cold climes.

  • September 1

    Today's word
    herbal

    A written work about plants and the garden.

  • September 2

    Today's word
    alderman

    A city magistrate, subordinate in stature to the mayor.

  • September 3

    Today's word
    pockets

    A small pouch sewn into a woman's waistband and worn under her gown.

  • September 4

    Today's word
    hothead

    One whose even temper is easily lost.

  • September 5

    Today's word
    beeves

    The plural of beef; cattle or oxen.

  • September 6

    Today's word
    kine

    The plural of cow.

  • September 7

    Today's word
    dovecote

    A raised house for nesting doves or pigeons.

  • September 8

    Today's word
    Whitsunday

    The seventh Sunday after Easter; Pentecost

  • September 9

    Today's word
    hautboy

    An oboe, a reeded wind instrument.

  • September 10

    Today's word
    armonica

    Benjamin Franklin's musical invention, a glass cylinder mounted horizontally and played by touching moistened fingertips to the rotating instrument.

  • September 11

    Today's word
    savages

    A term applied to groups regarded as uncivilized and uneducated. Often used to refer to American Indians.

  • September 12

    Today's word
    palisade

    A series of wooden posts forming a wall or fortress.

  • September 13

    Today's word
    abscond

    To run away with the intent of concealing oneself, as a criminal before the law.

  • September 14

    Today's word
    maize

    Also known as Indian corn, a cereal grass of North America.

  • September 15

    Today's word
    milk pan

    A shallow dish where milk rests as the cream rises.

  • September 16

    Today's word
    seething

    A cooking term analogous to boiling.

  • September 17

    Today's word
    dispensatory

    A manual of medicines and instructions for the method of their application.

  • September 18

    Today's word
    battery

    A small complement of artillery pieces used for tactical missions.

  • September 19

    Today's word
    pioneers

    Infantrymen whose job it is to clear a path to admit the passing of the troop as a whole.

  • September 20

    Today's word
    inventory

    A list of the property and holdings of a deceased person.

  • September 21

    Today's word
    appraisement

    An inventory which lists the value of the property of a deceased person.

  • September 22

    Today's word
    fabric

    The structure or construction of anything, especially of buildings.

  • September 23

    Today's word
    senight

    A phrase used to describe the span of seven nights.

  • September 24

    Today's word
    smokehouse

    A small outbuilding or room used to cure meat by means of smoke.

  • September 25

    Today's word
    suit

    The collective term for a gentleman's coat, waistcoat, and breeches.

  • September 26

    Today's word
    warehouse

    A building used to store merchandise, especially tobacco in 18th-century Williamsburg.

  • September 27

    Today's word
    sugar islands

    The Caribbean, where sugar was the main crop in the 18th and 19th centuries.

  • September 28

    Today's word
    chamber

    A particular room or set of rooms in a house, often a bedroom.

  • September 29

    Today's word
    cocoa

    Corruption of the Spanish word "cacao," the Mexican name of the cacao-seed. By 1604, a beverage made from the seeds of the cacao-tree was called chocolate.

  • September 30

    Today's word
    robin

    The name English colonists gave to the red-breasted thrush of North America.

  • October 1

    Today's word
    almanac

    An annual table or book of tables containing a calendar of months, days, holidays, and useful information.

History Fact of the Day

Colonial Williamsburg

  • November 29

    Ben Franklin favored the turkey over the eagle as the national bird.

    Learn more

Colonial Williamsburg

Photo of the Day

November 29, 2014