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Glossary

Aethelmearc

A Kingdom in the SCA. Normally spelled Æthelmearc . This Kingdom covers these regions (in the US): West Virginia, western Pennsylvania, and western New York.

An Tir

A Kingdom in the SCA. This Kingdom covers these regions of the US: Oregon, Washington, the northern tip of Idaho, Canada: British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, the Yukon, and the Northwest Territories.

Anachronism

Anything out of its proper place in time

Anno Societatis

The dating system used in the S.C.A. All dates are counted from May 1st, 1966, and the year is shown in Roman Numerals. ("Anno Societatis" is basically "In the Year of the Society".) May 1, 1966 was May 1, A.S. I, and dates move forward from there.

Ansteorra

A Kingdom in the SCA. This Kingdom covers these regions (of the US): Oklahoma and Texas, except for a part of Texas in the Mountain time zone.

Apprentice

A student who has been accepted by a Master or Mistress of the Laurel or of the Pelican for training (see also Protegé).

Armor

Armor is worn to protect the body of a fighter. The restrictions on what is required to be worn is defined by a combination of tradition, and trial and error (someone getting hurt) over many years. There is a minimum set of requirements for armor that must be met for a fighter to be approved to fight in a tournament or war; and it varies depending on whether the fighter is a "heavy" fighter, "rapier" fighter, or a "light" fighter.

Arms

The heraldic emblem that identifies a person or entity. Displaying arms is a right granted by the King and Queen and (see Award of Arms) subject to approval by the Kingdom college of Heralds and the SCA College of Arms.

Artemisia

A Kingdom in the SCA. This Kingdom covers these regions (of the US): Utah, Southern Idaho, Montana, and west of the continental divide of Colorado and Wyoming.

Atenveldt

A Kingdom in the SCA. This Kingdom covers these regions (of the US): Arizona, Utah, and a small bit of California.

Atlantia

A Kingdom in the SCA. This Kingdom covers these regions (of the US): Maryland, Virginia, North and South Carolina, plus a piece of Georgia, minus a piece of Virginia.

Authorized

An individual who has been formally recognized as trained to an adequate level of safety in a combat or combat-related activity.

Autocrat

The individual in charge of a specific event. This person is often an unsung hero, who works hard to obtain a site, work out all of the details necessary to use the site.

Avacal

A Kingdom that was formerly a Principality of the Kingdom of An Tir. The region covered by this Kingdom is the Canadian provinces of Saskatchewan, Alberta, and the eastern portion of British Columbia, plus the Yukon and Northwest Territories.

Award

The Royalty of the SCA may grant a variety of awards to those that they find worthy. This award structure ranges from awards that grant arms (armigerous awards) to those that do not (non-armigerous awards). Most awards are granted at the whim of the Royalty, although many are designed to reward specific skills, behavior, etc. However, the Royalty are busy people, and cannot possibly know everyone in their Principality or Kingdom. It is helpful if you feel someone is deserving of reward that you write a letter of recommendation. Anyone can do it, for any award, you don't have to have the award yourself to recommend someone for that award.

Award of Arms

This award grants the right to 'bear arms' in the SCA. Don't let the terminology fool you, anyone may register a 'device' with the SCA's College of Arms, but until an Award of Arms (or award that grants such with it) is granted to an individual, what you display is a 'device', not a Coat of Arms. It is a minor technical difference. The award also grants the title of Lord or Lady, and there are a variety of Title Language Equivalents that can be used for those who wish to use a specific language for their persona. 

Historical Note: The first Awards of Arms in the SCA were granted at Twelfth Night, AS III (1969), by King Caradoc ap Cador (West Kingdom).

Badge

An armorial emblem used to mark your belongings or to denote a household or other organization (guild, etc.) within the SCA. It is usually simpler (fewer items/colors on the badge) than a device (or arms) unless your device is extremely simple.

Baldric

This is a belt (leather, fabric, whatever) worn from one shoulder to the hip. Baldrics serve many purposes: they can be used to hold a sword (rather than hanging a sword from one's belt); they can be used to note an officer (specific colors/badges) -- these are usually fabric; they can be used as decoration; in the West, they are used for members of the Queen's Guard, the Princess' Escort for some of the Principalities, and other purposes; and a white baldric is reserved specifically for Masters of Arms.

Banner

This is a means of displaying one's device or coat of arms (or badge) on fabric. There are many styles that are period in form. One style commonly in use that is not period in form is a 'heater shape' (shield shaped) banner. Instead, it is suggested that you use a rectangular shape, and if you really want to place your arms on a shield, do so, placing the shield-shape on the rectangle -- that is more period in form and style. Banners are a great way to add pageantry to the SCA, and add to the medieval atmosphere of events.

Bard

This term can be confusing, as it is sometimes used as a title (as in "Bard of the Mists"), and some folk call themselves "Bards". A bard is a person who participates in bardic circles, sings, tells stories, recites poetry, etc. Except for positions such as the "Bard of the West" or the "Bard of the Mists", there is no official title "Bard" in the West, and use of this term as a title should be discouraged.

Bardic Circle

A gathering where the major activity is the exchange of songs and stories in a medieval style. Often done around a campfire at camping events.

Barony

A Barony is a branch within the SCA. A Barony must have a Baron and/or Baroness (see above), as well as fit within specific guidelines defined in the SCA's Corpora and By-Laws for the size and activity levels of the organization. A Barony may contain within it's borders smaller branches, such as Shires, Cantons, and others, but it is not required that they do so. A Province has the same requirements as a Barony, but does not have the ceremonial head(s) of a Baron and/or Baroness. 

Historical Note: The first Barony of the SCA was Atenveldt (November, AS IV (1969)). They didn't stay a Barony for long, becoming a Principality (February 22, AS IV (1970)) and then a Kingdom (first Crown Tournament dated Jan. 16, AS V (1971)) within just a couple of years.

Battered Blade

The Newsletter for the Shire of An Dun Theine

Belted Fighter

A belted fighter is a member of the Order of Chivalry, the term refers to the white belt worn by a Knight or the baldric worn by a Master of Arms.

BOD/Board of Directors

The Board of Directors are the people who deal with the mundane (non-medieval) aspects of running the organization.

Branch

A branch is an official SCA organization, which is regional, and must have specific officers (the requirements vary depending on the size of the branch). It may be based on a city, a University (see College), or a larger area. In the United States most Kingdoms are defined by the state borders (or close), but may and usually do, include multiple states. An Atlantian shire which had no actual land of its own was Curragh Mor (“great boat” in Gaelic). It was located on the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz. This fit in the SCA rules since the carrier had its own zip code.

Caid

A Kingdom in the SCA. This Kingdom covers these regions (of the US): Southern California, Greater Las Vegas Area and Hawaii. 

Calontir

A Kingdom in the SCA. This Kingdom covers these regions (of the US): Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Northern Arkansas.

Canton

A Canton is a small branch within the SCA. It is often,but not always, a sub-group contained within a Barony or Province.

Chamberlain

An officer in charge of inventorying and maintaining the regalia of a Kingdom, Principality or Barony, often a deputy of the Exchequer's office. The office is either appointed by and only as long as the current reign or is invested as a regular officer for the standard tenure independent of reigns. This office is not universal in the SCA. The position's responsibilities will vary from Kingdom to Kingdom.

Chatelaine

The officer in charge of greeting and helping newcomers. Also loans costumes and gear as needed (Gold Key).

Chirurgeon

Pronounced kier-ur-jun, or surgeon. An officer with first-aid training who stands by at events to render assistance as needed. Chirugeons are required to have formal qualification, at least a multi-media First Aid Card and CPR. The Chirurgeon may have a pavilion on site at an event, which would then be flying the banner for that office. This banner is usually red, with a white drop and a charge called a "fleam" on that -- it sort of looks like a weird '7'.

Chronicler

The officer in charge of a group's newsletter.

Circlet

A metal band worn on the head -- to keep the hair out of the eyes or the veil in place -- or just for decoration. Many kingdoms have sumptuary laws with regard to the allowed width of circlets, before investing in one it is suggested that you check your Kingdom's laws. 

Clear

A word called to indicate that someone is about to draw a steel weapon, so passers-by should watch where they step.

College

A College is a branch based on a University campus. The guidelines for activity levels are more loosely defined for a College, as they have some of the most transient populations in the SCA.

College of Arms

This is the SCA-wide College of Heralds. The College of Arms is responsible for registration of SCA Names and SCA Armory (device/coat of arms/badges). Note that the SCA College of Arms is not related to the SCA Registrar's office, and there is little, if any, communication between the two. 

College of Heralds

The Kingdom version of the College of Arms. This is the collective of the heralds in the Kingdom, headed by a "Principal" herald. The Kingdom College of Heralds handles a variety of tasks, ranging from working with the members of the populace to register names and arms, to making announcements at events, announcing fights on the field of honor, and being the master of ceremonies for Court. Not all heralds do all aspects of the office, so a court herald may not be familiar with name research.

Collegium

An event held specifically to educate members of the populace. Classes are taught all day (sometimes over two or more days) on topics ranging all over the SCA map -- Arts and Sciences, Fighting, and whatever else interests members.

Consort

One whose favor a fighter carries into a tournament. In a Crown or Coronet tournament, should the fighter win the tournament, the consort would be co-ruler with that fighter.

Constable

The Constable is an officer in the SCA whose job varies from Kingdom to Kingdom. In the West, one of the primary responsibilities is to ensure that the gate is manned (someone is taking care of business at the front-door for an event, taking money, getting people to sign waivers, etc.). The Constables often take care of "Lost and Found" as well as a variety of other tasks.

Coronation

The event where the Crown Prince and Crown Princess become the new King and Queen, and the outgoing King and Queen step down. If the outgoing King and Queen are not yet Count or Countess, or Duke or Duchess, then they are recognized in these titles and estates at the same event.

Count/Countess

These titles are used for those who have reigned as King or Queen once (or more), and they are assumed when the King/Queen has stepped down, however there is usually a ceremony which confirms these titles. 

Historical Note: The titles first came into existence at Beltane, AS VII (May 6, 1972), and was created by [King] James Greyhelm and [Queen] Verena of Laurelin. When it was created, the title was made retroactive to include all who had reigned as King or Queen of the West to date. There are a variety of Title Language Equivalents that can be used for those who wish to use a specific language for their persona.

Court

The word generally refers to a formal gathering of an SCA chapter, presided over by its ceremonial leaders. The primary activities of a court include announcements, presentations and awards from the leaders to individuals in the group.

A second meaning for this word refers to the retinue of the royalty, as in "Talk to a member of the court." These are folk who are trusted by the royalty to assist them during Their Reign. Sometimes this includes the herald, but not always. Sometimes members of the court "run interference" to keep the royals from being overwhelmed, they are also a good way to find out details about the plans the Royals have for future events, etc. If you find it hard to talk to the Royalty, try to talk to a member of Their Court. Some folk refer to members of the court as the Retinue or Royal Retinue.

Court Baron/Baroness

The title of Court Baron/ess is granted at the whim of the Royalty, and carries the title of Baron or Baroness. 

Historical Note: The first Court Barony was granted at Twelfth Night, AS III (January 4, 1969) by [King] Caradoc ap Cador. The term "Crown Baron" was sometimes used in the early days, and to add a layer of confusion, in Atenveldt, this title (Crown Baron) was used in the early days for those who reigned a Prince/Princess and King/Queen, rather than the terms Viscount/ess and/or Count/ess.

Crown

This term has two general meanings. The first is the King and Queen of a Kingdom working together (i.e., "the word of the Crown"). The other is the coronet worn by the King and/or Queen. These are specific to the Kingdom, and belong to the Kingdom, not the individuals currently wearing them. 

Historical Notes: The first crown worn as the symbol of the King was made by Henrik of Havn and placed on his head by Fulk de Wyvern at the First Coronation and Crown Tournament, March 25, AS I (1967). This Crown was Henrik's personal crown and worn by him during each of his reigns, and is now worn as his personal Ducal Coronet -- it was made of iron with silver crosses. For Twelfth Night AS II (January 6, 1968), Master Beverly Hodgehead created the "Ancient and Honorables" -- a pair of copper crowns that were used for the Coronation itself. Unfortunately, they were not very comfortable, and most of the early Kings and Queens had their own Crowns made, which were worn during the reign itself (becoming their personal County or Ducal coronets after stepping down). At Beltane Coronation, May 1, AS XI (1976), Henrik of Havn presented the silver crowns now used in the West Kingdom. These were first worn by [Duke] Paul of Bellatrix and [Duchess] Carol of Bellatrix. These Crowns have endured all this time, although there have been repairs done. A small sliver of the copper from the "Ancient and Honorable" crowns was included in both the King and the Queen's crowns.

Crown Prince/Crown Princess

The victor in the Crown Tournament and the victor's consort. The victor is named Crown Prince, and his consort is named Crown Princess. If a female fighter wins a Crown Tournament, the victor is named the Crown Princess, and the consort is then named the Crown Prince. The Crown Prince and Crown Princess will become the King and Queen at the next Coronation event, at which time the current King and Queen will step down. 

Historical Note: The titles of Crown Prince and Crown Princess were first used at the First Coronation and Crown Tournament, March 25, AS I (1967), and were first granted to [Duke] Richard the Short and [Countess] Anne of San Anselmo by [King] Henrik of Havn.

Cynagua
A Principality of the Kingdom of the West. This Principality covers most of the Northern part of California and part of Nevada
Dame

This is an alternate title that may be used by members of the Orders of Chivalry, the Laurel or the Pelican for those females who do not wish to use the title "Mistress" or "Sir" (in the case of the Order of Chivalry). In addition, there are a variety of Title Language Equivalents that can be used for those who wish to use a specific language for their persona.

Drachenwald

A Kingdom in the SCA. This Kingdom covers these regions: Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. 

Dry/Damp/Wet Site

This refers to a site's alcoholic beverage policy. Dry sites allow no alcohol. Damp sites permit wine, beer, and mead, but no hard liquor. Wet sites do not restrict alcohol. "Discreetly" damp or wet means that the site is normally dry, but the owners have agreed to permit us to use alcohol as long as the labelled containers are kept out of sight and are removed at the end of the event.

Duke/Duchess

These titles are automatically granted to those who have reigned as King or Queen twice [or more], and are assumed when the person steps down from the Throne at the end of their second reign (although there is usually a ceremony to recognize the titles). A Duke or Duchess is entitled to use the title "Duke (Name)" or "Duchess (name)" and to wear a Ducal Coronet. 

Historical Note:The first time the title of Duke was granted it was given retroactively to include those who had won the Kingdom Tournament (some of these were before we had Crown Tournaments) twice, including Henrik of Havn who had just stepped down from his second reign. The title of Duke was created and granted by [King] William the Silent, at Twelfth Night, AS II (January 6, 1968). The first time the title of Duchess was granted, it was given retroactively to those Queens who had reigned twice or more by [King] James Greyhelm and [Queen] Verena of Laurelin, at Beltane Coronation, AS VII (May 6, 1972). There are a variety of Title Language Equivalents that can be used for those who wish to use a specific language for their persona.

Ealdormere

A Kingdom in the SCA. This Kingdom covers these regions: Ontario, Canada.

East

A Kingdom in the SCA. This Kingdom covers these regions (of the US): eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, eastern New York, The New England states. In Canada: Quebec, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland.

Event

This word in the SCA generally refers to an official SCA activity held on a weekend where there is a site fee and guests are expected to wear garb. Events usually include a tournament, classes, a feast, a dance after feast, and a bardic circle. Events usually have a special medieval theme. Events can be held indoors at a variety of sites or at campgrounds. Events are "official" events (ones that, for example, the Royalty may grant awards at) if they are published in the Kingdom Newsletter.

Excellency

Used as the title of address for Counts and Countesses, Viscounts and Viscountesses, and Landed and Court Barons and Baronesses. It is also a safe fallback address if one cannot remember the correct one for any high ranking personage up to and including the Crown. They are all Excellencies.

Exchequer

The Exchequer, or sometimes "Chancellor of the Exchequer" is the officer who is in charge of tracking money spent by local groups, and at the Kingdom level tracking it there. This entails a lot of paperwork.

Favor

A ribbon, embroidered cloth, or other item given (usually to a fighter) as a mark of esteem. These can signify anything from simple friendship or good wishes, to a memento of love and commitment

Fealty

A relationship between individuals marked by an exchange of oaths of service and protection.

Feast

An event at which the main activity is the consumption of an elaborate meal, often accompanied by entertainment.

Feast Gear

Eating dishes and utensils for one diner. Most SCA feasts assume that guest will bring their own tableware suitable to the event. This includes a plate, bowl, drinking vessel, and utensils in pottery, metal, wood, or glass. Guests may also bring tablecloths, candles and any other items that might enhance the setting.

Feast Gear

Tableware for one diner. Almost all SCA feasts assume that the guests will bring everything they need to eat in comfort, including plates, bowls, goblets and utensils. Many people also bring decorative tablecloths, candles and other items to grace their table.

Feastocrat

This is a term sometimes used by an autocrat running a feast, or in the case of some events, the autocrat runs the event, and the feastocrat specifically runs the kitchen. Note that there is no historical basis for the use of this term, and indeed, it is probably a made-up word based on "autocrat" -- many purists frown on its use, and instead suggest such terms as "Head Cook", or "Kitchener" be used.

Garb

Medieval clothing worn to SCA events, as opposed to “costumes” which are worn to Halloween parties or masked balls.

Gate

Sometimes called the "Troll Booth", or other derogatory terms, this is the place at most SCA events (particularly camping events) where you sign waivers and pay site fees. 

Gentles

A general reference to the lords and ladies assembled.

Gleann Abhann

Started out as a Principality of the Kingdom of Meridies. The region covered by this Kingdom is most of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and extreme western Tennessee. 

Gold Key

A collection of loaner garb and gear for the use of newcomers, generally maintained by the Chatelaine. There is, in some kingdoms, an officer designed as "Gold Key" as well. The badge for the Gold Key office is a gold or yellow key on a green background.

Grace

Used as the title of address for Dukes and Duchesses.

Grant of Arms

This award is a higher level recognition than an "Award of Arms" (see above) -- in Precedence it falls between an Award of Arms and a Peerage. It was first created to recognize Kingdom Officers for the work that they had done for the Kingdom. It is given at the King and Queen's whim now, but is still often given to Kingdom Officers for a job well-done. 

Historical Note: The first Grants of Arms were given at Twelfth Night, AS III (January 4, 1969) by [King] Caradoc ap Cador. This award does not officially carry any special title other than "Lord" or "Lady" as the Award of Arms does. Some Kingdoms use "The Honorable Lord/Lady", a term that is starting to come into use in the West Kingdom (slowly).

Guild

An organization chartered in one or more kingdoms to promote the study and practice of some particular Art or Science.

Heavy Weapons

Combat performed in armor and simulated (rattan) weapons on foot, as opposed to “Light Weapons” which include fencing and archery. Heavy weapons combat is done in armor that meets SCA safety regulations, according to SCA rules, which were developed to safely re-create the combat of the medieval knight. These are the usual tournament and war-weapons (sword and shield and other weapons such as mace, axe, polearms, and more) which, in order to be used, require the use of armor, and training. A fighter must be authorized in the use of these weapons for his or her own safety, as well as the safety of his or her opponents.

Herald

A person who is trained to function in one or more of the areas defined by the College of Heralds. A herald is an officer of the SCA. There are a variety of types of heralds, but they mainly break down to three areas: announcements (on the field of honor ["Field Herald"], general announcements -- sometimes called "duty" ["Duty Herald"]), master of ceremonies for court ["Court Herald"], and name/device/armory consultation ["Submissions Herald", or "Research Herald"].

High Table

The table at a feast where the presiding nobility and the honored guests are seated. Also called "Head Table."

Highness

Used as the title of address for Princes and Princesses. Formally, a Crown Prince or Princess is addressed as a Royal Highness. Coronets will sometimes augment this title in a manner appropriate to Themselves or Their Lands (ie., Their Alpine Highnesses, Her Serene Highness, etc.).

HOLD

A cry meaning "Stop whatever you are doing and freeze in place until you see where the hazard is!" The basic use is in combat, but it's been extended to cover all forms of activity. If on the field of combat, the you might not only stop, but drop to one knee.

Household

A voluntary association of friends or people with similar interest. organized under whatever rules the members jointly accept. Households have no formal standing in the SCA.

Insula Draconis

A Principality of the Kingdom of Drachenwald. The region covered by this Principality includes Iceland, Ireland, and the United Kingdom.

Investiture

The ceremony wherein a Prince and Princess receive their Coronets, a Landed Baron and Baroness receive the insignia of their Barony, or an officer receives tokens of office. If the outgoing Prince and Princess are not already a Viscount or Viscountess, they are recognized with these titles at this time.

King

The King is normally the person who won the Crown Tournament (there are rare cases where a female fighter has won), for the honor of their consort, who becomes the Queen (except as noted). The King and Queen are the ceremonial heads of the Kingdom. 

Historical Note: The first time a King was named was at the First Coronation and Crown Tournament, March 25, 1967 (AS I, 1967). The first person so named was Henrik of Havn, who won the Crown Tournament in September of 1966, the crown was placed on his head by Fulk de Wyvern, who had won the previous tournament. Henrik and Wendryn were actually given scrolls at the tournament in September (1966) to commemorate the event, that named them King and Queen, but the titles weren't "official" until later.

Kingdom

A branch of the SCA with the ceremonial leaders King and Queen. The first Kingdom of the SCA was The West Kingdom, although when the SCA was started, the name used to refer to it was often simply "The Kingdom", if any name was used at all. When the East Kingdom was formed (June, AS III - 1968) and named "The Kingdom of the East", the "Kingdom of the West" became the "official" name of "The Kingdom". 

Knight

A Knight is a peer of the realm, named so for his or her capability on the tournament field. A Knight is a member of the Order of Chivalry, which also includes Masters of Arms. A Knight is entitled to wear as regalia a chain of large open links (to signify his/her fealty to the Crown), a white belt (to signify his/her prowess) and a pair of spurs (to signify his/her rank). Note that a Knight must swear fealty to the Crown and Kingdom when they are made a Knight, a Master of Arms does not. A Knight is styled "Sir (Name)". There are a variety of Title Language Equivalents that can be used for those who wish to use a specific language for their persona. 

Historical Note: The first Knight of the SCA was David the Herald, named so at the first tournament (May 1, 1966), by [Duke] Siegfried von Hoflichskeit. Note that members of the Order of Chivalry are equivalent in rank to the members of the Orders of the Laurel, the Pelican and the Order of the Rose.

Landed Baron/Baroness

A 'Landed' Baron or Baroness is the ceremonial head of a Barony. They are called Baron (or Baroness) of name-of-Barony. They receive this title from the hands of the Crown. There is no specific length of term in office, this is determined by each specific Barony. A landed Baron and/or Baroness is required to swear fealty to the Crown for the lands held by them (at least this is the case in the West Kingdom).

Light Weapons

A light fighter is someone who does not use "heavy" weapons (sword and shield, etc.), but instead uses missile style weapons, which can range from bows and arrows to javelins. Light fighters don't usually get to "play" except in war-time scenarios. Light fighters need to be authorized, and wear armor, but the restrictions are different from "heavy" fighters.

List Field

The list field, or tournament field. This is where the official martial competitions at SCA events takes place. The list field is usually in the center of the event site, and usually has the Royal Pavilion as well as other pavilions around it. This area is defined by ropes, often with flags hanging off of them at a tournament.

List Table

The place where the Minister of the Lists keeps track of the paperwork necessary to actually run the lists. This is usually a spot on the tournament field, usually in a pavilion or under a sun shade.

Lists

The Lists refers to the lists (paper listings of combatants) used to run a tournament. Other uses of this term include the field on which a tournament or combat activity is taking place as in the List Field.

Lochac

A Kingdom of the SCA. The region covered by this Kingdom is Australia and New Zealand. 

Lord/Lady

As capitalized, is used as a title within the SCA for those with Awards of Arms. Note that unless someone specifically does not wish to be recognized as nobility within the SCA, anyone may be called "lord" or "lady"  when using the title for someone who is not armigerous, one uses it a with lower-case "L".

Lordship/Ladyship

Used as the title of address within some Kingdoms of the SCA for those with Grants of Arms. In addition, The Honorable Lord or The Honorable Lady may be used.

Majesty

Used as the title of address for Kings and Queens. Crowns will sometimes augment this title in a manner appropriate to Themselves or Their Lands (ie., Their Occidental Majesties, His Dread Majesty, etc.).

Marshal

A specially trained person who oversees combat activities. The Kingdom office is usually called "Earl Marshal".

Master of Arms

A Master of Arms is a member of the Order of Chivalry along with those who are Knights. The only difference between a Master of Arms and a Knight is that a Knight is required to swear fealty when they are made a Knight, and a Master of Arms is not. A Master of Arms does not wear a chain to signify an oath of fealty, and rather than wearing a white belt, they wear a white baldric to signify their prowess. Note that members of the Order of Chivalry are equivalent in rank to the members of the Orders of the Laurel, the Pelican and the Order of the Rose.

Master/Mistress

The titles of "Master" or "Mistress" are reserved to those members of the peerage who wish to use them. 

Merchant's Row

The area of an event where folks who are selling merchandise set up. The perfect place for all your medieval shopping! Not all events have a "Merchant's Row", but many of the larger events do.

Meridies

A Kingdom in the SCA. This Kingdom covers these regions (of the US): Georgia (nearly all of), Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas (most of), Tennessee, a bit of the panhandle of Florida, and small portions of both Kentucky and Virginia. According to a gentle in Meridies, the history of the name is: The word meridies was taken from the definition of the word Meridian - Defined adj. [OFr meridien L meridianus] of noon, southern meridies, noon, the south. Meridies is the Kingdom comprised of mostly states in the Southern United States.

Middle

A Kingdom in the SCA. This Kingdom covers these regions (of the US): Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, a nip of Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North and South Dakota. Canada: Manitoba, and a bit of Ontario. The Middle Kingdom is the third Kingdom founded in the SCA.  The Middle is sometimes called The Midrealm. 

Historical Note: The first Crown Tournament of the Midrealm was held July 4-6, 1969 (AS IV). The Annotated History describes this event: "Held at Wilmot Mountain, Wisconsin. King Bruce of Cloves sent Adrienne of Toledo as his representative, who presided as Queen over the lists. Present were Michael Bradley of Bradley, Franz von Blikenlichten, Cariadoc of the Bow, Diana Alene, and others. Cariadoc of the Bow won, using a two-handed sword. (The Middle was at this time part of the East and known as the Principality Under the Mountain.)"

Minister of Lists

The Minister of the Lists is an SCA officer whose job is to administer the lists/make sure that the tournament is handled in a proper fashion as far as pairing fighters and such.

 

Minister of Sciences

The Minister of Sciences is an SCA officer whose job is to foster the Sciences in whatever means that they can. This is often through competitions and displays. The Minister of Sciences usually works closely with the Minister of the Arts, and in some Kingdoms these two offices are combined.

Minister of the Arts

The Minister of the Arts is an officer of the SCA whose job is to foster the arts in whatever means he or she can. This is often done through competitions and arts displays. The Minister of the Arts often works closely with the Minister of Sciences, and in some Kingdoms these two offices are combined into one. The person holding the office may prefer to be called "Master/Mistress of Arts" as their job title.

Minstrel

Similar to Bard, if not the same. Someone who performs music, at bardic circles or elsewhere.

Mundane

Modern, not-in-the-SCA. Not meant to be insulting.

Newbie

Someone new to the SCA, the term is not meant to be insulting, but simply to describe someone who is still "learning the ropes".

Northshield

Formerly a Principality of the Kingdom of the Middle, having crowned their first King and Queen in October, 2004 (A.S. XXXIX) they are now officially a Kingdom in their own right. The region covered by this Kingdom is northwestern Ontario, Manitoba, North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and a bit of Michigan.

Officer

Someone appointed (volunteered) to do one of the jobs in the civil service of a Society branch, or of the SCA as a corporation.

Order of Chivalry

The Order of Chivalry consists of those who have been recognized for their fighting skills on the field of honor, as well as other skills required to make a "well-rounded" individual. This order consists of Knights and Masters of Arms. 

Historical Note: The first Knight of the SCA was created at the first event, but subsequently others were made Knights during a ceremony at Twelfth Night, AS II (January 6, 1968), as well as those who could/would not swear fealty (for whatever reason) who were made Masters of Arms. This was done by [King] William the Silent. Note that members of the Order of Chivalry are equivalent in rank to the members of the Orders of the Laurel, the Pelican and the Order of the Rose.

Order of Precedence

This is the precedence of awards within the SCA. The period studied and re-created by the SCA was a highly structured time -- "a place for every person, every person in their place". The SCA uses a structure that is sort of home-grown with the idea of emulating some of this medieval structure. The Order of Precedence is a means of tracking where someone ranks in relation to everyone else.

Order of the Laurel

The Order of the Laurel is a peerage level recognition. The focus of this recognition is excellence in the Arts and/or Sciences. Historically this recognition was given for service when it was created, as well as Arts/Sciences, but this changed when the Order of the Pelican was created at the Kingdom level. Members of this Order may wear a medallion displaying a Laurel Wreath. A member of the Order of the Laurel may style themselves "Master (Name)" or "Mistress (Name)". There are a variety of Title Language Equivalents that can be used for those who wish to use a specific language for their persona. 

Historical Note: The Order of the Laurel was first granted at Twelfth Night, AS II (January 6, 1968) by [King] William the Silent. Note that members of the Order of the Laurel are equivalent in rank to the members of the Orders of Chivalry, the Pelican and the Order of the Rose.

Order of the Pelican

The Order of the Pelican is a peerage level recognition. It is given specifically for service to the SCA. Members of this Order may wear a medallion displaying a Pelican in its Piety. A member of the Order of the Pelican may style themselves "Master (Name)" or "Mistress (Name)". There are a variety of Title Language Equivalents that can be used for those who wish to use a specific language for their persona. 

Historical Note: This award was created by the Board of Directors (who at the time, when they interacted with the SCA directly at events titled themselves "The Imperial Electors"), and was first granted at Autumn Crown, AS VII (October 22, 1972). At this time the Board of Directors does not grant membership in this order, and has not for many years. Note that members of the Order of the Pelican are equivalent in rank to the members of the Orders of Chivalry, the Laurel and the Order of the Rose.

Order of the Rose

This award was created to grant those who had reigned as Queen of Love and Beauty (and later, simply as Queen) to give them equal rank with those who had reigned as King (who were, in the early days, automatically Knights if they weren't before they won the tournament). 

Historical Note: In the very early days of the SCA, if a fighter was not a Knight and they won the Crown Tournament, they were offered Knighthood. The Order of the Rose was created to give an equivalent title, as Countess (and Duchess) did not exist at the time. This was first granted at Twelfth Night, AS II (January 6, 1968) by [King] William the Silent, and was backdated for those who had reigned up until that point as Queen. Note that members of the Order of the Rose are equivalent in rank to the members of the Orders of Chivalry, the Laurel and the Pelican. However, most people do not think of the Order of the Rose as a peerage level award, as the recipient is also becoming a Countess at the same time, which outranks the other non-royal peerages, as the title is that of a Royal Peer (and the Countess title carries the Patent of Arms, which the Order of the Rose does not).

Out of Period (OOP)

The SCA period, while loosely defined, does have a definition. The term "Out of Period" or "OOP" is sometimes used to define something that does not fit within the scope of the SCA

Outlands

A Kingdom in the SCA. This Kingdom covers these regions (of the US): New Mexico, most of Colorado, parts of Wyoming and Nebraska, and El Paso and Hudspeth counties of Texas.

OYEZ or Oy Yay

Cry used by heralds in some Kingdoms, to gain the attention of the populace. Stop and listen for the announcement when you hear a herald call - for simple courtesy, as the herald is the voice of the Crown, and because you may well need to know what he's trying to tell you. (pronounced Oh-yay! or Oy-yay ... oy vey!)

Page/Page School

A "Page" in the SCA is usually a younger member of the organization (a child, pre-teen in some definitions ... this is likely to vary from Kingdom to Kingdom). A "Page School" is usually an organized attempt to teach these younger members of the organization some of what the SCA is about. Most Kingdoms have a "Children's Officer" of some sort.

Pavilion

A term used to refer to a medieval-style tent.

Peer/Peerage

A Knight, Master of Arms, Laurel, Pelican, member of the Order of the Rose, or a Royal Peer (Duke, Duchess, Count, Countess, Viscount, Viscountess). They hold their title(s) by Letters Patent, or a Patent of Arms. The term "The Peerage" refers to the collective "peers" (i.e., The Peerage, or The members of the Peerage).

Pell

A practice dummy or stake most often used by heavy fighters, not to be confused with the shorthand 'Pel' for Pelican. Sometimes used in derogatory reference to a particularly unskilled fighter.

Period

The SCA period ranges from the fall of the Roman Empire (about 450 A.D.) to the beginning of the Reformation, generally identified by the death of Queen Elizabeth I in 1607. The word “period” is used in the SCA as shorthand for “historically accurate”.

Persona

The character assumed by an SCA member. This may involve anything from adopting a name to developing a full history for a person born and raised at some specific place and time in the period covered by the SCA.

Populace

A word describing the inhabitants of a kingdom, place or group present at an event.

Popular Chivalry

Newsletter for the Kingdom of Meridies, containing flyers for upcoming events. Comes with sustaining membership in the SCA.

Post-revel

A party after the main event, usually in someone's home, for socializing and unwinding. Guests often wear modern clothes. Post-revels are activities that are not officially sponsored by the SCA.

Prince/Princess

The ceremonial heads of a Principality. When a Prince and Princess have completed their first reigns, they are automatically entitled to the title of Viscount or Viscountess.

Principality

An SCA branch that has a ceremonial head of a Prince and Princess. The first Principality of the SCA was Atenveldt in their fast rise to become a Kingdom. 

Principality of Nordmark

A Principality of the Kingdom of Drachenwald. The region covered by this Principality is the mundane Kingdom of Sweden.

Principality of The Mists

A Principality of the Kingdom of the West. The region covered by this Principality is the greater San Francisco (California) Bay Area. It is in what is often called the "central" part of the Kingdom of the West, and is so named for the well-known fog that comes off of the San Francisco Bay.

Privy

Chemical toilet used at camping events.

Proof of Membership

Your membership card or a recent Kingdom newsletter label with your name and address.

Protegé

A person accepted as a student by a Master or Mistress of the Pelican.

Province

A branch with the same requirements as a Barony, but not having the ceremonial leader of a Baron and/or a Baroness.

Pursuivant

A student. This title is used as an heraldic title, as is a "Pursuivant-Extraordinary", to show the skill level of a herald ... a full "Pursuivant" is the highest rank a person may retain "permanently" in the College of Heralds.

Queen

The Queen is (usually) the person who is the consort of the person who won the Crown Tournament. Note that it is possible, and has happened, for a Queen to be the Sovereign by Right of Arms, which would make the King the consort.

Queen of Love and Beauty

The First SCA Tournament (May 1, 1966) was for the honor of naming a lady Queen of Love and Beauty. At this tournament Sir Aeginius (aka Duke Richard the Short) won the tournament, and named Marynel of Darkhaven as the first Queen of Love and Beauty. This title is sometimes used for tournaments that are not specifically Crown or other tournaments, and is not to be confused with Queen.

Quest

A Quest is usually an activity as part of an event, where parties of people head out and confront a variety of encounters, with an ultimate goal of some sort. These were common in the early days of the SCA, but less common now that events tend to be packed with other activities.

Rattan

The stem of a climbing palm, used in the SCA for Heavy Weapons because its weight and handling properties resemble steel while its overall resilience and other properties permit it to be used with relative safety.

Regalia

Regalia is all that fancy stuff, or the trappings, that go with an office or perhaps even an awarded title in the SCA. For a seneschal the regalia might be a large key on a ribbon, or a cloak with the badge of the office on it. For a knight, the regalia is typically an open-link chain (to signify their fealty), a white belt (to signify their prowess) and spurs (to signify that they are a knight). The King and Queen's regalia includes the Crowns, the Thrones, Royal Pavilion, and whatever else may go with the office. 

Revel

An event/gather devoted to dancing, drama, conversation, games, and refreshments. Also known as a party.

Royal Peer

A peerage that was granted for having spent months on the Throne, serving the populace as Royalty. There are three levels of Royal Peerage: Ducal (Duke, Duchess) -- someone who has been King or Queen at least twice; County (Count, Countess) -- someone who has been King or Queen once; and Viscounty (Viscount, Viscountess) -- someone has been Prince or Princess at least once.

Royalty

The Royalty are the ceremonial heads of their branches of the SCA. A King and Queen are the heads of a Kingdom, and a Prince and Princess are the heads of a Principality. The job of the royalty is to add to the pageantry and ambience of SCA events; to grant awards to those whom they feel deserving; to administer the laws as needed. Within the SCA, Royalty changes hands every few months (ranging from 4 to 6 months usually, depending on the region and the royalty -- in the West Kingdom, the King and Queen change every four months, but the Principality royalty (Prince/Princess) for all four Principalities changes every 6 months).

SCA

Society for Creative Anachronism

SCA Name

The name someone uses in the Society for their persona. Includes at least one given name, and can have at least one other name or qualifier, but no titles; all titles used in the Society must be granted by SCA royalty.

Scribe

A person with artistic talent in the area of calligraphy and/or illumination, who gives of their time and talent to create award scrolls for recipients of armigerous awards.

Seneschal

Group administrator, and legal representative of the SCA found at local, regional, kingdom, and Society levels.

Shire

A small, usually autonomous local branch.

Sir

This is the title granted a Knight. The common use is "Sir (Name)". There are a variety of Title Language Equivalents that can be used for those who wish to use a specific language for their persona.

Site

The place an event is being held.

Site Fee

The cost of admission to an event, usually stated in the coin of the modern country where the event is being held. Note that site fee may vary based on membership.

Society for Creative Anachronism

The name of an organization whose primary focus is the study and re-creation of the Western European Medieval Culture. 

Historical Note: The name was coined by Marion Zimmer Bradley (Elfrida of Greenwalls) and Diana Paxson (Diana Listmaker) for the SCA's second event, off the top of their heads -- no real thought went into the name. The name should not be used as an excuse to concentrate on areas not defined by the SCA (i.e., "The middle name of the group is 'Creative' after all ..."). For more information on the SCA beyond what is contained in this glossary, see the SCA, Inc.'s website: http://www.sca.org.

Squire

A fighter who has been accepted as a student by a member of the Chivalry. Squires may wear red belts in token of the association -- this does not reserve red belts as regalia that only squires may wear, nor is it required that squires wear red belts.

Sumptuary Laws

Sumptuary Laws are laws that describe and sometimes proscribe regalia -- i.e., who can wear or display any specific type of regalia, what rank they must be to do so.

Title

A Title is granted with some awards that may be given by SCA Royalty. Some awards carry specific titles, which are forms of address, and some do not. Awards that carry or grant titles are those such as Awards of Arms, Grants of Arms, Peerages, Royal Peerages. There are a variety of Title Language Equivalents that can be used for those who wish to use a specific language for their persona. Officers and Royalty also have specific titles that are used (King, Queen, Marshal, Herald, etc.), and some offices have specific titles for specific officers within their office (the heralds have quite a few, based on period Colleges of Arms, and these vary from Kingdom to Kingdom.

Token

This term has several meanings. Simply put, a token is a physical symbol of some sort of association with a person, group of persons, or a household. In some cases, an award may have a token (usually worn on a chain or ribbon). Some local SCA branches or households also have tokens that are sometimes worn. Some SCA events may have tokens that are worn to show that you have paid your site fee, and may be kept after the event is over. Tokens can take a variety of shapes, and have a variety of meanings 

Tournament

An event wherein a tournament takes place, often a list. Some are very specifically defined events, such as a Crown or Coronet Tournament, where the next set of rulers for the Kingdom or Principality are determined. Others may be for prizes, other titles for local branches, or just for the fun of it.

Tournaments Illuminated

The quarterly magazine published by the Society for Creative Anachronism. Comes with sustaining membership in the SCA

Tourney

Originally a verb meaning "to take part in a tournament," the word is now often used to mean the event itself.

Trimaris

A Kingdom in the SCA. This Kingdom covers these regions (of the US): Majority of Florida; outside of the US: Panama, and Antarctica.

Unbelted Fighter

A fighter who has not been "belted" -- i.e., is not a member of the Order of Chivalry. This term does not mean that the fighter doesn't wear (or cannot wear) a belt, just that they have not been made a Knight or Master of Arms, with the white belt that is part of the regalia

University

In the SCA context, this is an event held to teach classes.

Viscount/Viscountess

These are the titles granted to a Prince and Princess when they have completed their reign. The titles are automatic, although normally there is a ceremony acknowledging the titles and rank. There are a variety of Title Language Equivalents that can be used for those who wish to use a specific language for their persona.

War

A gathering at which the main event is one or more fighting competitions for large groups of participants, involving the use of woodlands or other broken terrain and sometimes a mixture of Heavy Weapons and Light Weapon combat. Wars usually feature other activities, such as a Merchant's Row and Court.

West Kingdom

A Kingdom in the SCA. This Kingdom covers these regions (of the US): Northern California, part of Nevada, Alaska; and outside of the US: Korea, Japan, and the Pacific Rim.

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