What words & phrases in current usage emerged from the beer halls, theaters, medical clinics, & battlefields of medieval Europe? Many of our modern words can be found in the Medieval Worldbook. This concise handbook defines some 4,000 medieval terms & expressions from art & architecture, sex & science, costume & cookery, literature & magic, liturgy & astrology, & warfare & ceremony. A real companion to medieval culture, the book also includes general concepts central to medieval thinking, such as allegory, polyphony, & numerology. Enhanced by more than seventy-five illustrations, it is an indispensable reference for anyone interested in this rich & vibrant period. Entries include: * blackmail: Scottish for rent or tribute paid in grain or meat, as opposed to "white mail" paid in silver or coin * corduroy: from the French corde du roi, "cloth of the king," is a ridged silk or cotton fabric * gossip: from the Anglo-Saxon god sib, "sister in God," a friendly woman companion * upper crust: the top crust cut from round loaves of bread presented to the noble guests at feasts.Cosman, Madeleine Pelner is the author of 'Medieval Wordbook' with ISBN 9780816044979 and ISBN 081604497X.