The Prince and the Pauper – Chapter Eight – Vocabulary

In Chapter 8, we find out how the king approved royal documents in a time where literacy rates were low, and signatures would be mostly meaningless. So what would be used instead? Today our vocab word is…

SEAL

The King’s Royal Seal was one of his most valuable posessions, and in Chapter 8 it goes MISSING…dun dun dun! The tradition of a seal still lives on to this day, most often by being pressed into hot wax on the back of a fancy envelope for things like wedding invitations. Keep reading or watch the video below for more information on the word ‘seal’.

SEAL

DEFINITION

(n) a material with a design stamped into it to approve documents
FACTS/CHARACTERISTICS

acts as a sort of signature
EXAMPLES

symbol
crest
insignia
NON-EXAMPLES

disapproval

Etymology

  • Language of Origin: Latin
  • “sigillum” meaning small picture, engraved figure, seal

  • Language of Origin: Old French
  • “seel” meaning seal on a letter

Sentences/Additional Forms

  • Straightforward sentence: The King used his royal seal to show he approved the document.
  • Sentence from the chapter: “The King dropped into inarticulate mumblings…gropingly trying to recollect what he had done with the Seal”  (p. 40)
  • Other forms: seal/sealed (v.) – to fasten/close securely

But wait, there’s more!

So when did we switch to signatures?

Signatures didn’t widely catch on until the 16th and 17th centuries in Europe. At that time, education and literacy were on the rise. In addition, most agreements were made in writing. In 1677, something called the Statute of Frauds was put in place in England. It said that contracts must exist in writing and must contain a signature. Obviously this contributed to the rise in signature use. This practice was also carried over to colonial America.

What were some other ways that have been used to show approval?

  • Press a signet ring into beeswax
  • Signet rings in general
  • Cutting off a lock of hair
  • Slapping (or other traumatic acts)
  • Signing an “x”

Follow us on social media!

References

https://www.etymonline.com/word/conduct

https://www.thebalancecareers.com/what-does-a-railroad-conductor-do-1361526#:~:text=Railroad%20conductors%20work%20aboard%20trains,operate%20only%20locally%20or%20regionally.

https://www.thebalancecareers.com/how-to-get-a-job-as-a-music-conductor-2060782

https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Conductor%2C_Orchestra/Salary

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: