Language Worksheet

Impression Workbook

Printable PDF LanguageWorksheet

There are a number of publications that give Elizabethan versions of modern words. The problem with many of them is that they give you lots of them, and newcomers often feel they must learn them all. But that isn’t the way it happened in period.

If you think about it, you probably say “hello” in only one way; it might be “Hi”, or “Yo”, or “‘Sup”, but you likely use just the one phrase most of the time. You probably refer to your spouse or friend with only one term, and likely have a swearword that is your go-to curse. The same was almost certainly done in period.

To help you ease into Bandes-speak, the following section gives various period terms and phrases for common expressions. Choose one, two at most, and try them out loud. If you like them, write them down below. Then use them at events. Feel free to change them as you learn more about Elizabethan language.
Good day
Good morrow
Good e’en (“even” for evening)
God save you
Well met
MY CHOICES: ________________________

Fare you well
God be with you
MY CHOICE: ________________________

Excuse me
cry your pardon
cry your mercy
pardon me
pray pardon
MY CHOICE: ________________________

I pray you
if it please you
by your leave
MY CHOICES: ________________________

Thank you
gramercy (“God grant you mercy”)
I thank you
MY CHOICE: ________________________

Well, damn
MY CHOICE: ________________________

by my faith
MY CHOICE: ________________________

Really?/No Way!
E’en so
In sooth?
Go to!
MY CHOICE: ________________________

fellow (mild)
sirrah (strong)
MY CHOICES: ________________________

Curse (mild)
go to
fie on/upon thee
MY CHOICE: ________________________

Curse (strong)
a pox on thee
hang thee
MY CHOICE: ________________________

Simple Adjustments to Speech
Now that you have a basic Elizabethan vocabulary, here are some adjustments you can make to your everyday speech.

Use these often
– aye & nay (instead of yes & no)
– mayhap (instead of maybe)
– avoid modern contractions (say “cannot”, rather than “can’t”)

Use these occasionally or regularly
– place “do” before verbs (“I do fear…”, “We did eat well.”)
– use “more better”, “most smallest”, etc.
– use “’tis” rather than “it is”; “twas” rather than “it was”; “twill” rather than “it will”
– say the -ed in words like played (play-ed) and danced (dance-ed)

A Note On Titles
Many newcomers have experience in the SCA, where certain titles are used exclusively by members of high orders. Those titles do not translate to the same meaning at a Bandes event. “Sir” is an term used to address males of higher social rank and doesn’t necessarily indicate knighthood. “My Lord”, or “My Lady”, on the other hand, denoted nobility in period and are not used at Bandes events.

The most appropriate addresses are “Master” or “Mistress”, even if those spoken to are not peers in the SCA. Make an effort to refer to everyone as Master or Mistress at Bandes events. “Good” can also be used before “man”, or “wife”, “Master” or “Mistress” as a form of address (“Good day, my Good