Word Wednesday.

Silly / Thralldom / Sally



1 archaic: Helpless, Weak.

2a: Rustic, Plain b obsolete: Lowly in station; humble.

3a: Weak in intellect: Foolish b: exhibiting or indicative of a lack of common sense or sound judgment.

4: Being stunned or dazed.

[Origin: Middle English sely, silly happy, innocent, pitiable, feeble, from Old English sælig, from sǣl happiness; akin to Old High German sālig happy.]

(14th Century).

“Don’t be sil—” began Jim; then he remembered just in time that the word “silly” had a very different meaning in the middle ages. It meant “innocent” or “blessed” — which was not what he meant at the moment.” – The Dragon at War, Gordon R. Dickson.



1a: a servant slave: bondman, serf. b: a person in moral or mental servitude.

2a: a state of servitude or submission. b: a state of complete absorption.

–thrall, adjective.

–thralldom, noun.

[Origin: Middle English thral, from Old English thræl, from Old Norse thræll.]

(Before 12th century).

“Unhand, dog!” he snapped, in his best baronial manner. “Do you think I fear thralldom by any witch-device?” – The Dragon at War, Gordon R. Dickson.



1: an action of rushing or bursting forth; especially: a sortie of troops from a defensive position to attack the enemy.

2a: a brief outbreak: outburst. b: a witty or imaginative saying: quip.

3: a venture or excursion usually off the beaten track: jaunt.

[Origin: Middle French saillie, from Old French, from saillir to rush forward, from Latin salire to leap; akin to Greek hallesthai to leap.]


“Ah, well, just a thought,” said Brian. “I’d been thinking – a quick sally to slash a few throats, then back through the gates and close them behind us.” – The Dragon at War, Gordon R. Dickson.

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