ersatz_read (ersatz_read) wrote in 1word1day,

leet, roup

Today's words - and the lateness of my post - are brought to you by my purchase at Re-enactor Fest yesterday:  an original issue of the Edinburgh Evening Courant, from September 28, 1776.  Mmm...old words....

roup (roop),
noun.  an auction; intransitive verb. to cry or shout; transitive verb. to auction

Etymology:  Scots; from Teutonic to cry out.

from the newspaper: 
Sale at Glammis Castle
To be SOLD by roup at the Mains of Glammis, upon Monday and Tuesday the 14th and 15th days of October,
A number of Work horses, Work oxen, young cattle, and sheep....
The word also refers to a specific disease of poultry; word origin unknown.

leet (leet) noun.
1.  a court held annually or semi-annually in certain manors; court-leet.
2.  its jurisdiction
3.  the day on which it met

Etymology:  Anglo-French lete, meeting.

In the newspaper, the usage is in the phrase "shortening the leet", and there seems to be quite a lot of heated opinion on the subject.
In this context it might be from Anglo-French litte, list.
Here's a footnote from A Series of Original Portraits and Caricature Etchings by John Kay (Google books):
"According to the old system of electing trade councillors, each Incorporation sent a list containing the names of six individuals. The Magistrate and Councillors had the privilege of what was called 'shortening the leet', by cutting off three of the most objectionable candidates; and from the remainder the Corporation chose their representative."

Yes, it also means leetspeak, but I'm going to gloss past that definition for today.

Selling Yourself

Another dinner party,
Guests holding glasses like bidders at an auction,
Waiting to make their move, to win the best piece at the least price.
You make the rounds, act the host,
Size up your marks.
You roup favors, selling opinion like fruit that won't keep:
Bruised flesh, soft spots of corruption under the skin.
Offered hors d'oeuvres and voiced concerns
Waved away with the same dismissive gesture.
All will be fine;
You will see that it is so.
After, you circle the table,
Plucking calligraphed place cards,
Mouth twitching around some personal joke.
You pocket a few, flip down the rest,
Shortening the leet.
All will be as you planned;
You will see that it is so. 

As a bonus, the paper contains a use of the word relict:
Aberdeen, 25th September 1776,...Dame Ann Stirling, relict of Sir Henry Stirling of Ardoch, Bart., died at Lochlane, on Monday the 23d instant.  - Her relations and friends will it is hoped accept of this notification of her death.

Tags: french, l, noun, r, scots, theme: poems, verb, wordsmith: ersatz_read

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