☆ (theidolhands) wrote in 1word1day,


Saturday & Sunday Word: Fealty & Fetter

fe·al·ty [ˈfē(-ə)l-tē]:
origin: [1400's] Latin; French Anglo-Saxon; fidelitas & feelté= "fidelity"/"faithful"

fet•ter [ˈfɛtə]:
origin: [before 900] Latin; Old German; Old Norse impedīre, fezzera, fjöturr= "to hinder"

Both of these words are brought to you by the power of a television show called Vikings; one of the first scenes involves a re-enactment of a Commendation Ceremony swear vassalism with an homage & fealty.

Swearing your fealty to someone is a way to promise your loyalty to a feudal lord -- a person who owned and ruled the land upon which servants lived; the vassals and fiefs provide goods, money, or services in exchange for the privilege and inheritable land (one generation to the next). This type of society was a mix of royal and military principles). *The word does not exactly trip off the modern tongue, note the three separate syllables in the pronunciation guide above.

Another word that comes up in the series is fetter, used to describe the state of the missing peaceful priests (monks), who were taken along with gold & precious metal, then summarily dragged across an ocean without proper sustenance, with surviving men being sold as slaves (or then formally slaughtered). The word "fettered" describes a restraint or people tied up as a prisoner, typically in manacles (or heavy, cutting braces around the ankles). Fettered can be used to describe any such people or person metaphorically or literally shackled in such a manner.

Cell phone owners may find contract plans betray capitalistic freedom, feeling instead fettered into a fealty with their service providers -- an ironic twist for tech promising wireless freedom.

While not as successful as "Pope on a Rope", "Monk on a Manacle" is not without charm.

Tags: anglo-french, f, german, latin, noun, old norse, wordsmith: theidolhands

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