March 12, 2013

New Words: Dit and Quatorziens

Filed under: New Words — carolyncholland @ 3:00 am
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,


In researching fear of number thirteen I came across the word quatorziens. In genealogy materials in my file, received from my good friend Peg, I came across the word dit.
Both words, being French, fit well with my genealogy research and my novel background.
quatoriziens: French professionals who made themselves available to be a fourteenth guest at the dinner table in order to save the gathering from an unlucky fate due to the presence of thirteen guests.2
dit: an alias tacked on to a family name or surname. The first name is the family’s original surname, passed down to them by an ancestor, while the dit name is the name the person/family is actually called or known as. They are often adopted by families to distinguish them from another branch of the same family. The dit name (nickname) may be based on trade or physical characteristics, the ancestral place of origin, etc. Example: In the name Andre Jarret de Beauregard, Beauregard is the dit name, which in this case it represents the ancestral home.1
A practice sentence using both terms:
The dit name of Madame de Leval’s quatorizien tonight, Andre Jarret, is de Beauregard—Andre Jarred de Beauregard.
NOTE: Madame de Leval is a major character (real life strong woman of the 1790s) in my novel.

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British Guiana/Guyana Woven into My Life
Boilo: A Pennsylvanian/Lithuanian Yule Beverage

1 Genealogy: Kimberly’s Genealogy Blog: Understanding Dit names  printed 30 Jul 09


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