19 January 2015

A 12th-century rebus

It reads “Well fare, mi lady Cateryne”.  Details explained* in a post at Erik Kwakkel's always-interesting blog.

* the explication there says that "cater" was the term used for a die - but I think "cater" refers just to the 4-spot on a die ("the terms ace, deuce, trey, cater, cinque and sice have been made obsolete by one to six...")  Anyone know for sure?  Never mind - I found it:
The full set of numbers for the six sides of a die are ace, deuce, trey, cater, cinque, sice. They are from Old French (cf un, deux, trois, quatre, cinq, six of modern French). Ace is originally from the Latin for 'unit'.

1 comment:

  1. Can somebody explain what the sketches of gothic tracery, or insect wings, on the far left of the rebus represent? And can somebody explain how the two repeated notes one tone away from each other can be read as fa re mi la ?


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