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What the heck are they saying? True enough, the SCA is quite a culture shock to the new person, even if they have someone who is helping them get introduced. However, sometimes you might find yourself wondering exactly is being said; many find there is a lingo to making modern things sound medieval. Here is a list of common words in SCA patois, and their modern meanings.

See device.

A person in charge of running an event.

Officer who puts together a newsletter for a group.

Some see this as a coat-of-arms. It is a way to identify fighters and group affiliations pictorially. Unless you are titled, it is called a device. When you recieve a title, you may call it your arms.

A vehicle, such as a car or truck.

A cassette or CD player.

A gathering within the SCA for the purpose of meeting a theme or having a tournament.

The practice of dressing up in garb and "freaking the mundanes". This is often done at/after populace to drum up interest in the SCA and recruit new members. You can easily separate the interested from the scornful this way.


SCA costumes. It doesn't matter what era it comes from.

Loosely, a nice way of saying people.

heavy fighting
Essentially combat with mock-medieval weapons (such as swords, maces, spears, etc.) made from materials such as rattan. Participants are required to wear specialized protective gear made from leather or metal and follow guidelines for calling wounds made during combat.

This office is two-fold, and not everyone does both.
  1. An officer responsible for helping members develop and register devices and names.
  2. A person in charge of making announcements and calling people into court.

A person designated responsible for welcoming new people and helping them get started in the SCA.

knight marshal
An officer responsible for organizing "heavy" combat practice within a group.

light fighting
Rapier combat.

A general term for:
  1. A person who helps watch for safety concerns during armored combat.
  2. An officer responsible for organizing armored combat practice within a group. Also see light and heavy combat.

  1. Something outside the SCA. Eg., day-to-day life or job.
  2. People not in the SCA. This term usage has fallen into disfavor in recent times, as many felt it set us apart for people who did not participate in our activities.

A meeting (usually monthly) where local group members meet to discuss policy and exchange news.

Bathroom or restroom.

See Herald.

rapier marshal
An officer responsible for organizing rapier combat practice within a group.

The treasurer or exchequer. Someone who handles the money on a local or kingdom level.

Essentially the president of an SCA group. There are seneschals on local, regional and kingdom levels, as well. They are responsible for many things, depending on how well established a group is. They report the well-being of their group, and make sure there is adequate communication; they are the chief administrative officer. Seneschals are the oil that help keep groups motivated and working together.

Children. In medieval times, children were often treated and dressed as "small adults".

Someone who collects money when you go to an event.

This page is maintained by Jacinth de Warwick.

This is an unofficial page and is not produced with the blessings ofthe Barony of Raven's Fort. It is not a publication of the The Barony of Raven's Fort, nor is it a corporate publication of the Society for Creative Anachronism, Incorporated, and does not delineate SCA policies. This page is for personal use only, and was written as a forum within which I may express my personal feelings and interests.

Copyright Statement:
Contents copyright 1999, on reprinting articles and artwork from this work, please contact the webmistress, who will assist you in contacting the original creator of the piece. Please respect the legal rights of our contributors.

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Last Revised: September 15, 1999

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