Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

What is the meaning of court as used in as did the court languages of Latin and French?

share|improve this question
    
The rusted chains of prison moons are shattered by the sun... –  JeffSahol Nov 13 '11 at 23:40
add comment

2 Answers

It mean the language used in the king's court: presumably this is a reference to the kings of England, where the religious courtiers would often use Latin and the secular Norman courtiers would use French.

The peasants went on using Anglo-Saxon which evolved into English but that really only entered the court when the king was in dispute with his French cousins.

share|improve this answer
    
I don't think it has anything to do with religion: Latin was simply the elite language, the language of science and other technical literature. It would have been used at court by the non-religious too. The association of Latin with religion is relatively recent (only a few centuries). –  ShreevatsaR Nov 13 '11 at 16:32
    
thanks a lot 4 the answer!! –  Jorden Nov 13 '11 at 16:33
    
‘The island at present . . . contains five nations, the English, Britons, Scots, Picts, and Latins, each in its own peculiar dialect cultivating the sublime study of Divine truth. The Latin tongue is, by the study of the Scriptures, become common to all the rest. (Bede, ‘Ecclesiatical History of the English Nations’, c. 730) –  Barrie England Nov 13 '11 at 21:40
add comment

The court means the monarch's close circle: family, friends and advisers. In the words of the Oxford English Dictionary, it is The establishment and surroundings of a sovereign with his councillors and retinue.

share|improve this answer
    
thank you for the advice!! –  Jorden Nov 13 '11 at 16:32
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.