"troll bridge" and other SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) terms

Dan Goodman dsgood at VISI.COM
Mon Jul 5 01:32:42 UTC 1999

Date: Sun, 4 Jul 1999 01:16:31 -0500 (CDT)
From: Dan Goodman <dsgood at visi.com>
To: djheydt at kithrup.com
Newsgroups: misc.writing
Subject: Re: Where should we put the troll bridge?

I'd like permission to quote this on the American Dialect Society list.

In article <FEBAK2.HGp at kithrup.com> you write:
>In article <377E7365.3C15 at bellsouth.net>, doyle  <dfdoyle at bellsouth.net> wrote:
>>Blanche Nonken wrote:
>>> Where should we put the troll bridge?
>>Blanche!  You're definitely on to something here!  MWV needs Troll
>Only you may confuse some people.  In branches of the Society for
>Creative Anachronism east of the Rockies, "troll booth" or "troll
>bridge" or just "troll" is the table at the entrance to the event
>where you pay admission, and the people manning it are also called
>(In Western Kingdoms it's "gate" and the people are "constables.")
>Dorothy J. Heydt
>Albany, California
>djheydt at kithrup.com
>                   http://www.kithrup.com/~djheydt

From: Dorothy J Heydt <djheydt at kithrup.com>
Subject: Re: Where should we put the troll bridge?

Certainly you may quote it.  "Troll bridge" is on the analogy of
"toll bridge", of course.

If you'd like another example, the correct and medieval term for
the roped-off area where swordfighting is done is "the Lists,"
and this term is used in the Eastern Kingdoms.  But in the West
(Northern California, Alaska, and Australia), and generally in the
Western Kingdoms, we use the totally-out-of-period term "the Eric."
Dates back to the earliest days of the West, before the other
Kingdoms existed, when a couple of ladies bought lots of the
cheapest fabric they could find to make markers to mark off the
fighting field.  Because the cheap fabric was red, they called
the fabric construction "Eric the Red" and then just "the Eric."

Now the term can mean

(a) the markers themselves, or rather their successors done in
spiffy green and gold, e.g.,

"The Eric's in the regalia trailer; we need somebody to go set it up."

(b) the area enclosed by the markers, the fighting field, e.g.,

"There will be dancing on the Eric after morning court."

(c) the area immediately outside the markers, reaching as far as
the eye can see from inside them, e.g.,

"Pavilions set up on the Eric must be medieval in appearance; no
bubble-tents may be pitched where they can be seen from the Royal

Have fun....

Dan Goodman
dsgood at visi.com
Whatever you wish for me, may you have twice as much.

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