Arms Glossary of SCA Jargon
With Emphasis on the East Kingdom

Introduction

If one were to attempt to compile complete definitions of all vocabulary used within the Society for Creative Anachronism, it would take the space of a book. Still, the following list does contain the majority of terms that a newcomer to the East Kingdom of the Society might need to know.


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Accessibility Porter
The officer responsible for assisting people with disabilities.
Admiral of the Armies
A title given to the runner-up in an East Kingdom Crown Tournament, and held until the next Crown Tournament.
Anachronism
Something out of its place in time.
Apprentice
Someone who has entered into a formal, frequently fealty based, student relationship with a Companion of the Order of the Laurel. Also used to refer to someone who has entered into a student relationship in a guild or with someone other than a Companion of the Order of the Laurel.
Archivist
The officer responsible for providing records storage for a group.
Armigerous
Of or relating to an Award of Arms, Grant of Arms, or Patent of Arms - the three levels of rank-bearing awards. To have one of these awards.
Arms
The heraldic insignia of a person who has received an Award of Arms or higher level armigerous award, or the heraldic insignia of a branch. See also Badge and Device.
Arts and Sciences (A&S)
The collective group of fine arts, crafts, and sciences researched and practiced by artisans and scholars within the Society.
Autocrat
The person responsible for organizing and running an event.
Award
A form of recognition given to individuals and/or groups of people by the Crown, Coronet, or the Baron and/or Baroness of a Barony. Awards are usually accompanied by a scroll, and may give the recipient the right to certain titles.
Award of Arms (AOA)
The first level of rank-bearing award given by the Crown, which gives the recipient the right to use the title of Lord/Lady, and also to refer to their heraldic insignia as their arms (rather than as a device). See also Armigerous.
Badge
A secondary heraldic insignia registered to a person, group, or branch. See also Arms and Device.
Banner
A decorative cloth panel often representing the owner's arms and used as a wallhanging or hung from a pole.
Bard
A musician or a vocal performer such as a singer or storyteller. See also Jongleur.
Bardic Circle
A gathering, often in the evening and around a fire, at which people play music, sing songs, and tell stories.
Barding
Decorative armor or livery for a horse.
Baron
A Territorial Baron is a lord who has been chosen to serve as ceremonial head for his Barony, either by himself or with a Baroness. A Court Baron is a lord who has been given this title by the Crown.
Baroness
A Territorial Baroness is a lady who has been chosen to serve as ceremonial head for her Barony, either by herself or with a Baron. A Court Baroness is a lady who has been given this title by the Crown.
Barony
A larger branch that can contain sub-branches, and which has chosen a Baron and/or Baroness to act as figurehead(s) for the branch.
Blue Tyger Legion
An East Kingdom award given to exceptional groups of fighters.
Board of Directors (BOD)
The governing body of the corporate aspect of the Society.
Branch
A geographical division of the society.
Brigantia Herald
The principal East Kingdom Herald.
Burdened Tyger
A Companion of the Order of the Burdened Tyger, which is an East Kingdom award given to Autocrats or cooks who perform beyond the standard of excellence.
Calligraphy
Decorative text as often seen in historical manuscripts or Society scrolls. See also Illumination.
Canton
A sub-branch of a Barony.
Captain-General of Archers
The marshal in charge of archery.
Castellan
A masculine variant of Chatelaine.
Chamberlain
The officer responsible for a branch's regalia.
Champion
An individual chosen through some form of contest to represent a person, group, or branch in a particular art.
Chancellor
The East Kingdom officer who serves as legal counsel.
Chancellor Minor
The officer responsible for overseeing children's activities.
Chancellor of the Exchequer
The financial officer for a branch.
Chancellor of the University
The East Kingdom officer responsible for organizing East Kingdom University events.
Chatelaine
The officer responsible for welcoming and assisting newcomers to the Society. Note that Chatelaine is the feminine form of the word and Chatelain is the masculine. Also called Castellan (masculine) or Hospitaller (gender-neutral).
Chirurgeon
The first aid officer.
Chivalry
A code of behavior based on courtesy and honor. Also used to indicate a Companion of the Order of the Chivalry, which is the Society level polling order for skill in armored combat. Note that the Order of the Chivalry is comprised of Knights and Masters-at-Arms. When a gentle is inducted into the order of the Chivalry, they must choose whether to swear fealty to the Crown. Those that do so become Knights and those that don't become Masters-at-Arms.
Chronicler
The officer responsible for a branch's newsletter.
Circlet
A thin metal band worn horizontally around the head.
Clear!
A warning cry. It means that someone is about to draw a sword or edged weapon from its scabbard.
College
A branch that exists at an educational institution.
Collegium
An event at which the principal focus is a variety of classes offered throughout the day. Also called Schola or University.
Combat Archery
An armored combat related activity in which armored archers fire specially padded arrows at combatants in a melee.
Combat Archery Commander
The marshal in charge of combat archery.
Companion (of the Order of...)
Member.
Consort
The person being fought for in a tourney.
Coronation
The ceremony in which a King and Queen are formally declared rulers of their Kingdom.
Coronet
A headdress, often of metal and/or jewels, worn to indicate a certain rank. The Coronet can be used to refer to a Prince and Princess jointly, and Coronet is also sometimes used to refer to Coronet Tournament.
Coronet Tournament
The tournament in which the heirs to a Principality are determined.
Corpora
The governing documents of the Society.
Count
A lord who has been King once.
Countess
A lady who has been Queen once.
Court
The formal gathering in which the Crown (or titular heads of a branch such as a Baron and/or Baroness) give awards, make announcements or proclamations, etc.
Crash Space
Overnight accommodations at the home of a Society member who lives close to the event site, arranged in advance for those attending the event from far away.
Crown
A headdress of metal and/or jewels worn by a King or Queen of a Kingdom as a sign of their rank. The Crown can be used to refer to the King and Queen jointly, and Crown is also sometimes used to refer to Crown Tournament.
Crown Prince
The male heir to the Crown of a Kingdom. See also Prince
Crown Princess
The female heir to the Crown of a Kingdom. See also Princess.
Crown Tournament
The tournament in which the heirs to a Kingdom are determined.
Curia Regis (Curia)
A meeting between the Crown and their officers at which items of official business, such as changes to Kingdom law, are discussed.
Damp Site
A site at which beer and wine are permitted, but hard liquors are not. See also Dry Site and Wet Site.
Dayboard
Lunch or food during the day. Sometimes an event will provide a dayboard but usually people bring their own.
Device
The heraldic insignia of a person who does not have an Award of Arms. See also Arms and Badge.
Dry Site
A site at which alcoholic beverages are not permitted. See also Damp Site and Wet Site.
Duke
A lord who has been King two or more times.
Duchess
A lady who has been Queen two or more times.
Earl Marshal
The East Kingdom Marshal.
East Kingdom University (EKU)
A Kingdom sponsored event at which a variety of classes are offered throughout the day.
Event
An official Society gathering at which a variety of activities take place.
Excellency
When used as Your Excellency, a form of address for a Baron, Baroness, Count, Countess, Viscount, Viscountess, or an Heir to a Principality.
Exchequer
The Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Favor
A token given to someone to indicate friendship, romantic involvement, membership in a group, or some other relationship.
Fealty
A reciprocal oath pledged between two people in which each swears a form of loyalty and service to the other.
Feast
A large dinnertime meal served at an event composed of two or more courses, each containing multiple dishes, and usually with some form of entertainment provided between courses.
Feastgear
Place setting and table linens for use during feast. As events do not provide feastgear, everyone must bring their own.
Fence
The martial activity of fencing.
Fighter
Someone who engages in heavy list combat.
Fillet
A thin band of any material worn horizontally around the head.
Garb
Historic costume.
Gate
The table located at the entrance to an event at which people check in and pay site fees. Note that this word is an increasingly popular alternative to Trollbooth.
Gentle
Person.
Gold Key
Loaner garb and gear for newcomers that is often made available through the local office of the Chatelaine.
Golden Rapier
A Companion of the Order of the Golden Rapier, which is the East Kingdom level polling order for skill in fence.
Grace
When used as Your Grace, a form of address for a Duke or Duchess.
Grant of Arms
The second level of rank-bearing award given by the Crown. If not presented in conjunction with any other title-bearing award, it gives the recipient the right to use the title of The Honorable Lord/Lady and the form of address of Your Lordship/Ladyship. See also Armigerous.
Guild
A group of people who have chosen to study a particular skill or area of interest. Membership is usually open to anyone with interest.
Heavy List (Heavy Weapons)
A term used to denote SCA-style armored combat, as opposed to fencing.
Herald
A herald (lowercase) is anyone who practices any of the arts of heraldry. A Herald (uppercase) is a Kingdom or Society level herald, or someone who has been granted this title for their great contribution to the heraldic arts. The title is often used with a descriptive appellation, indicating the specific office held. As an example, Brigantia Herald is the East Kingdom Herald.
Heraldic
Of or having to do with heraldry.
Heraldry
The collection of arts pertaining to coats of arms, names, and verbal proclamation.
Highness
When used as Your Highness, a form of address for a Prince or Princess.
Historian
The officer responsible for collecting and creating histories of the group.
Hold!
A warning cry. When you hear it, stop whatever you are doing and hold still until you can determine why it was called and/or until the dangerous situation is corrected.
Honorable Lady, The
The title for a lady who has a Grant of Arms.
Honorable Lord, The
The title for a lord who has a Grant of Arms.
Hospitaller
A gender-neutral variant of Chatelaine.
Household
A group of people who have chosen to ally themselves together for any number of reasons. Households can be composed of people with similar personas, similar interests, or just groups of friends. Membership criteria and methods of joining vary from household to household.
Illumination
Decorative miniature artwork that accompanies text, as in historical manuscripts or Society scrolls. See also Calligraphy.
Investiture
The ceremony in which a Baron and/or Baroness or a Prince and Princess of a Principality are formally declared as heads of their Barony or rulers of their Principality.
Jongleur
An instrumental musician. See also Bard.
King
The male member of the pair that rules the Kingdom.
Kingdom
Any of the sixteen geographical areas that the world is divided into in the context of the SCA, each of which ruled by a King and Queen.
King's Cypher
An award given by the King of the East to those who have been of exceptional help during his reign.
King's Order of Excellence
An award given by the King of the East to recognize exceptional authenticity.
Knight
A Companion of the Order of the Chivalry who has chosen to swear fealty to the Crown.
Knight Marshal
The marshal for a local branch.
Knowne Worlde
A term used to refer to the areas of the world in which the Society has a presence. Also used to refer to the world in its entirety, but defined as according to Society boundaries.
Lady
A lady (lowercase) is any female person. A Lady (capital) is a lady who has received her Award of Arms, and it is also her title.
Ladyship
When used as Your Ladyship, a form of address for a lady who has a Grant of Arms.
Laurel
A Companion of the Order of the Laurel, which is the Society level polling order for skill in the arts and sciences.
Laurel Kingdom
Kingdom.
Listfield (List)
The area in which combat takes place, usually marked with ropes around the perimeter. List is also used to refer to the list of fighters competing in a tournament.
Livery
Garb or accessories, usually made for many people and made to match or coordinate, that indicate membership or servitude to a particular branch, group, or person.
Lord
A lord (lowercase) is any male person. A Lord (capital) is a lord who has received his Award of Arms, and it is also his title.
Lordship
When used as Your Lordship, a form of address for a lord who has a Grant of Arms.
Majesty
When used as Your Majesty, a form of address for a King or Queen.
Man-at-Arms
A lord who has entered into a student relationship with a fighter.
Manche
A Companion of the Order of the Manche, which is the East Kingdom polling order for skill in the arts and sciences. (Also spelled Maunche or Maunch.)
Marshal
The officer responsible for martial activities, particularly in overseeing them to ensure safety.
Master
The title for a lord who is a Companion of a Peerage Order.
Master-at-Arms
A Companion of the Order of the Chivalry who has chosen not to swear fealty to the Crown.
Mead
An alcoholic beverage derived from fermented honey.
Melee
A fight in which teams of two or more compete against eachother. See also Single-Combat.
Minister
A gender-neutral title used for an officer responsible for a particular activity. Often substituted with Master or Mistress, as appropriate for the specific individual currently holding the position.
Minister of Arts and Sciences (MOAS)
The officer responsible for encouraging work in the Arts and Sciences.
Minister of the Lists (MOL)
The officer responsible for maintaining records on fighters and overseeing the running of tournament lists.
Mistress
The title for a lady who is a Companion of a Peerage Order.
Mundane
Any thing or person that is not of the Society. Note that this word can be perceived as an insult, and so its use is discouraged. In its place, use Modern.
Off-Board
Designates that the person will not be served the feast, but that table space will be provided for them at which they can eat food they brought with them. See also On-Board and Out-Board.
On-Board
Designates that the person will be served the feast. See also Off-Board and Out-Board.
Order
A group composed of all recipients of a particular award.
Order of Precedence (OP)
A listing of those gentles who have received awards, arranged in order of rank. Also used to refer to any ordering based upon rank.
Out-Board
Designates that the person will not be served the feast, and that no table space will be provided. See also Off-Board and On-Board.
Out of Period (OOP)
Anything outside of or later than the Society time period.
Oyez!
A cry that is a request for attention. When you hear it, please cease any conversation or noise-making activity until the person has made their announcement.
Page
A child who serves as an attendant to a person or group, particularly by running errands, carrying messages, and performing like tasks.
Patent of Arms (Patent)
The third and highest level rank-bearing award given by the Crown, which makes the recipient a Peer. See also Armigerous.
Peer
A person who has received a Patent of Arms and who is considered to embody the ideals of chivalry and courtesy.
Peerage Order
Any of the Orders which is accompanied by a Patent of Arms. Specifically, the orders of the Chivalry, the Laurel, the Pelican, and the Rose.
Pelican
A Companion of the Order of the Pelican, which is the Society level polling order for service.
Pennsic War
An annual war between the Kingdom of the East and The Middle Kingdom held in western Pennsylvania. It is the largest Society event, with attendance in recent years ranging near 10,000.
Pentathlon (Pent)
Often used to refer to an Arts & Sciences Pentathlon, which is a form of competition in which an entrant must enter five or more categories.
Period
Within or accurate for the Society time period.
Persona
A person that someone pretends to be in the context of the SCA. While a persona cannot be anyone who actually did exist in period, they should be someone who could have.
Pikestaff
The newsletter of the East Kingdom.
Polling Order
An Order for which it is required that the Crown consult the Companions regarding potential members.
Port
A branch that exists at a military installation.
Porta-Castle
Common slang for portable or chemical toilets.
Post-Revel
A gathering or party held after an event, usually at a member's house, and often in modern clothing.
Prince
Either the male heir to the Crown of a Kingdom, or the male member of the pair that rules a Principality.
Princess
Either the female heir to the Crown of a Kingdom, or the female member of the pair that rules a Principality.
Principality
A subdivision of a Kingdom containing multiple branches that has a Prince and Princess that reign over it.
Protégé
Someone who has entered into a formal, frequently fealty based, student relationship with a Companion of the Order of the Pelican.
Province
A larger branch that can contain sub-branches, but which has chosen to not have any ceremonial head.
Pursuivant
The herald for a local branch, often used with a descriptive appellation, indicating the specific office held. As examples, Snowflake Pursuivant is the Pursuivant for the Barony of Concordia of the Snows, and Granite Pursuivant is the Pursuivant for the Barony of Stonemarche.
Queen
The female member of the pair that rules the Kingdom.
Queen's Cypher
An award given by the Queen of the East to those who have been of exceptional help during her reign.
Queen's Guard
A group of gentles chosen by the Queen to serve as her personal guard for the duration of her reign.
Queen's Honor of Distinction
An award given by the Queen of the East to those who she feels are worthy of recognition.
Queen's Order of Courtesy
An award given by the Queen of the East to recognize exceptional courtesy.
Rattan
A plant similar to bamboo but solid throughout, used for making heavy list weapons.
Regalia
Garb, accessories, or decorations signifying rank, membership in an order, or the presence of an individual or group.
Regnum
The listing of branches and officers found in the back of Pikestaff.
Remove
A post-period but commonly used word for a course of a feast, the period term being course.
Rialto
A Society-wide newsgroup, rec.org.sca
Riding
A sub-branch of a Province.
Right of Arms
An indicator that a person has achieved a specified title, position, or prize by winning a tournament. As an example, a Queen by right of arms would be a lady who won a Crown Tournament, as opposed to one fought for by a lord who won.
Rose
A Companion of the Order of the Rose, which is a Society level order composed of former Royal Consorts.
Royal Peer
Someone who has received a Patent of Arms for their service as King, Queen, Prince, or Princess.
Royal Progress (RP)
An event at which the Crown will be present and hold Court.
Royalty
Anyone who is a King, Queen, Prince, Princess, or heir to a Principality.
Rules of the List
The rules for combat.
Sagittarius
A Companion of the Order of Sagittarius, which is the East Kingdom level polling order for skill in archery.
SCA
An abbreviation for the Society for Creative Anachronism. See also Society.
SCAdian
Of or having to do with the Society. A member of the Society.
SCA-East
The East Kingdom email mailing list. To subscribe, send mail to majordomo@indra.com with the message SUBSCRIBE SCA-EAST
Schola
An event at which the principal focus is a variety of classes offered throughout the day. Also called Collegium or University.
Scribe
An artist who produces scrolls.
Scroll
A piece of artwork containing calligraphy and usually also illumination, given to an award recipient at the time that they are given an award, and that serves as an official record of the award.
Seneschal
The executive officer for a branch, responsible for overseeing other officers and serving as liaison between the Society and the modern world.
Shire
A smaller branch that cannot contain any sub-branches.
Silver Crescent
A Companion of the Order of the Silver Crescent, which is the East Kingdom level polling order for service.
Single-Combat
A fight in which two opponents compete one-on-one. See also Melee.
Sir
The title for a Knight.
Site
The location where an event is held.
Site Fee
The fee required in order to attend an event.
Society
An abbreviation for the Society for Creative Anachronism. See also SCA.
Squire
Someone who has entered into a fealty based student relationship with a Companion of the Order of the Chivalry.
Stronghold
A branch that exists at a military installation.
Sub-Branch
A branch that is subsidiary to another branch within a Kingdom or Principality.
Terpsichore
A Companion of the Order of Terpsichore, which is an East Kingdom award given to those who have displayed talent and service in helping others learn to dance.
Tourney
Tournament.
Trencher
A shallow, lipped platter, often of wood or metal, or even bread, used for serving food or as a plate.
Trollbooth (Troll)
The table located at the entrance to an event at which people check in and pay site fees. Troll is also sometimes used to refer to the person working at this table. See also Gate.
Troubadour
A Companion of the Order of the Troubadours, which is an East Kingdom award given to those who have displayed skill at vocal entertainment, and also for encouraging others to participate in the same.
Tyger Clerk of the Signet
The East Kingdom officer responsible for organizing the production of scrolls requested by the Crown.
Tyger's Cub
A Companion of the Order of the Tyger's Cub, which is an East Kingdom award given to children of admirable decorum and virtue.
Tygers Combatant
A Companion of the Order of the Tygers Combatant, which is the East Kingdom level polling order for skill in armored combat.
University
An event at which the principal focus is a variety of classes offered throughout the day. Also called Collegium or Schola.
Vigil
A sequestered period of reflection in which a person contemplates becoming a Companion of a Peerage Order.
Viscount
A lord who has been Prince of a Principality once.
Viscountess
A lady who has been Princess of a Principality once.
Vivat!
A cheer. Literally translating to "Live!", it is used to express appreciation for someone or something, and is often sounded three times. Note that vivat is the singular form and that vivant is the plural.
War
An event centered around a battle or battles in which the opposing sides are "warring" branches.
Warlord
The person responsible for strategy and tactics for a war.
Web Minister
The officer responsible for a branch's website.
Wet Site
A site at which any alcoholic beverage is permitted. See also Damp Site and Dry Site.
Woman-at-Arms
A lady who has entered into a student relationship with a fighter.


© 1999–2001 Jessica I. Clark
Permission to print a copy for your own use freely given. Please contact me for permission to reprint or distribute.
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