Glossary of General Terms

From Jefferson County NY Wiki

Adz, adze - Sharp-edged wood-cutting tool with an arching blade set at right angles to the handle and curving inward. Logs and beams were shaped with the adze.

Auger - A tool for boring holes in wood, having a long pointed shank with a cutting edge and a screw point and a handle fixed with right angles to the top of the shank.

Awl - One hand tool/pointed instrument for making small holes in wood or leather.

Basin - Bowl-shaped container that was used to hold pudding, stew, and other semi-liquid foods.

Bellows - An instrument with an air chamber and flexible sides, for drawing in air and expelling it under strong pressure used for blowing fires.

Bell Metal - A kind of bronze, usually about 1/4 copper and 1/4 tin.

Box Iron - Iron with hollow core in which a hot iron "slug" was placed.

Brindled - Marked with streaks of color.

Caddis - Woolen yarn or fabric made of it in tape form for binding.

Calamanco - A glossy woolen stuff of Flanders, twilled and checkered in the warp, so that the checks are seen on one side only.

Camlet, camblet - A Name originally for a costly Oriental fabric; of fine camel’s hair; subsequently for substitutes.

Card - Implement for raising nap on cloth, essentially an iron instrument with teeth. A similar instrument used to part, comb out and set in order fibers of wool and hemp.

Chafing dish - A vessel to hold burning fuel, for heating anything placed upon it.

Chaff - Grain husks.

Chaff Bed - A mattress stuffed with grain husks.

Chaise - One horse luxury vehicle used in America from about 1700 through the Civil War. Any light carriage for pleasure driving. Also known as a "shay."

Chattels - Any property, movable or immovable, except real estate.

Clothes press - Closet for storage, movable upright closet.

Cobbler - One who mends or makes boots and shoes.

Colly - Black like soot, coal-black.

Cordage - Rope

Coulter - The iron blade fixed in front of the share in a plough which cuts the soil vertically.

Counterpane - Coverlet for a bed.

Cradle - A frame attached to a scythe to catch the cut grain.

Cricket - A low footstool.

Crupper - Leather strap fastened to the saddle and passed under the horse’s tail to keep the saddle from moving forward.

Damask - A rich silk fabric woven with elaborate design patterns.

Delft - A glazed white paste earthenware.

Diaper - A white linen fabric woven of patterns showing up by opposite reflections from its surface and consisting of lines crossing diamond-wise, with the spaces filled up by parallel lines, leaves, dots, etc.

Drawing knife - A knife with a handle at each end used for shaving over a surface with a drawing motion.

Drugget - Coarse woven fabric, all of wool or half wool, half silk or linen, formerly used as dress material.

Duroy or Duffle - Coarse woolen cloth.

Earthenware - Dishes post and the like made of a coarse grade of baked clay, porous clay.

Flagon - A vessel with a handle, spout and often hinged lid used to serve liquids.

Flail - Universal tool for threshing. Used to separate the grain or seed from the plant stalk (straw).

Flock Bed - A mattress stuffed with refuse of wool or cotton, consisting of coarse tufts.

Fowling Piece - A light gun for shooting birds.

Fustian - Coarse cloth made of cotton and flax twilled cotton cloth; corduroy; velveteen.

Gimblet - A small auger turned with one hand that makes a round hole in wood.

Green - A grassy area located usually at the center of a city or town and set aside for common use; a common.

Gridiorn - A framework of parallel metal bars used from broiling flesh (meat) or fish over a fire.

Hatchel, hackle, heckle - A comb with long metal teeth for cleansing raw flax or hemp. Flax straw pulled through the iron teeth to separate fibers.

Harrow - Agricultural implement with teeth drawn over plowed land to break clods of earth.

Hogshead - A liquid measure, 63 gallons; a large cask or barrel.

Holland - Unbleached linen fabric from Holland.

Housewifery - The use of the skills necessary to running an 18th century household.

Huckaback - A stout linen fabric with weft threads thrown alternately up so as to form a rough surface; used for towels.

Husbandry - The occupation of business of farming.

Ironmongery - A general named for all articles made or iron.

Kersey - A coarse woolen cloth of light weight, either smooth or ribbed.

Kneeding Trough (Dough Tray) - A wooden trough or tub in which to knead bread.

Lathe - A lathes is a machine which holds a piece of wood or metal between two centers and turns it so the work can be shaped by hand-held "turning chisels." Foot operated or hand cranked.

Linsey-Woolsey - A coarse cloth of woven linen and wool or cotton and wool threads.

Mason - One who builds or works with stone or brick.

Maul - A large hammer or mallet.

Manumit - To liberate from slavery.

Messuage - A home with its adjoining buildings and adjacent land.

Metheglin - a spiced mead (a liquor made of honey and water); sometimes medicated.

Moiety - A small portion or share.

Nankeen - a kind of cotton cloth, originally made at Naking from a yellow variety of cotton, but now from ordinary cotton died yellow.

Noggin - a small mug or cup.

Ordinary - A complete meal provided at a fixed price or a tavern or an inn providing such a meal.

Peel - Tool resembling a long-handled spade, used to take loaves out of the oven.

Perch - A measure of distance equal to 5 1/2 yards.

Peruke - A wig, especially one worn by men in the 17th and 18th centuries; a periwig.

Pewter - Alloy composed of tin and small amounts of other metals - lead, copper, bismuth or zinc. From 1725 to 1825 pewter was the most widely used metal in America.

Pillory - A wooden framework on a post, with holes for the head and hands, in which offenders were formerly locked to be exposed to public scorn as punishment.

Pincers - Instrument or tool having two handles and a pair of jaws working on a pivot used for holding objects or unfastening.

Pipe - A large cask with its contents, containing the volume of four barrels, or 126 gallons or 2 hogsheads (478 liters).

Pipkin - A small cooking pot or earthenware.

Porringer - A small dish for porridge, broth or other similar foods, usually having one handle.

Reamer - A finishing tool with rotating cutting edge for enlarging or tapering a hole.

Reversion - That part of the estate which remains after the determination of the particular estate and falls into the possession of the original grantor or representative.

Riddle - A coarse sieve used for separating chaff from corn, sand from gravel, ashes from cinders.

Ripple - Comb for cleaning flax, broom corn, etc.

Scythe - Implement used for mowing and reaping, consisting of a long curved blade fixed at an angle to a long bent handle.

Seedlip - A basket in which seed is carried in the process of sowing by hand.

Sickle - An implement with a curved or crescent-shaped blade mounted on a short handle, used for cutting tall grass, grains, etc.

Stilliards - A balance for weighing that consists of a beam, a weight sliding on a graduated scale, and hooks to hold the thing being weighed.

Tallow - A mixture of animal fat refined for use in candles.

Tankard - One-handled covered drinking vessel with either dome-shaped or flat lid.

Tearce - Liquid measure; 63 gallons; 1/2 of a pipe.

Tow - Coarse fiber of flax, hemp or jute.

Trencher - A wooden plate used at the table.

Trivet - Three legged stand to hold pots of food over the coals, on the hearth and at the table.

Wimble - A boring tool, such as a gimlet or auger.

Wool Comb - Toothed instrument used in carding wool by hand.

Yeoman - Freedholder, farmer, small land owner.