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First, a Little History

Old English (a.k.a. The King's English) is a West Germanic language, and developed out of North Sea Germanic dialects from the 5th century. It came to be spoken over most of the territory of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms which became the Kingdom of England. This included most of present-day England, as well as part of what is now southeastern Scotland, which for several centuries belonged to the kingdom of Northumbria. Like other old Germanic languages, it is very different from Modern English and Modern Scots, and largely incomprehensible for Modern English or Modern Scots speakers without study. Within Old English grammar nouns, adjectives, pronouns and verbs have many inflectional endings and forms, and word order is much freer.

Some of the Basics

Some guests feel intimidated when they hear, the" King's or Queen's English", being spoken at the Texas Renaissance Festival, no need, here are some helpful phrases and hints that will enhance your experience and have you speaking TRF's English like you belong.

The "English" used at TRF is like the language in William Shakespeare's plays. So, try using words like Thee, Thou, and Thy, sprinkle in some Wouldst, Didst, Dost, Canst, Twill, Twas, and Twould, and do not fret if you get them mixed up at first, it is all just for fun.

You may notice how you are greeted at the festival.

  • Good day, My Lady, or My Lord.
  • 'Tis a pleasure to meet thee.
  • Thou art most Welcome!
  • Hast, thou seen the Joust?
  • Hail to thee, goodly gentles.
  • Welcome and well met.
  • Thank thee.
  • Thou art most welcome!
  • Enjoy thy Day!

Avoid modern greetings, such as Hi, hello, what's up?

You may hear folks exclaiming, Huzzah, throughout the village. This is simply an earlier form of Hooray or Hurrah. It is a way of showing your appreciation and praise, use it whenever you wish to show your support or excitement.

You will notice Royalty wandering throughout the village and wonder how to greet them. Our villagers refer to them as, Your Majesty, Your Highness, Your Grace, Your Worship. These phrases will quickly get their attention and quite possibly put them in the mood to visit and grant a special boon.

You may also find yourself being greeted as a Queen, King Lord, Lady, Knight, Squire, Duke, Duchess, there is nothing to fear, just enjoy your new status and have fun! Of course, you may be called a Pirate, Barbarian, Knave, rogue or peasant, do not be offended, it is all good fun.

To conclude today's tips, you will not see any Restrooms signs; however, you will see signs for the Privy or Privies, this is what we call restrooms, they are both one in the same. If you do not see a sign, simply ask one of our friendly villagers and they will point you in the right direction.


Talk Like A Pirate

On October 21st and 22nd, it will be all hands-on-deck here at the Texas Renaissance Festival to provide you with a genuine pirate experience. Between the Best Dressed Pirate Contest and Fish-N-Chips eating contest, there will be plenty of time to practice your best Arrs and Ahoy Mateys. For a newcomer though, pirate speech might be intimidating, so rest assured that yer family at the Texas Renaissance Festival will make sure you're aplenty prepared. Arr!

Use sailing lingo: Since pirates spent most of their lives navigating the high seas, it makes sense that their speech adapted to their use of nautical lingo. This October, if you want to sound like a tried and true pirate, make sure that you read up on all the popular slang. If you're trying to get someone's attention, shout a mighty "Avast Ye!" When you're sad, don't "frown", but "hang the jib" instead! And, if you're happy, make sure to use the Texas Renaissance Festival favorite: "Yo Ho Ho!"

Season your speech with "Arr": Just like a little salt and pepper, Arr goes with anything you say in pirate lingo. If you're happy go ahead and bark a mighty Arr. It can also be used with a whole manner of phrases or meanings. You can say it if you stub your toe. Or right before taking a swig of your favorite beverage. Arr is the perfect sentence enhancer!

Say "me" not "I": When you're enjoying the festivities of Pirate Weekend, make sure you don't say "I", but instead say "me." So instead of saying: "I love the Texas Renaissance Festival." You should say: "Me loves the Texas Renaissance Festival. Ahoy!"

Add a rasp to your voice: Most importantly, to speak like a pirate, you must remember to add some rasp to your voice. You want to sound like the most salt-soaked and grog-fueled sailor on this side of the equator!

With all these things in mind, make sure to stop by during our third weekend of Texas Renaissance Festival, October 21st and 2nd, and we'll show you the most unforgettable buccaneer bonanza on the seven seas. Arr!

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