Dec 11, 2006

Rapid Rhetoric: WAPENTAKE

This is an irregular feature - both in frequency and oddness - dedicated to a word I came across that I have never previously used.

wapentake \WAH-pehn-tayk\ n. a geographic division used in England, South Australia, Scandinavia and some parts of the United States that is used to divide a larger region - such as a county - into smaller administrative units.

Wapentake is term derived from the Old Norse vápnatak ("weapon-taking," as in raising weapons to show agreement), and is equivalent to the Anglo-Saxon hundred. The term has referred to a hundred men under arms, or that amount of land sufficient to sustain one hundred families.

1 comment:

microdot said...

My curiousity demands to know where in the Uniteds States is the term wapentake used?
I love words... all languages are lovely, brutal and subtle.