Words from another time…..

Downton Abbey- Highclere CastleI’m a big fan of Downton Abbey, a TV period piece about the English aristocracy. Here are the meanings of two words from that bygone era: a dowager and a dower house.


Maggie Smith of Downton AbbeyDowager means “a woman holding property or a title from her deceased husband.” It comes through French from the Latin word meaning “to endow” and is related to dowry. Using the title dowager countess also distinguishes a woman as the widow of the previous Earl of the estate from the current countess.

Another relateDower house- Dean Castle-Kilmarnockd word is dower, which refers to the property of a deceased husband that is given by law to his widow during her lifetime. The dowager countess lives in the dower house, a smaller house for the widow’s use that is on the same grounds as the family residence.

Source: http://www.merriam-webster.com/top-ten-lists/meaning-of-words-on-downton-abbey/dowager.html


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s