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

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