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Tuesday, 29 January 2013


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Your word for today is: aumbry, n.

[‘A container for storing books, a bookcase; (occas.) a room where books or other documents are stored, a library, an archive. Formerly also: †a repository or compendium of knowledge, such as a chronicle or commentary (obs.). Now hist.(chiefly in the form  almery) and rare.’]

Pronunciation: Brit. /ˈɔːmbri/,  U.S. /ˈɔmbri/, /ˈɑmbri/
Forms: α.    ME almar,   ME almare,   ME almarye,   ME almer,   ME almeriȝe,   ME nalmry,   ME–15 almarie,   ME–15 almary,   ME–15 almere,   ME–15 almerye,   ME–15 almory,   ME–16 almerie,   ME– almery,   15 almorie,   15 almorye,   15 almrye,   15 halmere,   15 haulmere,   16 almrie;   also Sc.  pre-17 almereis plural,   pre-17 almerris plural,   pre-17 almoreis plural,   pre-17 almory,   pre-17 almowris plural,   pre-17 almri,   pre-17 almry,   pre-17 almrye,   pre-17 17 almrie,   18 almorie.  β.   ME armari,   ME armary,   15 armorie,   15 armorye,   15–16 armory.  γ.    15 amaree,   15 ammere,   15 amrye,   15 awmery,   15 awmerye,   15 hawmery,   15–16 ammerye,   15–16 (18 Eng. regional(Yorks)) aumery,   16 ameri,   16 amery,   16 amerye,   16 aumerie,   17 am'ry,   17– aumrie,   17– aumry,   17– awmry;   alsoSc.  pre-17 17–18 amrie,   pre-17 19 amery,   17– amry,   18 aamry,   18 amurie,   18 awmrie,   19– aumra.  δ.   15 amberie,   15 ambree,   15 ambre,   15 aumberie,   15–16 ambrey,   15–16 aumbray,   15–16 18 aumbrie,   15–17 ambrie,   15–18 ambery,   15– ambry   Brit. /ˈɑːmbri/, /ˈambri/,  US. /ˈæmbri/,   15– aumbry,   16 ombrie,   18 aumbrye
Etymology: < (i) Anglo-Norman almariealmarialmerieaumerieaumereaumer, Anglo-Norman and Old French almarie, Anglo-Norman and Old French, Middle French armarie (also Old French, Middle French armaire, Middle French, French armoire) niche, cabinet, cupboard, closet, bookcase, library, chest (12th cent.),
and its etymon (ii) classical Latin armārium (in post-classical Latin also almarium and almaria (frequently from 13th cent. in British and continental sources)) cabinet, cupboard, bookcase, in post-classical Latin also recess in a wall (12th cent. in a British source), shelf (1440 in a British glossarial source) <  arma gear, tools, arms (see arm n.2) + -ārium -arium suffix.
Compare Old Occitan armari, Catalan armari (13th cent.), Spanish armario, (now rare) almario (13th cent.), Portuguese armário, (now rare)almário (14th cent.), Italian †armario (13th cent.), armadio (14th cent.). Compare armoire n.armoury n. Compare also almirah n.
Forms with initial al- probably result ultimately from consonantal dissimilation. The form nalmry at α forms shows metanalysis. The δ. forms show the development of an excrescent consonant. Perhaps sometimes associated by folk etymology with almonry n., as if a place for alms (compare also discussion at almonry n.).
For possible early use in surnames see note at almonry n.
N.E.D. (1884) enters this under the double headword ambryaumbry and gives the pronunciation as (ɑ·mbri) /ˈɑːmbrɪ/,  /ˈæmbrɪ/.
 1.  A container for storing books, a bookcase; (occas.) a room where books or other documents are stored, a library, an archive. Formerly also: †a repository or compendium of knowledge, such as a chronicle or commentary (obs.). Now hist.(chiefly in the form  almery) and rare.
In some instances perhaps simply a contextual use of sense 2a.
In quot. 1958 echoing Malory (see quot. a1470).
a1225 (OE) Rule St. Benet (Winteney) (1888) xlviii. 99 Sume boc of þære bibliotecan, þæt is of þam almeriȝe.
a1382 Bible (Wycliffite, E.V.) (Douce 369(1)) (1850) 1 Esdras iv. 15 Thou shalt finde write in armaries [a1425 L.V. cronyclis; L.commentariis].
c1384 Bible (Wycliffite, E.V.) (Douce 369(2)) (1850) 2 Macc. ii. 13 These same thingis weren born in discripciouns, and the almeries [L. commentariis] of Neemye.
a1470  Malory Morte Darthur (Winch. Coll. 13) (1990) II. 1036 All thys was made in grete bookes and put up in almeryes at Salysbury.
1483  Caxton tr. J. de Voragine Golden Legende f. ccxlv/1, A fisshar cast his hoke.And drewe vp the bookes..with out ony wetyng, lyke as they had ben kepte dylygently in an almarye.
c1593  in  J. Raine Descr. Anc. Monuments Church of Durham (1842) 71 Over against the carrells against the church wall did stande sertaine great almeries [1672 Ambries] of waynscott all full of Bookes.
[1775  J. Ash New & Compl. Dict. Eng. Lang.Almaria, the archives of a church.]
1844  C. Hulbert Memorials Departed Ages 12 The books were kept in painted Presses or Almeries.
1931  B. H. Streeter Chained Libr. i. 4 In the wall of the cloister of a cathedral or monastery, recesses may often be seen, usually near the Chapter House... These..were almeries for books.
1958  T. H. White Once & Future King (1967) iii. 456 We will have it written down and put in almeries at Salisbury.
 2.  More generally.
 a.  A place for storing things, as a cupboard, locker, safe, press, etc.; a repository; (in later use) esp. a niche or recess in a wall used for storage. Formerly also (occas.): †a storeroom or storehouse (obs.). Now somewhat rare in general sense.
Earliest recorded in attrib. use.
From about the 17th cent. the general sense became restricted to Scottish and northern English (see also sense 3a); it continued in technical use with reference to aumbries in ancient buildings, etc., and has retained some currency in historical contexts.
In N.E.D. quot. 1573 at γ. was interpreted as evidence for a sense ‘a hutch for live-stock’, for which however other evidence is lacking.
1356  in  H. T. Riley Memorials London (1868) 284 [11 pairs of] almarigarnettes.
c1400 (1378)  Langland Piers Plowman (Laud 581) (1869) B. xiv. l. 246 Auarice hath almaries and yren-bounde coffres.
1463  in  S. Tymms Wills & Inventories Bury St. Edmunds (1850) 29 The same keye to be leyd in an almarye..the almerye where the seid keyes shal lyn in.
1535 Bible (Coverdale) Jer. xxxviii. 11 Vnder an almery [a1382 E.V. celer, 1611 treasurie] he gat olde ragges & worne cloutes.
1563  in  J. Raine Wills & Inventories N. Counties Eng. (1835) I. 210 Two almeres, a chist, a bord.
1659  J. Howell Παροιμιογραϕια 6 There is God in the almery.
1767  P. Sanderson Antiq. Abbey Durham 72 Within the Frater-house a strong Almery in the Wall, wherein a great Mazer..stood.
1817  T. D. Fosbroke Brit. Monachism (ed. 2) xxxv. 298 In the closets or almeries on each side of the Frater-house door..towels were kept white and clean to dry their hands upon.
1847  Wordsworth in  C. Wordsworth Mem. (1851) I. ii. 7, I almery made in 1525, at the expense of a William Wordsworth.
1911  E. Foley Bk. Decorative Furnit. I. 244 The almery or aumerie, which was for many years used by Sir Noel Paton.
1926  E. R. Eddison Worm Ouroboros (1971) viii. 129 Mighty chests and almeries hasped and bound with gold stood against the wall.
1394  in  J Raine Testamenta Eboracensia (1836) I. 196, j kyngll, j dorlot, j armari.
1537 Bible (Matthew's) 4 Kings xx f. cxlix/2, Hezekiah..shewed them..his syluer and goulde & odoures & preciouse oyntmentes and his armorye [1535 Coverdale the house of ordinaunce] & all that was founde in his treasure.
1591  R. Percyvall Bibliotheca Hispanica Dict., Almário, an armorie, an ambrie, Armarium.
1596  W. Warner Albions Eng. (rev. ed.) xii. lxx. 292 In yonder Chamber..Hath Mandeuil his Closet, and no common Armory.
1605  R. Dallington Suruey Great Dukes State Tuscany 40 In the Gallery at Florence where is his Guarda-roba his Wardrope, and Armory, there is very much and massie Plate.
1534  in  E. Peacock Eng. Church Furnit. (1866) 187 Itm̃ a playne awmery wt̃ ij litill chambers wytn wt̃ too lockes.
1573 Will of Elisabeth Sommer (Durham Univ. Libr.: DPRI/1/1573/S7/1), I gyve to Bessie Som[m] Ammerye w[hi]c[h] was for kepinge of conies.
1584  in  J. Cooper Cartularium Eccl. St. Nicholai Aberdonensis (1892) II. 386 The gryt amrie..that stud in the reuestrie.
a1630  D. Hume Hist. Houses Douglas & Angus (1644) 319 A Kinsman of the Earle of Huntleyes had hid himself in a poor wives Aumerie.
1703  in  A. W. C. Hallen Acct. Bk. Sir J. Foulis (1894) 323 To Ja. Gourlay..for..2 presses and an amrie.
1823  J. Galt Entail II. 157 Hae ye ony ark or amrie, Mr Keelevin, where a body might den himsel till they're out o' the gate and away?
1856  G. Henderson Pop. Rhymes Berwick 87 He kept his money in an old amurie of very black oak.
1886  R. L. Stevenson Kidnapped iv. 37 ‘The blue phial,’ said he—‘in the aumry—the blue phial.’..I ran to the cupboard.
1902  tr. Petronius Satyricon v. 82, I saw in a corner a vast awmry; and in a shrine inside were ranged Lares of silver and a marble statue of Venus.
1922  J. Buchan Huntingtower ix. 181 He took refuge in a corner where a tapestry curtain and the side of a Dutch awmry gave him shelter.
1986  M. Lindsay Castles Scotl. 79 A passage off the east end of the Hall leads to..a very small room with a fireplace and aumry.
1999  I. W. D. Forde Hale ir Sindries ii. ii. 131 Mirren wes gien an innins ti Maistres Stein's saicret ruim at bene conceled ahent an aumrie lang syne.
1534  G. Joye tr. Jeremy Prophete f. lxxi, Vnder an aumbry he gote olde clowtis and raggis.
1564  in  J. Raine Wills & Inventories N. Counties Eng. (1835) I. 219 A littel paynted ambry with ij doores.
1582  R. Stanyhurst tr. Virgil First Foure Bookes Æneis ii. 22 In this od hudge ambry [i.e. the Trojan horse] they ramd a number of hardye Tough knights.
1601 Inventory in Trans. Cumberland & Westmorland Antiquarian & Archaeol. Soc. (1876) 2 268 Item A ombrie a Cobart Two Chests.
1644  in  J. Stuart Extracts Presbytery Bk. Strathbogie (1843) 50 He..told hir quhat shoe had in the ambrie, it being closed.
1694  in  W. MacGregor-Stirling Notes on Priory of Inchmahome (1815) 164 Thrie wand ambries, and ane timber on.
1733  in Bk. Old Edinb. Club (1949) XXVII. 156 Six press beds with ambries above each.
1835  W. Beckford Recoll. 48 A press or ambery elaborately carved.
1868  W. Morris Jason viii. 444 A little aumbrye, with a door o'er-gilt.
1946 Inventory Anc. Monuments Orkney & Shetland (Royal Commission Anc. & Hist. Monuments Scotl.) I. 54 In the walls [of the farmhouse] are a number of rectangular recesses, some of which are aumbries, others nests for geese.
1972  B. Moore Catholics ii. 77 The Abbot crossed the cloister to a bay where there was an ambry used for storing wood.
2002  J. Lewis  & D. Pringle Spynie Palace & Bishops of Moray iii. 63/1 The new second-floor room had a fireplace in the eastern part of its S wall, with an aumbry in its left-hand side.
b.  fig. A repository or plentiful source of something. Obs.
1477  Earl Rivers tr. Dictes or Sayengis Philosophhres (Caxton) (1877) lf. 58, The tunge is the dore of the almerye of sapience.
1578  T. Newton in  W. Hunnis Hyve Full of Hunnye (facing ‘Argument’), What golden Giftes lodge in thy Breast, and Aumbry of thy Minde.
1581  J. Bell tr. W. Haddon  & J. Foxe Against Jerome Osorius f. 116, I know not whether him selfe euer cited the same out of the very founteines them selues, or rather scraped it out of the mustie Ambry of Hosius.
1603  P. Holland tr. Plutarch Philosophie 313 If thou wilt anatomize and open thy selfe, thou shalt finde within, a save, an ambrie, nay a storehouse and treasurie (as Democritus saith) of many evils and maladies.
1628  R. Le Grys tr. J. Barclay Argenis ii. 148 In what Chest or Almerie of heauen..that former faculty be stored up.
 3.  spec.
 a.  A place for storing food. Now rare (chiefly Sc. and Eng. regional (north.) in later use).
Applied to various kinds of storage, as a pantry, store-cupboard, meat safe, etc.
a1398  J. Trevisa tr. Bartholomaeus Anglicus De Proprietatibus Rerum (BL Add. 27944) (1975) II. xviii. cxii. 126 No tokne of mete yfounde in þe almerye.
1440 Promp. Parv. (Harl. 221) 10 Almery of mete kepynge, or a saue for mete, cibutum.
1553 Inventory in Midland Counties Hist. Collector (1855) 1 232 Item, an ambrey of heare xijd.
1570  T. Tusser Hundreth Good Pointes Husbandry (new ed.) f. 29, Some slouens from sleping no sooner be vp, but hand is in Aumberie, and nose in the cup.
1590  R. Wilson Three Lordes & Ladies London sig. D, Like two mice in an amberie, that eat vp all the meat.
1622  T. Dekker  & P. Massinger Virgin Martir ii. sig. E4vFull of the same meate out of my ambrey.
1655  T. Moffett  & C. Bennet Healths Improvem. xxxi. 293 He baited at every Village..and swept clean the Amery in every Inn.
1674  J. Ray N. Countrey Words in Coll. Eng. Words 3 An Aumbry or Ambry or Aumery, A pantry or Cupboard to set victuals in.
1733  A. Ramsay Tea-table Misc. (ed. 9) II. 181 An ark, an ambry, and a ladle.
a1805  A. Carlyle Autobiogr. (1860) xi. 440 Rummaging about in the awmry, however, I found at last about two pounds' weight of cold roast veal.
1824  W. Carr Horæ Momenta Cravenæ 19 It war girt luck at I hed some efter temsin breead i't' Aumry, as they didn't set mitch stoar omme breead.
1859  E. C. Gaskell Round the Sofa II. 98 The polished oaken awmry, or dresser, of the state kitchen.
1920  J. Firth Reminisc. Orkney Parish 12 First there was the almery, a pantry or meat press about four feet high and two feet wide, with three or four stone shelves.
1929  F. M. McNeill Scots Kitchen 48 The furniture of the but, or kitchen-end, consisted of an aumry (cupboard) generally placed opposite the window, where milk and provisions were kept, and above it the skelf..on which the crockery and utensils were arranged.
1947  N. Mitchison Bull Calves iii. ii. 259 He came through to the dining-room..and looked in the aumry for an oat bannock.
 b.  Christian Church. A cupboard, locker, or recess in the wall of a church or church building, to hold books, communion vessels, vestments, etc.
1555  W. Waterman tr. J. Boemus Fardle of Facions ii. xii. 301 Upon the right hande of the highe aulter, that ther should be an almorie, either cutte into the walle, or framed vpon it: in the whiche thei would haue the Sacrament of the Lordes bodye, the holy oyle for the sicke, and the Chrismatorie, alwaie to be locked.
1593 Rites Mon. Ch. Durh. (1842) 2 Three or four amryes in the wall pertaininge to some of the said altars.
1618 (1440) Inventory in  E. Peacock Eng. Church Furnit. (1866) 183 An almerie to kepe his vestmentes and bookes in.
1842  F. E. Paget Milford Malvoisin 74 [They] proceeded to the ambry, or cupboard in which the sacramental wine was kept.
1855  W. Wright Directorium Scoticanum et Anglicanum 44 The Gospeller rises and puts the particles into the ciborium, which he then covers, and puts into the ambry.
1923  C. Mackenzie Parson's Progress xi. 135 Rash would have been the prelate who..ventured to forbid him to reserve in an aumbry the Blessed Sacrament for the sick.
1994 Church Times 4 Nov. 4/2 An electronic keyboard was stolen from the church a fortnight ago, together with the aumbry containing the holy oils, which was ripped from the wall.
2008  ‘K. Wiltshire’ Benedict's Carnival 23 ‘I see you have the reserved sacrament here,’ she observed with approval. ‘Only just. When I arrived the aumbry hadn't been used for years.’
4.  An internal compartment or section of a cupboard. Obs.
1527 Inventory T. Cromwell in Cal. State Papers Henry VIII (1965) IV. ii. 1456 A new wainscot cupboard, with 2 ambreys and 2 tills.
c1530  in  J. H. Parker Some Acct. Domest. Archit. (1859) III. 135 A cupborde wt ij. smale ambries in yt.
1542  N. Udall tr. Erasmus Apophthegmes (1564) 5 A cupbourd full of almeries of joigners werke.
1613  S. Purchas Pilgrimage i. xviii. 97 This Moloch had seuen Roomes, Chambers, or Ambries therein.
  General attrib.
1356Almarigarnettes [see sense 2aα. ].
1612  in  R. Pitcairn Criminal Trials Scotl. (1833) III. 239 His dager..was cassin vp..vpone ane almerie heid.
1769  D. Herd Anc. & Mod. Scots Songs 290 She's [sc. the cat's] open'd the am'ry door, And eaten up a' the cheese.
1867  A. Allardyce Goodwife (1918) 16 Fess but the plet o' honey that We gat fae Gowan Rig: It's sittin o' the aamry skelf.
1918  M. Johnston Foes iv. 33 He restored the goblet to the secret shelf, put back the drawer, and shut the ambry door.
1993  C. Casey  & A. Rowan North Leinster 453 The interior is plain, relieved only by its windows and aumbry niches.

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