“Are they talking in code?”

Scadian (SKAY-dee-an) – as a noun: a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism. Also: SCAer. Used as an adjective to mean “of the SCA.”

General Terms

Anno Societatis (abbreviated “A.S.”) – The dating system we use in the SCA (translates to “In the Year of the Society”). May 1, 1966 was the first day of the year A.S. I, and May 1st is “New Year’s Day” for each Society year. The years are usually depicted in Roman numerals.

Arms (or device) — the heraldic emblem that identifies a person or entity.

Arts and Sciences – crafts and skills of the Middle Ages/Renaissance which we research and practice in the SCA. Also referred to as “A & S.”

Award of Arms – a Society-wide award given by the royalty. Recipients can use the title “Lord” or “Lady” before their names.

Barony/Shire – types of SCA local chapters. Baronies are generally larger in size, and have a Baron and/or Baroness as their ceremonial heads. Sub-groups within a Barony’s territory are known as Cantons.

Bardic Circle – an informal gathering for singing and storytelling. Anyone who attends is welcome to perform appropriate material, but you can just sit and listen if you prefer. A bard is a person who sings, tells stories, recites poetry, etc.

Blue Card – an SCA membership card printed on blue cardstock, indicating that the card holder has a signed waiver on file at the SCA offices.

Carriage or Wagon – Vehicle

Court – a gathering where the sovereigns of a kingdom make announcements and present awards. Rulers of principalities hold Principality courts, and landed Barons and Baronesses hold Baronial courts.

Crash Space – informal lodgings with members of the group holding an event. Dayboard – lunch, served at some events.

Demo – a demonstration of the activities in the SCA. SCA participants will usually perform martial activities as well as arts and sciences for the public.

Farspeaker – Cell Phone

Gentle – any person, not gender-specific.

Household – a voluntary association of friends or people with a common interest. Can be organized under whatever rules the members jointly accept. Households have no formal standing in the SCA.

Modern: (Mundane is the old term, sometimes still in use) – used to mean “non-SCA”, “everyday”, “in real life”.

Oyez (OH-yay) – an attention-getting call, usually preceding an announcement, which means to stop talking and listen.

Period – of the time period studied in the SCA (the Middle Ages and Renaissance).

Persona – the Middle Ages / Renaissance person that you are posing as.

Populace – the inhabitants of a kingdom or local group; the people present at an event.

Porta-castle/Privy – portable chemical toilets found at outdoor events.

Post-revel – a get-together after the event (or “revel”), for socializing and unwinding, usually held in someone’s home.

SCA Name – the name someone uses in the Society.


Apprentice – a student in a formal relationship with a Master or Mistress of the Laurel.

Chivalry – fighters recognized by the sovereigns for their great skill on the tourney field. Companions of the Chivalry are the Knights, who swear fealty to the Crown, and Masters-of-Arms, who do not.

Master of Defense

Laurel – someone recognized by The Crown for mastery of an art or science.

Pelican – someone recognized by The Crown for great service to their Kingdom and the SCA.

Protégé – a student in a formal relationship with a Master or Mistress of the Pelican.

Peers – companions of the Chivalry, Laurel, and Pelican.

Royal Peers – Viscounts, Viscountesses, Counts, Countesses, Dukes, and Duchesses.

Squire – a student in a formal relationship with a Knight or Master of Arms.


Seneschal – the officer serving as “president” of a local group or kingdom. Acts as the group administrator and legal representative of the SCA.

Exchequer – the officer serving as treasurer for a group or kingdom.

A&S Minister – the officer serving as the coordinator for activities, and additional information related to the Arts and Sciences.

Chatelaine) – an officer who helps new members learn about the SCA.

Herald – officer who helps participants come up with SCA names and armory; or, the official who makes announcements on the field, or is the Master of Ceremonies for court.

Marshal – a specially trained person who oversees combat activities for safety purposes.

Types of Events

Coronation – the event where the heirs to a kingdom, are crowned and the previous sovereigns step down from their reign.

Crown Tournament – the tournament held to determine the next heirs to the kingdom.

Twelfth Night – an event which is the traditional winter-holiday celebration of Northshield). It is scheduled at the beginning of January; attendees wear their finest garb, and friends exchange gifts.

SUN – Stellar University of Northshield- events where classes are taught on a variety of subjects.

War – a large gathering at which the main activity is one or more battles for large groups of participants, involving the use of fields, woodlands, or other broken terrain.

Tournament/Tourney – a competition in SCA fighting or fencing. Some types of tournaments are: Pas d’Arms, Bearpit, Double-Elimination, Round-Robin, and Ransom tourneys.

Martial Arts/Combat

Authorization – the process that fighters and fencers go through to be allowed to participate in combat.

Heavy Weapons – combat done by armored fighters, with rattan versions of swords, polearms, and spears.

HOLD! – a cry meaning “Stop whatever you are doing and freeze in place until you see where the hazard is!” Normally used during combat, but applies to all forms of activity.

Light Weapons – in some kingdoms, refers to rapier combat (fencing).

Lists / List Field – the roped-off area for combat. The List Table is the location where competitors sign in and where the Minister of Lists keeps track of the paperwork necessary to actually run the tournament.

Melee – martial combat with many participants on each side.


Event – any Society gathering. You’re welcome to go to any that are listed in the newsletter. You can take part in the activities, although some (mainly martial arts) take special training, and you’ll need to be “authorized” by a marshal before you can take part in those.

Event Steward – the person in charge of an event.

Dry/Damp/Wet Site – alcoholic beverage policies.

    • Dry sites allow no alcohol.
    • Damp sites permit wine, beer, and mead, but no hard liquor.
      • Wet sites do not restrict alcohol.
    • “Discreetly” damp permit alcohol as long as the labeled containers are kept out of sight and are removed at the end of the event.

Site – the place the event is being held.

Site Fee – the cost of admission to an event. Does not usually include the cost of the feast. Gate – the place to check in or buy at-the-door admission to an event.

Waiver – a release of liability form signed when you purchase SCA membership. A blue membership card indicates that you have a signed waiver on file with the SCA, Inc. Non-members and members with white membership cards must sign waivers at events and martial practices.


Off-board – attending an event and bringing your own dinner. The “off-board” price includes the site fee, a seat at a table, and sometimes bread and butter and some kind of beverage.

Removes – sometimes used as a synonym for “courses” at a feast. (“Remove” is actually a post-period term for a dish served during a course that is later removed and replaced by a new one.)

Source: SCA.org