"That's a great deal to make one word mean," Alice said in a thoughtful tone. "When I make a word do a lot of work like that," said Humpty Dumpty, "I always pay it extra."

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Rood or rude


A rood is a representation of the cross on which Jesus died and the term is usually used to refer to a cross erected at the entry to the chancel in a church. A rood screen is a common feature in late medieval parish church architecture. It is typically an ornate screen, constructed of wood, stone or, very occasionally, wrought iron.

Rude means impolite, crude, ill-mannered, tending towards the pornographic, lacking in refinement or socially incorrect.

In a blog posting the other day I showed these pictures. The carvings are to be found on the rood screen in the Cathedral at Dunblane. A rood screen is not normally rude as well!


  1. {ooops-as I hang my head} Thank you, John...for correcting me and enlightening my vocabulary :o).

    These are beautiful photos.

  2. I loved this. I just recently read about a rood-screen, in the last of the Borrowers books by Mary Norton (The Borrowers Avenged). In this book, a Borrowers family is living in an old church, and one of them paints his face brown to be able to hide among the carved wooden figures on the rood-screen and sit still and pretend he is one of them. (In case someone does not know, borrowers are a kind of very small people, just about that size...)

    Here's a quote:
    "It was indeed a wonderful feat of carving, this rood-screen which divided the chancel from the nave. It rose from the floor at either side, with a wide arch in the middle. --- The background (if anything so frail-looking could be called a background) was a delicate lattice of leaves and flowers, from among which peered a myriad little forms and faces: some human, some angelic, others devilish."

  3. Wonderful, Dawn Treader - thank you very much!