"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."

Thursday, 3 September 2009


A virgintall sounds as though it might be a virtuous maiden around 6 foot or more but, as you have probably guessed, it isn't!

It was (and maybe still is?) a set of twenty masses said or sung for the soul of a dead person. In days gone by a local priest or monks in a local monastery would often be given a sum of money to carry out the virgintall.

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