SCA Vocabulary

Taught in Air Faucon for A&S Newcomer night on 9/5/2019

Description: Every group of people over time develop their own jargon, a shorthand to quickly express ideas. This creates can create confusion for people joining the group after the common language is created. This class has been created to teach some of the short-hand vocabulary the SCA uses.


  1. SCA – Society for Creative Anachronism
    1. Pronounced Ska or S.C.A. depending on the kingdom.
  2. A&S – Arts and Science
  3. S. – Anno Societatis – In the year of the society. May 1, 1966 is first day of the year A.S. I. New Year’s Day for the SCA is May 1st. Years are written in Roman numerals.
  4. AOA – Award of arms.



  1. Hold – On the field – Freeze! Now! / In the Kitchen or anywhere else – Freeze! Now!
  2. Clear – Drawing a weapon. Say it loud enough for people in the area possibly affected by the weapon know it is out and active. A knife being shown, a simple “clear” should suffice.
  3. BONUS WORD – Oyez – Attention getting sound, usually preceding an announcement.



Canton, Barony, Kingdom, Known World



  1. Events – Social functions where martial and A&S tournaments occur. Official courts can happens well. They usually occur on Saturdays or long weekends if camping is available. GARB IS REQUIRED FOR THESE FUNCTIONS.
  2. Fighter Practice – Where martial skills are trained for tournaments and wars. Usually includes Heavy Weapon and Rapier, unless specified as “Heavy Weapon Practice” or “Rapier Practice”. Always good to double check what is being offered. ARMOR IS REQUIRED, but not garb. The armor can be borrowed initially, but long-term interested parties are expected to make their own. Participants must sign waivers. “Groupies” are welcomed to support and attend.
    1. Archery Practice; Thrown Weapon Practice.
  3. A&S Meetings – Where A&S skills are taught and honed. Garb is not required.
  4. Business Meetings – Where the SCA officers come together to deal with the modern life business of having events and other functions. No garb required.
  5. Unevents – These are business meetings for large groups (baronies and kingdoms), usually an annual event, to gather all the officers for dissemination of information on a larger scale. THESE ARE NOT GARBED.
  6. Commons – Small local functions similar to Fighter Practice and meetings, but usually aren’t regularly scheduled. BUT they are officially scheduled. Garb is encouraged. Usually a potluck is involved.
  7. Demos – Outward facing function to either teach modern people or recruit new members.
  8. Wars – Large, multi-kingdom events ranging in size for 2 to 15 thousands attendees. These are the SCA version of conventions – all the things happen at them. Garb is required.
  9. Other special events – Coronation, Crown Tournament, Investiture, Twelfth Night, Schola/Collegium, University.



  1. Waivers – Liability is a thing, so the SCA has insurance and the insurance company wants waivers, so waivers. These are required at events and for any contact “sport” activities like Rapier and Heavy Weapons.
  2. Blue Card – The SCA membership card.
  3. Authorization Cards – Fighters who have completed basic training at fighter practices become authorized to fight in tourney and receive authorization cards. Heavy, rapier, and youth combat all require completion of training. Archer and Thrown do not have authorization cards.
  4. Field / List (sometimes Tourney Field) – The area where the martial activities occur. (Also the Eric (archaic use)
  5. Mundanes
    1. Modern clothing. Mundanes should not be worn at Events, but can be worn to meetings. Usually a changing area is provided.
    2. Modern people. At events near public areas, sometimes the mundanes wonder through. Refer to them as modern people whenever possible, but sometimes a quick “Head’s up, mundanes in the area” can be important.
  6. Garb – SCA clothing. (Vocabulary warning – do not refer to garb as cos-play or costumes)
  7. Dragons (archaic use) – Cars at events.
  8. Feast Gear – The utensils and eating gear needed to consume Feast and Dayboard. THESE ARE NOT PROVIDED BY EVENTS!!! A package should include tablecloth, lighting, napkins, a plate, a glass, a bowl, knife, spoon and fork. Sometimes for Commons a group will buy paper products but do not count on it.
  9. Gold Key – Garb and Feast gear provided by local groups for newcomers to borrow. One should contact the event in advance to see if these items will be available.



  1. Court – Can be held at Baronial and Kingdom events, where members of the SCA can be recognized for service and skill.
  2. Tourney / Tournaments – Martial skill competitions. Usually one-on-one.
  3. Melee – Martial skill competition. Usually multiple people on a side.
  4. Competitions – A&S competitions
  5. Bardic / Bardic circle – Performance activities at events. May be formal or informal, open or closed. Includes songs, poetry, dance, drums, instruments, etc.
  6. Feast – Dinner at events. Usually a separate cost.
  7. Dayboard – Lunch served at events. May be a fundraiser or included in entrance fee. Not always offered.
  8. Offboard – Table space offered during feast but food is not served. Sometimes this costs extra as the event will provide water and drinks and bread; also the extra cost for keeping the event open longer. Useful to ask after for those who want to hang with friends for the evening activities but have food restrictions.
  9. Toast – The toast is offered at feast. LIMITED TO CERTAIN PEOPLE.



  1. SCAdian – a member of the SCA
  2. Gentle – any person, not gender specific. Everyone is assumed to be of noble birth.
  3. Populace – the inhabitants of a kingdom or local group. The people present at an event.
  4. Sovereign / Consort / King / Queen – One member of the couple (maybe friends, maybe married) found in Crown Tourney and won making them Sovereign. The person that “inspired them this day” becomes their Consort. Gender OF THE PERSONAS defines King and Queen.
  5. Personas – These are the historic people SCAdians have created and emulate. They have a background story involving a time period and location, and are the primary research area when a person first starts in the SCA.
    1. Persona Name – the name a person goes by in the SCA.
  6. Peers – These are the highest awards in the SCA. Kind-of like getting your doctorate.
    1. Chivalry, Knight of the SCA, Master of Arms (heavy) – Sir / Dame – Belted
      1. Unbelted – Non-peered heavy fighters.
    2. Master of Defense (rapier)
    3. Laurel (arts), Pelican (service) – Master / Mistress
  7. Baron / Baroness / Baronage – Landed and court
  8. Lord or Lady
  9. Autocrat / Event Steward – The person organizing the Event
  10. Feastocrat (archaic use) / Head Chef – Person in charge of food at an event
  11. Troll (archaic use) / Gate – Refers both the location of and the person doing the entrance booth-table where one pays to enter and signs the waivers
  12. Marshal – the safety officer in charge of the Field
  13. Minister of Lists – The person keeping track of the “score” for a tournament.
  14. Herald – The person announcing activities at events; some are specialized like the List Herald and the Court Herald.
  15. Minister – gender neutral term for Officers in the SCA. Also referred to Master (of the Lists) or Mistress (of the Lists). But never the title Master/Mistress by itself.
  16. Chirugeon – Volunteer first aider at event.
  17. Waterbearer – Someone carrying water on the list field when the Marshal stops the fighting so people can stay hydrated. We LOVE them!!!
  18. Officers of a local group – Seneschal, Exchequer, Chatelaine, etc.
  19. Halflings (archaic use) – children.



  1. The Play vs. Behind the Scenes – Court, Crown and Events are “stage” events, where the Middle Ages and Renaissance skills and arts are on display. Behind the Scenes is the business meeting, getting court set up and the like.
  2. The Dream – The chivalric society built on respect we aspire to. The best of the Middle and Renaissance Periods – and the best of ourselves.
  3. Period – The historic period which the SCA covers (usually 600 AD to 1600 AD, but does cover everything before 1600 AD)
  4. Arms vs. Devices – This is a heraldic difference. It is the shield everyone uses.
  5. Live Steel – Weapon with an edge and point to it.
  6. Dry / Damp / Wet Site – The alcoholic policy for event. “Discreetly” means port it in, port it out. Leave no bottles. And treat the place extra nice because the people we are renting from are giving us extra leeway.
  7. Crash Space – Place to stay in case of long drive.


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