Common Terms and Terminology

As with most organizations, we have some terms that are very specific to the SCA. Listed below are some commonly used words or phrases. This list is not exhaustive, so if you hear another that is unfamiliar, just ask someone. Most folks are happy to explain.

The East Kingdom has no sumptuary laws, but we do try to respect the traditions of the Society with regard to regalia and insignia.  That being said, the list:

Anachronism-A thing out of its time (what we are doing)

Anno Societatis-In the year of the Society. All dates are counted from May 1, 1966, which is when the first SCA event was held in Berkeley, California.

Apprentice– a person accepted as a student by a Laurel.  A green belt is a commonly, but not exclusively, a symbol of apprenticeship.

A&S (arts and sciences)-practice of non-fighting medieval skills, such as cooking or sewing.

Authorized-a fighter or fencer who has trained to a level of safety and allowed to compete in melees and tournaments at posted events.

Autocrat/Steward-person in charge of an event.

AoA (Award of Arms)-usually the first award received in the Society.  Confers the title of Lord/Lady

Badge– a piece of armory/heraldry that is simple and is used to mark personal items

Baldric-belt or sash worn from shoulder to hip

Bardic circle-a gathering to perform music or poetry, or enjoy the performances of others; often held around a campfire at events.

Baron and Baroness-title conferred by the Crown.  These include landed Barons and Baronesses, which are figureheads for certain local groups. These also include Court Barons and Baronesses, which are awards given at the discretion of the King and Queen.

Banner-display of a heraldic device in large fabric format

Chatelaine, Chatelain, Hospitaler-newcomer contact person

Chivalry-Knights and Masters that excel in Heavy fighting.

Consort-person whose honor the fighter is fighting for.

Corpora-documents that define the rules and requirements of the SCA

Count/Countess-person who has served once as king or queen

Court-formal gathering presided over by the ceremonial heads of that branch.

Crown, the– reference to the reigning king/queen

Dry/damp/wet site-dry site means absolutely NO alcohol, damp site means discreet use of beer or wine, and wet site refers to alcohol permitted, all within the mundane laws.

Duke/Duchess-has served at least twice as king or queen

Event-a gathering in garb usually with a theme. (ie. a tourney, or a collegium, or coronation, etc)

Excellency-form of address used for Barons and Baronesses, Counts and Countesses, and Viscounts and Viscountesses.  “Your Excellency”

Favor-small item or ribbon given as token of gratitude, friendship, or esteem.

Feast-sit down meal during an SCA gathering, often last part of the event.

Feast Gear-table ware including plates, cups, silverware, etc.  You are generally expected to supply your own but loaner feast gear can usually be located if you don’t have any.

Garb-What we wear at events.

Gold Key-loaner garb, usually available from the Chatelaine, because everyone at events needs to be in Garb, but not everyone has it.

Heavy Weapons/Rattan Fighting-Sword, shield, mace, polearm, axe, etc. generally made of rattan and wrapped in duct tape, used for fighting in armor. Also, fighting done in armor with one or more of the listed weapons.

Herald-person trained to assist in the selection and registration process for names and armory in the SCA.  In the East he/she must be warranted to accept funds.

Highness-Form of address for the reigning crown prince/princess. “Your Highness”

Hold!-STOP and FREEZE until you see what the hazard is.  Its use extends throughout the society after originating on the list field.

King-Ceremonial head of the kingdom whether by his own right of arms or by being the consort of the person who won crown tourney.

Knight-Peerage level title, given for exceptional skill in fighting and chivalrous behavior.  Regalia includes white belt, gold chain, and gold spurs.

Laurel-peerage level title given for skill in Arts and/or Sciences and for chivalrous behavior.  Insignia includes a laurel wreath.  Form of address is usually Master or Mistress.

List field-fighting field

Lord/Lady-with a capital L is a title conferred by the AoA

Majesty-form of address used for the reigning King and Queen. “Your Majesty”

Marshal-SCA referee for fighting, specially trained person, warranted to oversee fighting events.

Master/Mistress-Title or form of address for members of Peerage Orders that are not Knights or Ladies of the Rose.

Mundane-that which is not in the society.  Refers to clothing, people, and life outside of the society

Oyez!-loudly called to get the attention of the people present. Pronounced oy-YAY. You will hear it a lot.

Peer-Companions of the Orders of Chivalry, Pelican, Laurel, Master of Defense, and Lady of the Rose

Pelican-Peerage level award given for service and chivalrous behavior.  Insignia includes a pelican in its piety (meaning a pelican piercing its breast to feed its young).

Pennsic-War between the kingdoms of the Middle and the East.  It is the largest and oldest of the Wars in the SCA, occurs in August every year for two weeks in western Pennsylvania.

Period-time period covered by the SCA, things are “in period” or “out of period”.

Persona-your alter ego within the SCA, consisting of at minimum a name, but may include a complete historically accurate life story.


Princess-has won the crown tourney and will serve as king and queen when finished after a period of approximately five (5) months as prince and princess.  Form of address is “Your Highness”

Protege-a person who has been accepted as a student by a Pelican.  A yellow belt is commonly, but not exclusively, a symbol of the protege.

Queen-Ceremonial head of the kingdom whether by being the consort of the person who won crown tourney, or by her own right of arms.

Regalia-the trappings of an office.  The things that signify rank.

Retinue-the people who surround the king and queen, making it possible for them to serve.

Sir-commonly used form of address for a Knight

Seneschal-“chapter president” person who is the official contact with the mundane and legal world.  Every branch within the SCA must have a seneschal.

Site fee-admission fee to an event

Squire-a person who has been accepted as a student by a Knight. In the East Kingdom, squires commonly wear a silver chain and/or a red belt.

Token-an item that is given for many reasons.  It can be received at entry to events, it can be part of an award, it can signify membership in a household, and it can be a gift from one person to another. See also favor.

Troll-Registration table or entry point to an event (aka Gate).

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