Wednesday’s Word: Reeve
Here’s a word you might not be familiar with – unless you’re from Canada (and even then, maybe not). It is the title given to the mayor of a village or the leader of a town. The only place I believe it is still used today is in Canada, in small rural villages in Ontario, though it was used in British Columbia up until the 1970’s.
It’s a wonderfully old sounding title that was also used in the middle ages in England where sometimes nobles would assume the title of “high-reeve”. As ancient as it’s roots may be, it hardly seems a likely word to end up in a science fiction book, but that is just what happened when I decided to employ it in my novel Into the Vast.
Part of the reason was that I was looking for something unusual, but I also wanted something that sounded a little violent or dangerous and reeve seemed to do the trick. The hard “v” sound seems to evoke such feelings somehow. The archaicness of the term also seemed to fit the people who employed it, the Waymen, a primitive group of wandering raiders who antagonize and harass their fellow desert dwellers in the novel.
I hope you enjoyed this word. As with many of the words featured in my novel, you can find the definition for it in the glossary in the back of the novel or in the glossary on the downloads page if you don’t own a copy of the novel.