[Herbalist] Tussie -Mussies- Poesys, word posies

BJ of NZ bjofnz at yahoo.co.nz
Tue Apr 30 20:28:03 PDT 2002

I was delighted to see tis
and have included in this reply a article I was n the
process of writing

I would love feed back
even spelling and grammer corrections welcome
> Greetings!
> Okay, May Day is coming up!  Yep, May Day!  One of
> the things that was
> done in the Middle Ages on the first day of May was
> to give Poseys.

Anachronistic Attitudes
By Bea
Delicate pleasures
(sweet peas)
It has been my habit for many years to take small
bouquet’s to friends and relatives, when visiting,
-(as a small thankyou gesture),
the bouquets consist of a central flower surrounded
by rings of colour or fragrant leaves. I had not
brought this habit into the SCA because Of its
supposedly Victorian background, however for the royal
visit I decided anachronism aside this was a pretty,
nice gesture, that along with flush loos and electric
stoves should be Embraced
And guess what after a small amount of research it
turns out, they are period

Tussie mussies or as the magisterial Oxford dictionary
put it “tuzzy mussy” defined as “a spray of flowers a
nosegay, a garland of flowers ‘ it first appeared in
print in 1440; a “tyte tust or tusemose of flowyrs or
othyr herbys’ the root tus suggests a relationship to
tussock while mussie a rhyme on tussie refers to the
damp moss pressed around the stem to keep them fresh
Tussie mussie by GA Laufer.1993.

In the Victorian era the bouquets took on the name of
word poesy as the language of flowers developed but
even this has its roots in the herbals of the 14-

The western tradition of floral symbolism, traditional
cultural mythological, religious and medical combined
with the Turkish selam or language of objects all
contributed to the idea of sending encoded messages
via floral tributes and in 1823 saw the first
formalisation of this with the publication of flora
domestica by Elizabeth Kent

But the meanings originate from three sources
The natural appearance or character,
Cultural meanings
And meanings arbitrarily assigned by early authors and
editors of flower vocabularies and then faithfully
followed by others

The first two fit into the SCA so I propose to start a
trend of flower presentations with in Ildhafn.
The joy of tussie mussie is that once the arrangement
has dried it form a small scented potpourri bundle to
be tossed in the bottom of a basket or clothes chest

Or they can be designed specifically to be placed in
an armour bag

An armour bag bouquet;  first I’d start with rosemary
for remembrance- (please remember to wash your
gamberson) then worm wood for protection (for
travellers and from Moth larvae) maybe some yarrow to
heal wounds, laurel to avoid wounds ( accomplishment),
Oak for strength, lavender for luck, geranium for
blood warming, meeting or comfort, and Borage for

And why not assemble your favourite scents or flowers
then translate
A rose red; victory luck
Lavender; luck happiness
Sweet peas; delicate pleasures
Lemon balm; Fun
Geranium leaves; unexpected meeting preference
I guess I should add clover for a bouquet of lucky fun
or in my case Funny Luck


More information about the Herbalist mailing list