My liege

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Dwain Pipe, Dec 13, 2005.

  1. Dwain Pipe New Member

    Please can someone tell me what "my liege" means? I've seen it in many Shakespear plays, but I've never fully understood what it means.

    Am I right in thinking it's a name for a lover, one that you admire and are happy to follow, i.e. let them give the orders?

    Thank you in advance for any suggestions.

  2. buddingtranslator

    buddingtranslator Senior Member

    English, England
    Hi Craig,

    "My liege" is an archaic expression often found in Shakespeare plays.

    It's basically equivalent to "My lord", if that helps you? I wouldn't say it referred to a lover but you are right in that you say it to someone whose orders you are happy to follow.

    Here's a good definition

  3. river Senior Member

    U.S. English
    Sovereign; independent; having authority or right to allegiance; as, a liege lord.
  4. margolis New Member

    US English
    If I'm not mistaken, "liege" implies a relationship of fealty; that is the "liege" is owed fealty by the other, who might choose to reward him for his faithful service with a gift of title or land or both.
  5. MrPedantic Senior Member

    UK, English
    I believe the word may be applied either to the feudal inferior ("liege man") or the feudal superior ("liege lord").

    (In Shakespeare, as has been said, "my liege" would imply an address to a superior.)

  6. judkinsc

    judkinsc Senior Member

    English, USA
    There is a useful definition of it at Merriam-Webster's Online dictionary.

Share This Page