wapentakes

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wapentakeache, awake, bake, betake, Blake, brake, break, cake, crake, drake, fake, flake, forsake, hake, Jake, lake, make, mistake, opaque, partake, quake, rake, sake, shake, sheikh, slake, snake, splake, stake, steak, strake, take, undertake, wake, wideawake •bellyache • clambake • headache •backache • pancake • teacake •seedcake • beefcake • cheesecake •fishcake • johnnycake • tipsy cake •rock cake • shortcake • oatcake •oilcake • fruitcake • cupcake •pat-a-cake • cornflake • snowflake •rattlesnake • handbrake • mandrake •heartbreak • airbrake • daybreak •jailbreak • canebrake • windbreak •tiebreak • corncrake • outbreak •footbrake • muckrake • earache •firebreak • namesake • keepsake •handshake • milkshake • heartache •beefsteak • sweepstake • stocktake •out-take • uptake • grubstake •wapentake • toothache • seaquake •kittiwake • moonquake • earthquake

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wapentakes in England were, from the 10th cent., subdivisions of shires in the Danelaw, corresponding to hundreds elsewhere. The terms applied in Derbyshire, part of Lancashire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Rutland, and Yorkshire, though perhaps not in the East Riding. The early 12th-cent. (unofficial) Laws of Edward the Confessor raise a problem. They say that when anyone accepted the headship of a wapentake, all the leading men met him at the usual meeting-place, and as he dismounted and raised his lance, they touched it with theirs. This account, whether representing truth or learning, takes the ‘wapentake’ back to an ancient Germanic world.

James Campbell

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wapentake subdivision of some shires (in which the Danish element of the population was large), corr. to a hundred. Late OE. wǣpen(ġe)- tæc — ON. vápnatak, f. vápna, g. pl. of vápn WEAPON + tak act of taking, f. taka TAKE. The evolution of the Eng. sense from that of the ON. word, ‘vote or consent expressed by waving or brandishing weapons’, can only be conjectured.

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wapentake in the UK, a subdivision of certain northern and midland English counties, corresponding to a hundred in other counties. Recorded from late Old English, the word comes from Old Norse vápnatak, from vápn ‘weapon’ + taka ‘take’, perhaps with reference to voting in an assembly by a show of weapons.

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WAPENTAKE

A local division of a shire or county in oldenglish law; the term used north of the Trent River for the territory called a hundred in other parts of England.

The name wapentake is said to come from weapon and take, an indication that it referred to an area organized for military purposes.