Carolyn's Daily Posts: 2011

March 21, 2011

New Words: Patroon and Naif




     Henriette-Lucie Dillon was born at Paris on 25 February 1770, and died at Pisa, Italy, 2 April 1853. The 21 May 1787, she married Frederio Seraphin, Comte de Gouvernet, who upon the death of his father on the scaffold, 28 April 1794, took the title of Comte de La Tour du Pin de Gouvernet.

     While reading her journal, Journal of a Woman of Fifty Years, written later in her life, I came across a two words I had to look up: patroon and naïf. My computer spell-check apparently doesn’t recognize the word patroon either, since it wants to correct it to patron.

     The spell-check isn’t completely goofy, however: patroon is rooted in the word patron from the French, Spanish, and Latin patron, and from the Medieval Latin patronus.

     Patroon is defined as the proprietor of a manorial estate esp in New York originally granted under Dutch rule but in some cases existing until the mid-19th century.* A further explanation: A landholder in New Netherland who, under Dutch colonial rule, was granted proprietary and manorial rights to a large tract of land in exchange for bringing 50 new settlers to the colony**, and One of the proprietors of certain tracts of land with manorial privileges and right of entail, under the old Dutch governments of New York and New Jersey***.

Naif is an adjective meaning naïve, and refers to a person marked by or showing unaffected simplicity and lack of guile or worldly experience; “a teenager’s naive ignorance of life”; “the naive assumption that things can only get better”; “this naive simple creature with wide friendly eyes so eager to believe appearances” A synonym is naïve, and a similar description is  childlike, wide-eyed, dewy-eyed, simple.

     Naif can also refer to Having a true natural luster without being cut; — applied by jewelers to a precious stone and a locality in Deira side of Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It is a commercial and residential locality. Considering the nearby localities, Naif is larger in size. It is one of the oldest localities. The residents of this locality are mainly South Asians****.

     Since Henriette-Lucie was speaking of a person, I highly doubt that the second and third definitions apply to her writing.

     This is my sentence using both words: The naïf patroon behaved poorly.

     This is a sentence from the journal using  the word patroon:

Property like ours was generally burdened with a small rent which was paid either in grain or in money. Our farm paid to the patroon, Van Rensselaer, twenty-two pecks of corn, either in kind or in money*****.






*****Journal of a Woman of Fifty Years, pp. 209-210



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