OLD TERM: The word ‘relict’ refers to a woman who is a widow at the time of her death.
OLD TERM: The word ‘relict’ refers to a woman who is a widow at the time of her death.

Cemetery raises up terms to be researched

WHILE I've been rummaging around at the cemetery, I've come across some interesting words and concepts.

There's a family plot, just south and west of the Mortuary Chapel, that includes an inscription that refers to the "relict" of the deceased.

I was taken aback. The word echoed deep in my consciousness somewhere but I would never have used it in a funereal sense.

A little bit of research revealed my deficient knowledge.

In this sense, relict refers to a woman who is a widow at the time of her death.

My research also revealed the corollary: a consort. Consort is a far more common word but in the sense of it's appearance on a tombstone, it refers to a woman who pre-deceases her husband.

Also while rambling through the cemetery, the concept of Potter's Field occurred to me.

I've asked several people since if they know the meaning or origin of the term and most don't. A few have heard it but don't know its antecedents.

If you know this term, and I mean know it, not research it (I can do that!), please write to news@herald.com.au and share your knowledge with me.