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  • She scorned him and she scoffed at him,
    she laughed at him unpitying;
    so long he studied wizardry
    and sigaldry and smithying.
    —J.R.R. Tolkien, Errantry

    A Tolkien revival of an obsolete word for "enchantment, sorcery":

    Sigaldrie, & false teolunges, leuunge on ore & of swefnes, & alle wichchecreftes.—Ancrene Riwle, c. 1225
    Quede and harme he wil me spye,..Gef he wot of this sygaldrye That this trowes kan lye.—King Alisaunder, 1300s
    Burye hym wher thy wil be, But look thou make no sigaldry To raise him up agayne.—Chester Play, c.1500

    From sige "victory" + galdor "charm, enchantment" (< gal- "sing")

    August 13, 2008