forsooth: (adv.) often used to imply contempt or doubt.

Used in “Young Goodman Brown”, paragraph 31; “‘Ah, forsooth, and it is your worship, indeed?’ cried the good dame.”

This word was actually pretty funny to me when I read it and I thought I was either reading early Shakespeare or the Bible; I don’t even think the Bible has the word “forsooth” in it. I’m glad I looked it up and now know the definition because maybe I can use it in a sentence just to throw someone off. In all seriousness however, it’s interesting to me that this word is an adverb, especially because we spoke about adverbs in class. It proves that  not all adverbs are noticeable or end with “-ly.”

2 thoughts on “Forsooth

  1. In my dictionary, Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, the definition “in truth: INDEED” comes before the words you included. How does that help you understand what the good dame in “Young Goodman Brown” means? You might need the line before and the line after to understand this better.

    And yes, forsooth, not all adverbs end in -ly.

  2. Thank you Professor Rosen, you’re right I should have included the sentence before and after the quote to be clearer with the definition. I also looked for it in the American Heritage dictionary and got the same definition you did.

    forsooth (adv); in truth, indeed.

    Paragraph 31: “‘Then Goody Cloyse knows her old friend?’ observed the traveller, confronting her, and leaning on his writhing stick.

    ‘Ah, forsooth, and is it your worship, indeed?’ cried the good dame. “Yea, truly is it, and in the very image of my old gossip, Goodman Brown, the grandfather of the silly fellow that now is.”

    I fully understand now the purpose of the word forsooth in this dialogue. Next time I’ll be more careful to use context better with my definitions.

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