Miller’s lexicon

Yves Coutant. Lexique technique du moulin dans le nord de la zone picarde du XIIIe au XVIIIe siècle.

Yves Coutant, born in 1944, has a degree in Roman Philology from the Catholic University of Louvain and a doctorate in History from the University Charles de Gaulle, Lille III. In addition to a long career as a teacher in a high school in Kortrijk, he was a lecturer in medieval Picard at the University of Lille III.

He is the author of several books, published in French, English and Dutch, relating to the history of mills. He is an honorary member of the International Molinological Society and vice-president of Molenzorg Vlaanderen.

An immense lexical treasure

By studying the vocabulary of millers, mill carpenters and blacksmiths of in the past, who were active in the north of the Picard speaking area, the author safeguards an immense lexical treasure, all the more important since the region has always been renowned for its production of flour and oil.

This lexicon is an essential complement to traditional dictionaries which are not very interested in technical vocabulary: more than twenty percent of definitions or words are new. The clear and precise definitions, the examples as diversified and detailed as possible, as well as the numerous illustrations will interest not only the specialist in mills, but any researcher who, in the archives, is confronted with technical texts. Through the various articles in this dictionary, a new image of the mill emerges, an image that we see evolving over the centuries and which commands our admiration. Here is finally a lexicon that gives voice to manual workers: over the centuries they have freed man from the heaviest work and indirectly facilitated the development of the mind.