Thursday, 23 February, 2006

Well-met?

Debra and I drove to Harlingen this afternoon to attend some functions at the Marine Military Academy.  On the way we listened to Stephen King's The Man in the Black Suit on CD.  The collection consists of four stories from King's Everything's Eventual.  In the first story, also called The Man in the Black Suit, a young boy out fishing meets a man who says, "Are we well-met, fisherboy?"  Thus begins another search for the meaning and origin of a word or phrase.

This description is a pretty good summation of what I learned.  "well-met" is generally taken to mean "good to meet you."  It's an archaic term that survives only in Renaissance fairs and medievalists such as the Society for Creative Anachronisms.

That's all well and good, but what of its usage in a question?  "Are we well-met?"  Is that asking, "Are you happy to see me?"  Is it, perhaps, asking whether one's company is welcome, rather than an intrusion?

Once again, I solicit feedback.