Guide: How to Say “Good Luck” in Medieval Times

Greetings, fellow history enthusiasts! In this guide, we will explore the fascinating world of medieval language and learn how to convey the sentiment of “good luck” in a variety of situations. Join me as we uncover formal and informal ways to wish someone luck, with a sprinkle of regional variations where applicable. Get ready to journey back in time and immerse yourself in the rich linguistic tapestry of the Middle Ages!

Formal Expressions of Good Luck

When conversing formally during medieval times, expressing good luck could be as significant as wearing a suit of armor into battle. Here are a few ways to wish someone well in a formal setting:

  • 1. May Fortuna smile upon thee: Fortuna, the goddess of luck, played a vital role in medieval belief systems. This expression invokes her favor, offering encouragement for a favorable outcome.
  • 2. May God’s grace guide thy path: Religion held an important place in medieval society, so invoking God’s grace was a commonly used expression to convey blessings and good fortune upon others.
  • 3. May the stars align in your favor: Referring to celestial bodies aligning in favor implies that the person’s destiny is being positively directed by the cosmos.

During formal occasions, it was customary to offer these well wishes with reverence and respect for the recipient’s position and aspirations. Such expressions aimed to provide encouragement and reinforce the belief in divine or cosmic intervention.

Informal Ways to Wish Good Luck

Medieval life was not always a grand affair, and informal interactions called for a more relaxed, lighthearted approach. Here are a few ways to wish someone good luck in a casual setting:

  • 1. Break a lance: Derived from the jousting tournaments of the Middle Ages, this phrase is a playful way of wishing someone luck before a challenging endeavor.
  • 2. Best of fortunes: A simple yet effective expression, which wishes the person the best possible outcome without invoking any specific deity or magical force.
  • 3. May your arrow find its mark: Inspired by archery, this expression metaphorically refers to achieving success, much like hitting a target with precision.

These informal phrases were quite popular among friends, neighbors, and even rivals, as they added a touch of camaraderie and humor to interactions.

Examples of Formal and Informal Expressions

To provide a better understanding, let’s explore a few examples of how these wishes may have been used:

Example 1: In a formal setting, a lord might address a knight who is about to embark on a perilous quest by saying, “May Fortuna smile upon thee as you venture forth, Sir Galahad.”

Example 2: In an informal context, a group of peasants might cheerfully tell their friend, “Break a lance, Tom, as you set off to win Mary’s favor at the village fair!”

Example 3: If wishing well upon a merchant embarking on a long voyage, a formal expression could be, “May God’s grace guide thy path as you sail forth toward distant lands, Master Robert.”

Example 4: Casually, a group of troubadours bidding farewell to their fellow musician might say, “Best of fortunes on your wanderings, dear Walter. May your songs enchant audiences near and far!”

These examples demonstrate the versatility of well-wishing phrases in both formal and informal contexts, showcasing how sentiment could be tailored based on the relationship between the individuals involved.


Congratulations! You’ve now embarked on a linguistic journey through medieval times, uncovering the various ways to say “good luck” during different situations. We have delved into formal expressions invoking divine forces and formal wishes, as well as informal, lighthearted phrases inspired by medieval activities such as jousting and archery.

Remember, whether you’re preparing for a daring quest or simply wishing someone well on their journey, these phrases are a delightful way to add a touch of medieval charm to your conversations. So go forth and break a lance, dear readers, as you weave these ancient expressions into your everyday lives!

Stay curious, stay inspired, and may Fortuna smile upon thee!

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