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Glossary to Old English Texts

The order of words in the Glossary is alphabetical (see the OE alphabet in § 111). Æ is included as a separate letter after A: p follows T; Q is shown as A or O; I and Y are treated as one letter since they often interchange (Y also alternates with IE). Words with the prefix ʒ e- are placed according to the first letter of the root and the prefix is missed out unless it changes the meaning of the word.

The component parts of derived and compound words, wherever possible, are separated by hyphens.

The stroke / shows variant forms or spellings of the word. For words which survived in later periods the ME form is shown after the sign > ; the modern word is given in capital letters. OE words are supplied with translations if they have no modern descendants and if the meaning has changed.

Parallels from other languages and related OE words are given as clues for the analysis of the sounds, the morphological structure and the means of word for­mation.

See also the list of abbreviations on p. 8.


ac conj ‘but’

a-hreddan v, w.I ‘save’

and-lyfen n, F. -ō ‘food’ (rel. to OE libban v ‘live’)

Anʒ el n, N. -a, name of district, mod. ANGELN, hence OE Anʒ le, later Enʒ le, Enʒ lisc, Enʒ la-land, ENGLISH, ENGLAND

Anʒ el-cynn n N.-ja ‘English people’; cynn ‘tribe, clan’; (hence cyninʒ, see Notes to Text 1, p 333)

Anʒ el-pē od n, F. -o ‘English people’, see Anʒ el, pē od n

ā r n, F. -ō ‘possessions’, ‘honour’ (cf. G Ehre)

ʒ e-ascian v. w. II 'hear of', ascian> asken, ASK


ǣ fre adv > evre, EVER

æ fter prep > after, AFTER

æ ʒ per/ǣ ʒ -hwæ ð er, conj, pron > either, EITHER, ǣ ʒ ð er... and ‘both... and’

ǣ niʒ pron > any, ANY (cf. OE ā n, ONE)

ǣ r adv > ere, ERE obs. ‘before’ (cf. Gt airis, O Scand ā r)

ǣ rendd-raca/ǣ rend-wrecca n, M. -n ‘messenger’, OE æ rende n, ERRAND; wrecan v ‘drive’, ‘force’ (rel. to R враг)


bæ rnet n, N. -ja ‘burning’ (cf. OE bæ rnan v, w.I. > bernen, BURN)

be/bi prep > by, BY

be-bod n, N.-a ‘command’ (cf. OE bē odan v)

be-hā tan v, str. 7 ‘promise’, see also hā tan

behē te, see be-hā tan

bē odan v, str. 2 ‘offer’ (cf. Gt biudan) (ret. to BID)

bē on v anom., see the forms on p. 258 (cf. R быть, стоять)

be-twih/be-tweox prep > betwix, BETWIXT (rel. to BETWEEN)

biscop n, M. -a. > bisshop, BISHOP (from L episcopus)

brecan v, str. 4 > breken, BREAK

Breotone/Brytene n, M. -i, also Bryttas n, M. -a. pl > Britons, BRITONS

burh n, F. root-stem > burgh, BOROUGH, OE ‘walled town’

burh-waru n, F. -ō ‘inhabitants of a town’


campian v, w.II ‘fight’ (cf. OE camp ‘battle’, G Kampf, from L campus)

cā sere n, M. -ja ‘emperor’ (from L Caesar)

Cent-land n, N. -a KENT (see land)

cyninʒ n, M. -a > ‘kyng’, KING (cf. OHG kuning), see Notes to Text 1

cynn n, N. -ja ‘kin’, KIN (OE 'tribe', ‘clan’) (rel. to KIND); cf Gt kuni

cӯ ð an v, w. I ‘make known’ (cf. Gt kunpian, OS kū ð ian), rel. to KNOW, CAN

cō m, cō mon v, see cuman

cuman v, str. 4 (Past cuō m/cō m, cō mon, cumen) > comen, COME

cwide/cwið e n, M. -a ‘speech, discourse’ (rel. to cweð an v; see Notes to Text 1)


dæ ʒ n, M. -a > day, DAY (cf. Gt dags)

dǣ l n, M. -i > deel, DEAL (OE ‘part’) (cf. Gt dails, OE dǣ lan v, DEAL)

dō n v, anom. (dyde, ʒ e-don) > doon, DO

drihten/dryhten n, M. -a ‘lord’, ‘God’


ē ac adu > eek, EKE obs. ‘also’ (cf. Gt auk, G auch)

eal pron. > all, ALL (cf. Gt alls)

ē a-land n, M. -a > iland, island, LAND (OE ē a ‘water’, ‘river’)

ealdor-mann n, M. root-stem > alderman, ALDERMAN (OE ‘chief’; OE eald/ald > old, OLD)

eardunʒ -stō w n, F. -wō ‘place of dwelling’ (cf. OE eardian ‘dwell’, OS ard, for stō w see Notes to Text 1)

ē ast n, adv > east, EAST (cf. O Scand austr)

ē ast-dǣ l n, M. -i, see east and dǣ l

Ē ast-seaxe n, see ē ast and Seaxe, ESSEX

eft adv ‘again’

eð el n, M. -a ‘country’


faran u, str. 6 > faren, FARE (OE ‘travel’)

fæ st-lice adv, also fæ ste > fastly, FAST (OE ‘firmly’)

fē dan v, w.I feden, FEED (cf. OE fō d n, Gt fodian v.)

feohtan v, str. 3 > fighten, FIGHT (cf. OHG fehtan)

fē ond n, M. -nd, substantivised Part.I > fiend, FIEND (OE fē on v ‘hate’)

fē ower num > four, FOUR

fē ower-tiʒ num > fourty, FORTY

fē ran v, w.I ‘go’, ‘suffer’ (ret. to OE faran; cf. OS fō rian)

fierd/fyrd n, F. -i ‘army’ (rel. to OE faran v, fē ran v)

fӯ r n, N.-a > fir, FIRE

ʒ e-flieman v, w.I ‘put to flight’ (cf. OE flē am n ‘flight’; rel. to OE flē oʒ an v FLY, flē on, v FLEE)

folc n, N. -a > folk, FOLK

fore-sprecen ‘above-mentioned’. Part.II of fore-sprecan (OE fore adv ‘before’, sprecan v, str. 5 > speken, SPEAK)

for-ʒ ē afon v, see ʒ iefan

for-sā won v, see for-sē on

for-sē on v, str. 5 ‘reject’ (sē on- seah, sǣ ʒ on/sā won, sewen > seen, SEE)

for-swelʒ an v, str. 3 ‘devour, swallow up', swelʒ an > swalwen, SWALLOW

fram/from prep > from, FROM

fretan v, str. 5 ‘eat up, devour (cf. G fressen)

ʒ e-friʒ nan v, str. 3 Team by asking, hear of (cf. OE ʒ eascian)

frið n, M./N. -a ‘peace’ (cf. G Frieden), OE frē on v, freond n, FRIEND, R приятель

fultum n, M. -a ‘support’, ‘force’


ʒ aderian v, w.II > gaderen, GATHER (OE ʒ æ d n ‘fellow­ship’, see also tō -ʒ æ dere and ʒ ied)

ʒ afol n, N. -a ‘tribute’ (rel. to OE ʒ yfan v, GIVE)

ʒ ē afon/ʒ ē afan, see ʒ yfan

ʒ ē ar n, N. -a > yeer, YEAR (cf. G Jahr; orig. mean, ‘spring’)

Ӡ eat, Ӡ eatas n, M. -a, a Scand tribe or, perhaps, the Jutes

ʒ eond adv, prep, also be-ʒ eondan > yond, beyond, BEYOND

Ӡ ermania n, F. -ō, GERMANY

ʒ ied n, N. -ja ‘word’, ‘speech’ (rel. to OE ʒ aderian v)

ʒ iefan/ʒ yfan v, str. 5 (ʒ eaf, ʒ ē afon, ʒ efen) > yiven/ʒ iven, GIVE

ʒ ieldan/ʒ yldan v, str. 3 > yelden, YIELD (OE also ‘pay’)

ʒ islian v, w.II ‘give hostages’

ʒ od n, M. -a > god, GOD (cf. O Scand goð, Gt. gup)


habban v, w.III haven, HAVE (cf. G haben, L habē re)

bā liʒ adj > holy, HOLY (cf. Gt hailags)

hā m n, M. -a, adv > hoom, HOME (cf. Gt haims)

hā m-weard adv > hoomward, HOMEWARDS (see him n; see -weard in Notes to Text 1 — norpweard)

hand n, F. -u > hand, HAND

hā tan v, str. 7 ‘name’, ‘promise’, ‘order’ (cf. Gt ga-haitan, G heiβ en)

hæ fde v, see habban

hǣ lo/hǣ lu n, F. -in ‘safety’ (rel. to OE hā l, WHOLE; cf. Gt


pron > he, HE, see the forms of OE hē (p. 103)

hearm n, M. -a > harm, HARM (cf. O Scand harmr, R срам)

heora pron, see the forms of hie (p. 103)

hē r adv > here, HERE

here n, M. -ja ‘host’, ‘army’ (cf. Gt harjis, G Heer)

herʒ ian v, w.II > heren, harwen, HARRY (rel. to OE here)

herʒ oð n, M. -a ‘harrying, ravag­ing' (rel. to OE here, herʒ ian)

hē t, hē ton v, see hā tan

hie/hӯ pron ‘they’, see the forms of hie (p. 103)

hider adv > hider, HITHER

hire pron, see the forms of hē o (p. 103)

hit pron > it, IT, see the forms of hit (p. 103)

hors n, N. -a > hors(e), HORSE

hund n. num, N. -a, later hun­dred > hundred, HUNDRED

hwil n, F.-ō > while, WHILE

I. Y

ic pron > ich, i, I, see the forms (p. 103)

yfel n, N. -a adj > ivel, evel, EVIL (cf. Gt ubils)

ilca/ylca pron > ilke, ILK, obs. ‘same’

ymb/ymbe prep, adv ‘about’ (cf. OHG umbi; OE be/bi, by, BY)

yrʒ ð o/ierʒ ð u n, F. -ō ‘cowardice’


land n, N. -a, ‘land’, LAND

lað ian v, w.II ‘invite’ (cf. G einladen)

lǣ dan v, w.I > leden, LEAD (cf. PG *laidjan)

lǣ stan v, w.I > lasten, LAST (OE also ‘carry out’) (cf. Gt laistjan)


maʒ an v, Pret. -Pres. (mæ ʒ, Past mihte/meahte) > ‘may, might’, MAY, MIGHT

mann n, M. root-stem > man, MAN (OE also indef, pron. ‘one’)

mann-slieht n, M. -i ‘manslaugh­ter’ (OE mann n, MAN and slieht n, rel. to slē an v, SLAY, see slē an)

mā ra, see micel

mǣ st, see micel

pron, see the forms of ic (p. 103)

menn-isc-nyss n, F. -jō ‘incar­nation of man’ (cf. OE mann, n MANN, mennisc, adj MAN­NISH)

metsunʒ n, F. -ō ‘provision’ (rel. to OE mete ‘food’, MEAT)

micel adj, adv (cf. mā ra, superl. mǣ st > michel/muchel, MUCH)

mid prep ‘with’

mihte, mihten v, see maʒ an

mild-heort-nes n ‘mercy, pity’ (OE milde adj, MILD, heorte n HEART, cf. NE mild-heartedness)

Myrce/Mierce n, M. -i or M. -n pl ‘Mercians’

mō dor n, F. -r > moder, MOTHER (cf. O Scand moð ir, L mā ter)


nā mon, see niman

nǣ fre adv (ne + ǣ fre) nevre, NEVER

niehsta/nӯ hsta adv superl. of nē ah; comp. nē arra > neer, NEAR æ t niehstan ‘at last’

niʒ on num > nine, NINE

nolde neg. particle + wolde, see willan

norð /norð an adv ‘in or from the North’ > north. NORTH

Norð hymbre n, M. -i pl. ‘North­umbrians’


oft adv > oft/often, OFTEN (cf. Gt ufta)

on-fē nʒ, see on-fō n

on-fō n v, str. 7 (past onfē ng. Part. II onfangen) ‘undertake’, ‘receive’

on-herʒ ian, see herʒ ian

on-tendan v, w.I ‘set on fire’


pund n, N. -a pound, POUND (from L pondō )


rǣ dan v, str. 7 and w.I > reden, REDE obs. READ (OE also ‘decide’ rel. to RIDDLE)

rice n. N. -ja ‘kingdom’ (cf. OE rice adj ‘strong’, ‘rich’)

ridan v, str. 1 riden, RIDE


n, F/M. -i > see, SEA (cf. Gt saiws)

sǣ -rima n, M. -n ‘sea shore’ (cf. OEn), SEA, RIM

sceolde v, see the forms of OE sculan (p. 123), SHOULD

scip/scyp n, N. -a ship, SHIP

scip-here n ‘hostile naval force’, see scip and here

scir n, F. -ō > shire, SHIRE

pron M. ‘that’, ‘the’, see the forms of OE sē (p. 104)

sealdan/sealdon, see sellan

secʒ an v, w.III > seyen, SAY (cf. G sagen, PG *sagjan)

sellan v, w.I (past sealde) > sellen, SELL (OE also ‘give’) (cf. OE salu n, Gt saljan v)

sendan v, w.I > senden, SEND (cf. Gt sandjan)

sē o pron ‘that’, 'the', see the forms of OE sē o (p. 104)

sibb n, F. -jō ‘peace, ’ ‘relation­ship’ (rel. to GOSSIP)

siʒ e n, M. -i ‘victory’ (cf. G Siege)

syxta/siexta num > sixth, SIXTH

slē an v, str. 6 (slō ʒ, sloʒ on, slæ ʒ en) > sleyen, SLAY

ʒ e-slō ʒ on v, see slē an

sō na adv > sone, SOON

stapol n, M. -a ‘foundation’ (rel. to OE standan v, STAND)

stæ l-ʒ iest n ‘thievish guest’, OE stæ l n, stelan v, STEAL OE ʒ iest/ʒ ӕ st, cf. OHG gast, R гость)

stranʒ adj > strong STRONG

sum pron > some, SOME

suð adj, adv > south, SOUTH

Suð -seaxe, see suð and Seaxe, SUSSEX

swican v, str. 1 ‘deceive’, ‘cease’


to-ʒ æ dere adv > together, TO­GETHER (rel. to OE ʒ aderian v, GATHER, see ʒ aderian)


adv ‘then’, ‘when’

pron ‘those’, ‘the’, see the forms of sē, sē o, pæ t (p. 104)

panon/ponan adv > thannes/thennes, THENCE

pam/pæ m pron, see the forms of sē, sē o (p. 104)

pā ra/pǣ re pron, see the forms of sē, sē o, pӕ t (p. 104)

pǣ r adv > there, THERE

pæ s pron, see the forms of sē, pæ t (p. 104)

pæ t pron > that, THAT, see the forms of pæ t (p. 104)

pe conj or connective particle ‘which’, ‘that’

pē od n, F. -ō ‘people’ (rel. to OE pē odan; cf. Gt piuda)

pē odan v, w.I ‘join’, ‘associate’ (rel. to OE pē od)

pē of n, M. -a > thief, THIEF (cf. Gt piubi)

pes, pē os, pis pron, M., F., N. > this, THIS

pyncan v, w.I (past pū hte) > thinken, THINK (OE ‘seem’; cf. Gt pugkjan)

pisses pron, Gen. sg of pes, pis

pissum pron, Dat. sg of pes, pis; Dat. pl of pē s, pē os, pis

pone pron, see

ponne adv > thanne/thenne, THAN, THEN

pū hte v, see pyncan

pusend num thousend, THOU­SAND


un-ā -secʒ end-lic adj ‘unspeakable’, see secʒ an

un-be-fohten adj ‘unopposed’, see feohtan

under-fē nʒ on past of under-fō n v str. 7 ‘receive’, see on-fō n

un-frið n, M. -a ‘enmity’, ‘war’, see frið

un-ofer-swlpend-lic adj ‘unconqu­erable’ (OE swið an v ‘strength­en’, see also swið e in Notes to Text 1; cf. unasecʒ endlic)

ū r pron > our, OUR, see the forms of OE wē (p. 103)


wǣ re, wǣ ron v, see bē on

wæ s, see bē on (cf. OHG was)

wæ stm-bǣ r-nys n, F. -jō ‘fertil­ity’ (OE wæ stm ‘growth’, bæ rnes ‘bearing’, rel. to beran v, BEAR)

wē nan v, w.I > wenen, WEEN (OE ‘think’), cf. O Scand vana

weorod/werod n, N. -a ‘troop’ (OE wer ‘man’)

weorp-scipe n, M. -a > worship, WORSHIP (OE weorp adj, WORTH)

West-seaxe n, west adv, WEST, see Seaxe, WESSEX

wide adv > wide, WIDE (OE wid adj)

wiʒ a n, M. -n ‘warrior’, ‘man’ (cf. Gt weihan ‘make war’, L vincere, NE invincible)

willan v, anom. (past wolde) > will, wolde, WILL, WOULD

ʒ e-winn n, N. -ja ‘fight’ (see also winnan v, ʒ e-winna n)

ʒ e-winna n, M. -n ‘enemy’ (see also ʒ e-winn n, winnan v)

winnan v, str. 3 > winnen, WIN (OE also ‘fight’)

winter-setl n 'winter quarters' (OE winter n, WINTER, setl ‘seat’, SETTLE, cf. R седло, NE saddle)

wyrcan v, w.I (past worhte) > wurchen/werken, WORK

wita n, M. -n ‘councillor’ (cf. OE wit n, witan v, WIT)

wip prep > with, WITH

wip pon pe conj ‘on condition that’

wolde v, see willan

word n. N. -a > word, WORD (cf. L verbum, PG *verdham)

worhton, see wyrcan

wunnon, see winnan



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