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 ʒe- 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’)

Anʒel n, N. -a, name of district, mod. ANGELN, hence OE Anʒle, later Enʒle, Enʒlisc, Enʒla-land, ENGLISH, ENGLAND

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

Anʒel-pēod n, F. -o ‘English people’, see Anʒel, pēod n

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

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


ǣfre adv > evre, EVER

æfter prep > after, AFTER

æʒper/ǣʒ-hwæðer, conj, pron > either, EITHER, ǣʒðer... and ‘both... and’

ǣniʒ pron > any, ANY (cf. OE ān, ONE)

ǣr adv > ere, ERE obs. ‘before’ (cf. Gt airis, O Scand ār)

ǣrendd-raca/ǣrend-wrecca n, M. -n ‘messenger’, OE ærende n, ERRAND; wrecan v ‘drive’, ‘force’ (rel. to R враг)


bærnet n, N. -ja ‘burning’ (cf. OE bærnan v, w.I. > bernen, BURN)

be/bi prep > by, BY

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

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

behēte, see be-hātan

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

bēon 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)

cāsere 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

cӯðan v, w. I ‘make known’ (cf. Gt kunpian, OS kūðian), rel. to KNOW, CAN

cōm, cōmon v, see cuman

cuman v, str. 4 (Past cuōm/cōm, cōmon, cumen) > comen, COME

cwide/cwiðe n, M. -a ‘speech, discourse’ (rel. to cweðan v; see Notes to Text 1)


dæʒ n, M. -a > day, DAY (cf. Gt dags)

dǣl n, M. -i > deel, DEAL (OE ‘part’) (cf. Gt dails, OE dǣlan v, DEAL)

dōn v, anom. (dyde, ʒe-don) > doon, DO

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

ēast-dǣl n, M. -i, see east and dǣl

Ēast-seaxe n, see ēast and Seaxe, ESSEX

eft adv ‘again’

eðel n, M. -a ‘country’


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

fæst-lice adv, also fæste > fastly, FAST (OE ‘firmly’)

fēdan v, w.I feden, FEED (cf. OE fōd n, Gt fodian v.)

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

fēond n, M. -nd, substantivised Part.I > fiend, FIEND (OE fēon v ‘hate’)

fēower num > four, FOUR

fēower-tiʒ num > fourty, FORTY

fēran v, w.I ‘go’, ‘suffer’ (ret. to OE faran; cf. OS fōrian)

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

fӯr n, N .-a > fir, FIRE

ʒe-flieman v, w.I ‘put to flight’ (cf. OE flēam n ‘flight’; rel. to OE flēoʒan v FLY, flēon, 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-ʒēafon v, see ʒiefan

for-sāwon v, see for-sēon

for-sēon v, str. 5 ‘reject’ (sēon- seah, sǣʒon/sāwon, sewen > seen, SEE)

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

fram/from prep > from, FROM

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

ʒe-friʒnan v, str. 3 Team by asking, hear of (cf. OE ʒeascian)

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

fultum n, M. -a ‘support’, ‘force’


ʒaderian v, w.II > gaderen, GATHER (OE ʒæd n ‘fellow­ship’, see also tō-ʒædere and ʒied)

ʒafol n, N. -a ‘tribute’ (rel. to OE ʒyfan v, GIVE)

ʒēafon/ʒēafan, see ʒyfan

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

Ӡeat, Ӡeatas n, M. -a, a Scand tribe or, perhaps, the Jutes

ʒeond adv, prep, also be-ʒeondan > yond, beyond, BEYOND

Ӡermania n, F. -ō, GERMANY

ʒied n, N. -ja ‘word’, ‘speech’ (rel. to OE ʒaderian v)

ʒiefan/ʒyfan v, str. 5 (ʒeaf, ʒēafon, ʒefen) > yiven/ʒiven, GIVE

ʒieldan/ʒyldan v, str. 3 > yelden, YIELD (OE also ‘pay’)

ʒislian v, w.II ‘give hostages’

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


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

bāliʒ adj > holy, HOLY (cf. Gt hailags)

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

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

hand n, F. -u > hand, HAND

hātan v, str. 7 ‘name’, ‘promise’, ‘order’ (cf. Gt ga-haitan, G heiβen)

hæfde v, see habban

hǣlo/hǣlu n, F. -in ‘safety’ (rel. to OE hāl, 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)

hēr adv > here, HERE

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

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

herʒoð n, M. -a ‘harrying, ravag­ing' (rel. to OE here, herʒian)

hēt, hēton v, see hātan

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

hider adv > hider, HITHER

hire pron, see the forms of hēo (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)

yrʒðo/ierʒðu n, F. -ō ‘cowardice’


land n, N. -a, ‘land’, LAND

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

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

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


maʒan v, Pret. -Pres. (mæʒ, 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 slēan v, SLAY, see slēan)

māra, see micel

mǣst, 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. māra, superl. mǣst > michel/muchel, MUCH)

mid prep ‘with’

mihte, mihten v, see maʒan

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’

mōdor n, F. -r > moder, MOTHER (cf. O Scand moðir, L māter)


nāmon, see niman

nǣfre adv (ne + ǣfre) nevre, NEVER

niehsta/nӯhsta adv superl. of nēah; comp. nēarra > neer, NEAR æt niehstan ‘at last’

niʒon num > nine, NINE

nolde neg. particle + wolde, see willan

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

Norðhymbre n, M. -i pl. ‘North­umbrians’


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

on-fēnʒ, see on-fōn

on-fōn v, str. 7 (past onfēng. Part. II onfangen) ‘undertake’, ‘receive’

on-herʒian, see herʒian

on-tendan v, w.I ‘set on fire’


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


rǣdan 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

secʒan 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)

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

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

siʒe n, M. -i ‘victory’ (cf. G Siege)

syxta/siexta num > sixth, SIXTH

slēan v, str. 6 (slōʒ, sloʒon, slæʒen) > sleyen, SLAY

ʒe-slōʒon v, see slēan

sōna adv > sone, SOON

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

stæl-ʒiest n ‘thievish guest’, OE stæl n, stelan v, STEAL OE ʒiest/ʒӕst, 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-ʒædere adv > together, TO­GETHER (rel. to OE ʒaderian v, GATHER, see ʒaderian)


adv ‘then’, ‘when’

pron ‘those’, ‘the’, see the forms of sē, sēo, pæt (p. 104)

panon/ponan adv > thannes/thennes, THENCE

pam/pæm pron, see the forms of sē, sēo (p. 104)

pāra/pǣre pron, see the forms of sē, sēo, pӕt (p. 104)

pǣr adv > there, THERE

pæs pron, see the forms of sē, pæt (p. 104)

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

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

pēod n, F. -ō ‘people’ (rel. to OE pēodan; cf. Gt piuda)

pēodan v, w.I ‘join’, ‘associate’ (rel. to OE pēod)

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

pes, pēos, pis pron, M., F., N. > this, THIS

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

pisses pron, Gen. sg of pes, pis

pissum pron, Dat. sg of pes, pis; Dat. pl of pēs, pēos, pis

pone pron, see

ponne adv > thanne/thenne, THAN, THEN

pūhte v, see pyncan

pusend num thousend, THOU­SAND


un-ā-secʒend-lic adj ‘unspeakable’, see secʒan

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

under-fēnʒon past of under-fōn v str. 7 ‘receive’, see on-fōn

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

un-ofer-swlpend-lic adj ‘unconqu­erable’ (OE swiðan v ‘strength­en’, see also swiðe in Notes to Text 1; cf. unasecʒendlic)

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


wǣre, wǣron v, see bēon

wæs, see bēon (cf. OHG was)

wæstm-bǣr-nys n, F. -jō ‘fertil­ity’ (OE wæstm ‘growth’, bærnes ‘bearing’, rel. to beran v, BEAR)

wēnan 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)

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

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

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

ʒe-winna n, M. -n ‘enemy’ (see also ʒe-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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