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Eighth Edition, Revised







The want of an introduction to the study of Old-English has long been felt. Vernon’s Anglo-Saxon Guide was an admirable book for its time, but has long been completely antiquated. I was therefore obliged to make my Anglo-Saxon Reader a somewhat unsatisfactory compromise between an elementary primer and a manual for advanced students, but I always looked forward to producing a strictly elementary book like the present one, which would enable me to give the larger one a more scientific character, and would at the same time serve as an introduction to it. Meanwhile, however, Professor Earle has brought out his Book for the beginner in Anglo-Saxon. But this work is quite unsuited to serve as an introduction to my Reader, and will be found to differ so totally in plan and execution from the present one as to preclude all idea of rivalry on my part. We work on lines which instead of clashing can only diverge more and more.

My main principle has been to make the book the easiest possible introduction to the study of Old-English.

Poetry has been excluded, and a selection made from the easiest prose pieces I could find. Old-English original prose is unfortunately limited in extent, and the most suitable pieces (such as the voyages of Ohthere and Wulfstan) are already given in the Reader; these I could not give over {vi}again. But I hope the short extracts from the Chronicle and the Martyrdom of King Edmund will be found not wanting in interest. For the rest of the selections I have had to fall back on scriptural extracts, which have the great advantages of simplicity and familiarity of subject. The Gospel extracts have been transferred here from the Reader, where they will be omitted in the next edition. The sentences which head the selections have been gathered mainly from the Gospels, Ælfric’s Homilies, and the Chronicle. They are all of the simplest possible character, only those having been taken which would bear isolation from their context. They are intended to serve both as an introduction and as a supplement to the longer pieces. They are grouped roughly into paragraphs, according to the grammatical forms they illustrate. Thus the first paragraph consists mainly of examples of the nominative singular of nouns and adjectives, the second of accusative singulars, and so on.

The spelling has been made rigorously uniform throughout on an early West-Saxon basis. Injurious as normalizing is to the advanced student, it is an absolute necessity for the beginner, who wants to have the definite results of scholarship laid before him, not the confused and fluctuating spellings which he cannot yet interpret intelligently. Even for purely scientific purposes we require a standard of comparison and classification, as in the arrangement of words in a dictionary, where we have to decide, for instance, whether to put the original of hear under ē, īe, ī or ȳ. The spelling I here adopt is, in fact, the one I should recommend for dictionary purposes. From early West-Saxon it is an easy step both to late W. S. and to the Mercian forms from which Modern English is derived. That I give Ælfric in a spelling slightly earlier than his date is no more {vii}unreasonable than it is for a classical scholar to print Ausonius (who doubtless spoke Latin with an almost Italian pronunciation) in the same spelling as Virgil.

It is impossible to go into details, but in doubtful or optional cases I have preferred those forms which seemed most instructive to the student. Thus I have preferred keeping up the distinction between the indic. bundon and the subj. bunden, although the latter is often levelled under the former even in early MS. In the accentuation I have for the present retained the conventional quantities, which are really ‘prehistoric’ quantities, as I have shown elsewhere (Phil. Soc. Proc. 1880, 1881). It is no use trying to disguise the fact that Old English philology (owing mainly to its neglect in its native land) is still in an unsettled state.

In the Grammar I have cut down the phonology to the narrowest limits, giving only what is necessary to enable the beginner to trace the connection of forms within the language itself. Derivation and syntax have been treated with the same fulness as the inflections. In my opinion, to give inflections without explaining their use is as absurd as it would be to teach the names of the different parts of a machine without explaining their use, and derivation is as much a fundamental element of a language as inflection. The grammar has been based throughout on the texts, from which all words and sentences given as examples have, as far as possible, been taken. This I consider absolutely essential in an elementary book. What is the use of a grammar which gives a number of forms and rules which the learner has no occasion to apply practically in his reading? Simply to cut down an ordinary grammar and prefix it to a selection of elementary texts, without any attempt to adapt them to one another, is a most unjustifiable proceeding.{viii}

In the Glossary cognate and root words are given only when they occur in the texts, or else are easily recognizable by the ordinary English reader.

All reference to cognate languages has been avoided. Of course, if the beginner knows German, the labour of learning Old English will be lightened for him by one half, but he does not require to have the analogies pointed out to him. The same applies to the relation between Old and Modern English. To trace the history of the sounds would be quite out of place in this book, and postulates a knowledge of the intermediate stages which the beginner cannot have.

The Notes consist chiefly of references to the Grammar, and are intended mainly for those who study without a teacher. As a general rule, no such references are given where the passage itself is quoted in the Grammar.

On the whole I do not think the book could be made much easier without defeating its object. Thus, instead of simply referring the student from stęnt to standan, and thence to the Grammar, I might have saved him all this trouble by putting ‘stęnt, 3 sg. pres. of standan, stand,’ but the result would be in many cases that he would not look at the Grammar at all—surely a most undesirable result.

Although I have given everything that I believe to be necessary, every teacher may, of course, at his own discretion add such further illustrations, linguistic, historical, antiquarian, or otherwise, as he thinks likely to instruct or interest his pupils.

My thanks are due to Professor Skeat, not only for constant advice and encouragement in planning and carrying out this work, but also for help in correcting the proofs.

In conclusion I may be allowed to express a hope that this little book may prove useful not only to young beginners, but also to some of our Professors of and {ix}Examiners in the English language, most of whom are now beginning to see the importance of a sound elementary knowledge of ‘Anglo-Saxon’—a knowledge which I believe this book to be capable of imparting, if studied diligently, and not hurriedly cast aside for a more ambitious one.


Heath Street, Hampstead,

March 31, 1882.


In the present edition I have put this book into what must be (for some time at least) its permanent form, making such additions and alterations as seemed necessary.

If I had any opportunity of teaching the language, I should no doubt have been able to introduce many other improvements; as it is, I have had to rely mainly on the suggestions and corrections kindly sent to me by various teachers and students who have used this book, among whom my especial thanks are due to the Rev. W. F. Moulton, of Cambridge, and Mr. C. Stoffel, of Amsterdam.



October 15, 1884.





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The oldest stage of English before the Norman Conquest is called ‘Old English,’ which name will be used throughout in this Book, although the name ‘Anglo-Saxon’ is still often used.

There were several dialects of Old English. This book deals only with the West-Saxon dialect in its earliest form.

[The West Saxon dialect referred to above is the Wessex Dialect of King Alfred the Great and was used in his literary works.  It is based on the Low German Saxon language from northwest Germany and is now a dead language, preserved essentially in the works of King Alfred.  The Several Dialects referred to above would be Anglish Danish, a Low German language from Jutland, Denmark (Skioldung Danish) which has not been preserved because it is the language that survived and morphed from Old Anglish into Middle English and, as a living evolving language, nobody thought it necessary to preserve it.  A third dialect was likely the Jutish of the Jutes from northern Jutland, which may have some presence in Middle English but is likely lost.  Much of the above is still proving out, but the idea that Anglo-Saxon was a compromised language between the northern Angles and the southern Saxons is just so much, as the English are wont to say, rubbish.  The languages, both being low German, were compatible, but the Angles and the Saxons were not.  Historically, they fought all the time.  In 1013 AD, King Sweyn ‘Forkbeard’ of Anglish Denmark (aka Prince Svein ‘the Old’ of Kiev) conquered England and it was ruled by his son, King Canute ‘the Great’ (aka Grand Prince Valdamar ‘the Great’ of Kiev) and his sons until 1042 AD.  By this time, Anglish had become the predominant dialect and Saxon had died out.  Over 80 % of the Vikings that attacked England between 793 and 1016 AD were Anglish Danish Vikings from Jutland who spoke an Anglish dialect that was very similar to their Anglish cousins in England.]

Most Vikings of the Viking Period spoke Anglish, the language that morphed into Middle English, so when William Shakespeare wrote Hamlet in 1500 AD about the Danish Prince Amleth from Saxo’s Danish History, he was writing it in a language that the Danish prince may very well have spoken.



The vowel-letters in Old English had nearly the same values as in Latin. Long vowels were occasionally marked by (´), short vowels being left unmarked. In this book long vowels are marked by (ˉ). The following are the elementary vowels and diphthongs, with examples, and key-words from English, French (F.), and German (G.):—

aas inmann (G.)nama (name).
ā,,fatherstān (stone).
æ,,manglæd (glad).
ǣ,, dǣd (deed)[1].
e,,été (F.)ic ete[2] (I eat).
ē,,see (G.)hē (he).
ę,,menmęnn (men).
{2}i,,fini (F.)cwic (alive).
ī,,sieh (G.)wīn (wine).
ie,,finieldran (ancestors).
īe,, hīeran (hear).
o,,beau (F.)god (god).
ō,,so (G.)gōd (good).
u,,sou (F.)sunu (son).
ū,,gut (G.)nū (now).
y,,vécu (F.)synn (sin).
ȳ,,grün (G.)brȳd (bride).
ea=æ + aeall (all).
ēa=ǣ + aēast (east).
eo=e + oweorc (work).
ēo=ē + odēop (deep).
e and ę are both written e in the MSS.

The diphthongs are pronounced with the stress on the first element.

Those who find a difficulty in learning strange vowel-sounds may adopt the following approximate pronunciation:—

aas inask (short)nama (năhmăh).
ā,,fatherstān (stahn).
æ,,manglæd (glad).
ǣ,,thereǣr (air).
e, ę,,menete (etty), męnn (men).
ē,,theyhē (hay).
i, ie,,fincwic (quick), ieldran (ildrăhn).
ī, īe,,seewīn (ween), hīeran (heerăhn).
o,,notgod (god).
ō,,notegōd (goad).
u,,fullfull (full).
ū,,foolnū (noo).
y,,finsynn (zin).
ȳ,,seebrȳd (breed).
ea=ĕ-ăheall (ĕ-ăhl).
ēa=ai-ăhēast (ai-ăhst).
{3}eo=ĕ-oweorc (wĕ-ork).
ēo=ai-odēop (dai-op).

The pronunciation given in parentheses is the nearest that can be expressed in English letters as pronounced in Southern English.


Double consonants must be pronounced double, or long, as in Italian. Thus sunu (son) must be distinguished from sunne (sun) in the same way as penny is distinguished from penknife. So also in (in) must be distinguished from inn (house); noting that in modern English final consonants in accented monosyllables after a short vowel are long, our in and inn both having the pronunciation of Old English inn, not of O.E. in.

c and g had each a back (guttural) and a front (palatal) pron., which latter is in this book written ċġ.

c = k, as in cēne (bold), cnāwan (know).

ċ = kj, a k formed in the j (English y) position, nearly as in the old-fashioned pron. of skyċiriċe (church), styċċe (piece), þęnċan (think).

g initially and in the combination ng was pron. as in ‘get’: gōd (good), lang (long); otherwise (that is, medially and finally after vowels and l, r) as in German sagen: dagas (days), burg (city), hālga (saint).

ġ initially and in the combination  was pronounced gj (corresponding to kj): ġē (ye), ġeorn (willing), spręnġan (scatter); otherwise = j (as in ‘you’): dæġ (day), wrēġan (accuse), hęrġian (ravage). It is possible that ġ in ġe-boren (born) and other unaccented syllables was already pronounced j. ċġ = ġġ: sęċġan (say), hryċġ (back).

f had the sound of v everywhere where it was possible:—faran (go), of (of), ofer (over); not, of course, in oft (often), or when doubled, as in offrian (offer).{4}

h initially, as in  (he), had the same sound as now. Everywhere else it had that of Scotch and German ch in loch:—hēah (high), Wealh (Welshman), riht (right). hw, as in hwæt (what), hwīl (while), had the sound of our wh; and hl, hn, hr differed from l, n, r respectively precisely as wh differs from w, that is, they were these consonants devocalized, hl being nearly the same as Welsh ll:—hlāford (lord), hlūd (loud); hnappian (doze), hnutu (nut); hraþe (quickly), hrēod (reed).

r was always a strong trill, as in Scotch:—rǣran (to raise), hēr (here), word (word).

s had the sound of z:—sēċan (seek), swā (so), wīs (wise), ā·rīsan (rise); not, of course, in combination with hard consonants, as in stān (stone), fæst (firm), rīċsian (rule), or when double, as in cyssan (kiss).

þ had the sound of our th (= dh) in then:—þū (thou), þing (thing), sōþ (true), hǣþen (heathen); except when in combination with hard consonants, where it had that of our th in thin, as in sēċþ (seeks). Note hæfþ (has) = hævdh.

w was fully pronounced wherever written:—wrītan (write), nīwe (new), sēow (sowed pret.).


The stress or accent is marked throughout in this book, whenever it is not on the first syllable of a word, by (·) preceding the letter on which the stress begins. Thus for·ġiefan is pronounced with the same stress as that of forgiveandswaru with that of answer.



Different vowels are related to one another in various ways in O.E., the most important of which are mutation (German umlaut) and gradation (G. ablaut).{5}

The following changes are mutations:—

a .. ę:—mann, pl. męnn; wand (wound prt.), węndan (to turn).

ea (= a) .. ie (= ę):—eald (old), ieldra (older); feallan (fall), fielþ (falls).

ā .. ǣ:—blāwan (to blow), blǣwþ (bloweth); hāl (sound), hǣlan (heal).

u .. y:—burg (city), pl. byriġ; trum (strong), trymman (to strengthen).

o .. y:—gold, gylden (golden); coss (a kiss), cyssan (to kiss).

e .. i:—beran (to bear), bireþ (beareth); cweþan (speak), cwide (speech).

eo (= e) .. ie (= i):—heord (herd), hierde (shepherd); ċeorfan (cut), ċierfþ (cuts).

u .. o:—curon (they chose), ġe·coren (chosen).

ū .. ȳ:—cūþ (known), cȳþan (to make known); fūl (foul), ā·fȳlan (defile).

ō .. ē:—sōhte (sought prt.), sēċan (to seek); fōda (food), fēdan (to feed).

ēa .. īe:—hēawan (to hew), hīewþ (hews); tēam (progeny), tīeman (teem).

ēo .. īe:—stēor (rudder), stīeran (steer); ġe·strēon (possession), ġes·trīenan (gain).

Before proceeding to gradation, it will be desirable to describe the other most important vowel-relations.

a, æ, ea. In O.E. original a is preserved before nasals, as in mannlangnama (name), and before a single consonant followed by au, or o, as in dagas (days), dagum (to days), faran (go), gafol (profit), and in some words when e follows, as in ic fare (I go), faren (gone). Before rlh followed by another consonant, and before x it becomes ea, as in heard (hard), eall (all), eald (old), eahta (eight), weaxan (to grow). Not in bærst (p. 7). In most other cases it becomes æ:—dæġ, (day), dæġes (of a day), fæst (firm), wær (wary).{6}

e before nasals always becomes i: compare bindan (to bind), pret. band, with beran (to bear), pret. bær.

e before r (generally followed by a consonant) becomes eo:—eorþe (earth), heorte (heart). Not in berstan (p. 7). Also in other cases:—seolfor (silver), heofon (heaven).

i before r + cons. becomes ie:—bierþ (beareth) contr. from bireþ, hierde (shepherd) from heord (herd), wiersa (worse).

ę before r, or l + cons. often becomes ie:—fierd (army) from faranbieldo (boldness) from bealdieldra (elder) from eald.

By gradation the vowels are related as follows:—

e (i, eo) .. a (æ, ea) .. u (o):—

bindan (inf.), band (pret.), bundon (they bound). beran (inf.), bær (pret.), boren (past partic.). ċeorfan (cut), ċearf (pret.), curfon (they cut), corfen (past partic.). bęnd (bond) = mutation of band, byr-þen (burden) of bor-en.

a (æ, ea) .. ǣ:—spræc (spoke), sprǣcon (they spoke), sprǣċ (speech).

a .. ō:—faran (to go), fōr (pret.), fōr (journey). ġe·fēra (companion) mutation of fōr.

ī .. ā .. i:—wrītan, wrāt, writon, ġe·writ (writing, subst.). (be)·līfan (remain), lāf (remains), whence by mutation lǣfan (leave).

ēo (ū) .. ēa .. u (o):—ċēosan (choose), ċēas, curon, corencys-t (choice). (for)·lēosan (lose), lēas (loose), ā·līesan (release), losian (to be lost). būgan (bend), boga (bow).

We see that the laws of gradation are most clearly shown in the conjugation of the strong verbs. But they run through the whole language, and a knowledge of the laws of gradation and mutation is the main key to O.E. etymology.

It is often necessary to supply intermediate stages in connecting two words. Thus lęċġan (lay) cannot be directly referred to liċġan (lie), but only to a form *lag-, preserved in the preterite læġ. So also blęndan (to blind) can be referred only indirectly to the adjective blind through an intermediate *bland-. Again, the root-vowel of byrþen {7}(burden) cannot be explained by the infinitive beran (bear), but only by the past participle ġe·boren. In the same way hryre (fall sb.) must be referred, not to the infinitive hrēosan, but to the preterite plural hruron.

The vowel-changes in the preterites of verbs of the ‘fall’-conjugation (1) feallanfēoll, &c., are due not to gradation, but to other causes.


s becomes r in the preterite plurals and past participles of strong verbs, as in curonġe·coren from ċēosanwǣron pl. of wæs (was), and in other formations, such as hryre (fall) from hrēosan.

þ becomes d under the same conditions, as in wurdonġe·worden from weorþan (become), cwæþ (quoth), pl. cwǣdoncwide (speech) from cweþan (infin.).

r is often transposed, as in iernan (run) from original *rinnan (cp. the subst. ryne), berstan (burst) from *brestanbærst (burst pret.) from bræsthors (horse) from *hross.

The combinations cæ-– become ċea-ġea-, as in ċeaf (chaff) from *cæfsċeal (shall) from *scælġeaf (gave) = *gæf from ġiefan (cp. cwæþ from cweþan), ġeat (gate)—cp. fæt (vessel).

gǣ- often becomes ġēa-, as in ġēafon (they gave), with which compare cwǣdon (they said).

ge- becomes ġie, as in ġiefanġieldan (pay) from *gefan, *geldan—cp. cweþandelfan. Not in the prefix ġe- and ġē (ye).

When g comes before a consonant in inflection, it often becomes h, as in hē līehþ (he lies) from lēogan (mentiri).

h after a consonant is dropt when a vowel follows, the preceding vowel being lengthened, thus Wealh (Welshman) has plural Wēalas.



Gender. There are three genders in O.E.—masculine, neuter, and feminine. The gender is partly natural, partly {8}grammatical. By the natural gender names of male beings, such as se mann (the man), are masculine; of female beings, such as sēo dohtor (the daughter), are feminine; and of young creatures, such as þæt ċild (the child), neuter. Note, however, that þæt wīf (woman) is neuter.

Grammatical gender is known only by the gender of the article and other words connected with the noun, and, to some extent, by its form. Thus all nouns ending in -a, such as se mōna (moon), are masculine, sēo sunne (sun) being feminine. Those ending in -dōm-hād, and -sċipe are also masculine:—se wīsdōm (wisdom), se ċildhād (childhood), se frēondsċipe (friendship). Those in -nes-o (from adjectives) -rǣden, and -ung are feminine:—sēo rihtwīsnes (righteousness), sēo bieldo (boldness) from bealdsēo mann-rǣden (allegiance), sēo scotung (shooting).

Compounds follow the gender of their last element, as in þæt burg-ġeat (city-gate), from sēo burg and þæt ġeat. Hence also se wīf-mann (woman) is masculine.

The gender of most words can be learnt only by practice, and the student should learn each noun with its proper definite article.

Strong and Weak. Weak nouns are those which form their inflections with n, such as se mōna, plural mōnansēo sunne, genitive sing. þǣre sunnan. All the others, such as se dæġ, pl. dagasþæt hūs (house), gen. sing. þæs hūses, are strong.

Cases. There are four cases, nominative, accusative, dative, and genitive. The acc. is the same as the nom. in all plurals, in the sing. of all neuter nouns, and of all strong masculines. Masculine and neuter nouns never differ in the plural except in the nom. and acc., and in the singular they differ only in the acc. of weak nouns, which in neuters is the same as the nom. The dative plural of nearly all nouns ends in -um.{9}


(1) as-plurals.

Nom[3].stān (stone).Nom.stān-as.

So also dǣl (part), cyning (king), ċildhād (childhood).

dæġ (day) changes its vowel in the pl. (p. 5):—dæġdæġedæġesdagasdagumdaga.

Nouns in -e have nom. and dat. sing. the same:—ęnde, (end), ęndeęndesęndasęndumęnda.

Nouns in -el-ol-um-en-on-er-or often contract:—ęnġel (angel), ęnġleęnġlesęnġlasęnġlumęnġla. So also næġel (nail), þeġen (thane), ealdor (prince). Others, such as æcer (field), do not contract.

h after a consonant is dropped in inflection (p. 7), as in feorh (life), fēorefēores. So also in Wealh (Welshman), plur. Wēalas.

There are other classes which are represented only by a few nouns each.

(2) e-plurals.

A few nouns which occur only in the plur.:—lēode (people), lēodumlēoda. So also several names of nations:—Ęnġle (English), Dęne (Danes); Seaxe (Saxons), Mierċe (Mercians), have gen. plur. SeaxnaMierċna.

(3) Mutation-plurals.

Nom.fōt (foot).Nom.fēt.

So also tōþ (tooth). Mann (man), męnnmannesmęnnmannummanna.


(4) u-nouns.

Nom.sun-u (son).Nom.sun-a.

So also wudu (wood).

(5) r-nouns (including feminines).

Nom.mōdor (mother).Nom.mōdor.

So also brōþor (brother); fæder (father), dohtor (daughter), have dat. sing. fæderdehter.

(6) nd-nouns.

Formed from the present participle of verbs.

Nom.frēond (friend).Nom.frīend.

So also fēond (enemy).

Those in -end inflect thus:—būend (dweller), būendbūendesbūendbūendumbūendra. So also Hǣlend (saviour). The -ra is an adjectival inflection.


(1) u-plurals.

Nom.sċip (ship).Nom.sċip-u.

So all neuters with short final syllable, such as ġe·bed (prayer), ġe·writ (writing), ġeat (gate).{11}

Fæt (vessel), fætefætesfatufatumfata (p. 5).

Rīċe (kingdom), rīċerīċesrīċurīċumrīċa. So also all neuters in e, except ēage and ēare (p. 13): ġe·þēode (language), styċċe (piece).

Those in -ol-en-or, &c. are generally contracted:—dēofol (devil), dēoflesdēoflu. So also wǣpen (weapon), mynster (monastery), wundor (wonder).

(2) Unchanged plurals.

Nom.hūs (house).Nom.hūs.

So all others with long final syllables (that is, containing a long vowel, or a short vowel followed by more than one consonant), such as bearn (child), folc (nation), wīf (woman).

Feoh (money) drops its h in inflection and lengthens the eo:—feohfēofēos. So also bleoh (colour).


(1) a-plurals.

(a)Nom.ġief-u (gift).Nom.ġief-a.

So also lufu (love), scamu (shame). Duru (door) is an u-noun: it has acc. duru, d., g. dura, g. pl. dura. Observe that all these nouns have a short syllable before the final vowel. When it is long, the u is dropped, and the noun falls under (b).{12}

(b)Nom.sprǣċ (speech).Nom.sprǣċ-a.

So also strǣt (street), sorg (sorrow). Some have the acc. sing. the same as the nom., such as dǣdhandmiht.

Those in -ol-er-or, &c. contract:—sāwol (soul), sāwlesāwlasāwlum. So also ċeaster (city), hlǣdder (ladder).

Some in -en double the n in inflection:—byrþen (burden), byrþenne. So also those in -rǣden, such as hierdrǣden (guardianship). Those in -nes also double the s in inflection: gōdnes (goodness), gōdnesse.

(2) Mutation-plurals.

Nom.bōc (book).Nom.bēċ.

Burg (city), byriġburgebyriġburgumburga.

(3) Indeclinable.

Nom.bieldo (boldness).

So also ieldo (age).

For r-nouns, see under Masculines.


Nom.nam-a (name).Nom.nam-an.


So also all nouns in -a:—ġe·fēra (companion), guma (man), ġe·lēafa (belief). Ieldran (elders) occurs only in the plural.

Ġe·fēa (joy) is contracted throughout:—ġefēaġefēan.


Nom.ēag-e (eye).Nom.ēag-an.

So also ēare ‘ear.’


Nom.sunn-e (sun).Nom.sunn-an.

So also ċiriċe (church), fǣmne (virgin), heorte (heart).

Lēo (lion) has acc., &c. lēon.


Native names of persons are declined like other nouns:—Ælfred, gen. Ælfredes, dat. ÆlfredeĒad-burg (fem.), gen. Ēadburge, &c.

Foreign names of persons sometimes follow the analogy of native names, thus CrīstSalomon have gen. CrīstesSalomones, dat. CrīsteSalomone. Sometimes they are declined as in Latin, especially those in -us, but often with a mixture of English endings, and the Latin endings are used {14}somewhat loosely, the accus. ending being often extended to the other oblique cases; thus we find nom. Cȳrus, gen. Cȳres, acc. Cȳrum, dat. Cȳrum (þǣm cyninge Cȳrum).

Almost the only names of countries and districts in Old English are those taken from Latin, such as Breten (Britain), Cęnt (Kent), Ġermānia (Germany), and those formed by composition, generally with land, such as Ęnġla-land (land of the English, England), Isr·ahēla-þēod (Israel). In both of these cases the first element is in the gen. pl., but ordinary compounds, such as Scot-land, also occur. In other cases the name of the inhabitants of a country is used for the country itself:—on Ēast-ęnġlum = in East-anglia, lit. ‘among the East-anglians.’ So also on Angel-cynne = in England, lit. ‘among the English race,’ more accurately expressed by Angelcynnes land.

Uncompounded names of countries are sometimes undeclined. Thus we find on Cęnttō Hierusalēm.

ĠermāniaAsia, and other foreign names in -a take -e in the oblique cases, thus gen. Ġermānie.


Adjectives have three genders, and the same cases as nouns, though with partly different endings, together with strong and weak inflection. In the masc. and neut. sing. they have an instrumental case, for which in the fem. and plur., and in the weak inflection the dative is used.


Adjectives with a short syllable before the endings take -u in the fem. sing. nom. and neut. pl. nom., those with a long one drop it.{15}

(a)Nom.cwic (alive),cwic,cwic-u.
 Dat. cwic-um. 
 Gen. cwic-ra. 

So also sum (some), fǣrlic (dangerous).

Those with æ, such as glæd (glad), change it to a in dat. gladum, &c.

Those in -e, such as blīþe (glad), drop it in all inflections:—blīþneblīþublīþre.

Those in -ig-el-ol-en-er-or often contract before inflections beginning with a vowel, as in hāliġ (holy), hālgeshālgummiċel (great), miċlumiċle. Not, of course, before consonants:—hāliġnemiċelnemiċelra.

Those in -u, such as ġearu (ready), change the u into a w before vowels:—ġearwesġearwe.

Adjectives with long syllable before the endings drop the u of the fem. and neuter:—

(b)Nom. Sing.gōd (good),gōd,gōd.

Fēa (few) has only the plural inflections, dat. fēam, gen. fēara.

Hēah (high) drops its second h in inflection and contracts:—hēare, nom. pl. hēa, dat. hēam, acc. sing. masc. hēanne.

Fela (many) is indeclinable.{16}


The weak inflections of adjectives agree exactly with the noun ones:-

Nom. gōd-an. 
Dat. gōd-um. 
Gen. gōd-ra. 

The vowel- and consonant-changes are as in the strong declension.


The comparative is formed by adding -ra, and is declined like a weak adjective:—lēof (dear), lēofra masc., lēofre fem., lēofran plur., etc.; mǣre (famous), mǣrra. The superlative is formed by adding -ost, and may be either weak or strong:—lēofost (dearest).

The following form their comparisons with mutation, with superlative in -est (the forms in parentheses are adverbs):—

eald (old),ieldra,ieldest.
lang (long),lęnġra,lęnġest.
nēah (near),(nēar),nīehst.
hēah (high),hīerra,hīehst.

The following show different roots:—

gōd (good),bętera,bętst.
yfel (evil),wiersa,wierrest.
miċel (great),māra (mā),mǣst.
lȳtel (little),lǣssa (lǣs),lǣst.


The following are defective as well as irregular, being formed from adverbs:—

ǣr (formerly),ǣrra (ǣror),ǣrest.
fore (before),. . .forma, fyrmest.
ūt (out),ȳterra,ȳtemest.


ān,one.forma (first).
hund hund-·tēontiġ,hund hund-·tēontiġ,hund hund-·tēontiġ,hund hund-·tēontiġ,hund hund-·tēontiġ,hund hund-·tēontiġ,hund hund-·tēontiġ,hund hund-·tēontiġ,hund hund-·tēontiġ,hund hund-·tēontiġ,hundred. 
hund-·ęndlufontiġ,hundred and ten. 
hund-·twęlftiġ,hundred and twenty. 

Ān is declined like other adjectives.

Twā is declined thus:—

Dat. twǣm. 
Gen. twēġra. 

So also bēġen (both), bǣmbēġra.

Þrēo is declined thus:—

Dat. þrim. 
Gen. þrēora. 

The others up to twęntiġ are generally indeclinable. Those in -tiġ are sometimes declined like neuter nouns, sometimes like adjectives, and are often left undeclined. When not made into adjectives they govern the genitive.

Hund and þūsend are either declined as neuters or left undeclined, always taking a genitive:—eahta hund mīla (eight hundred miles), fēower þūsend wera (four thousand men).

Units are always put before tens:—ān and twęntiġ (twenty-one).{19}

The ordinals are always weak, except ōþer, which is always strong.



Nom.iċ (I),þū (thou).
Nom.wit (we two),ġit (ye two).
Nom.wē (we),ġē (ye).
Nom.hē (he),hit (it),hēo (she).
Nom. hīe (they). 
Dat. him. 
Gen. hiera. 

There are no reflexive pronouns in O.E., and the ordinary {20}personal pronouns are used instead:—hīe ġe·samnodon hīe (they collected themselves, assembled); hīe ā·bǣdon him wīf (they asked for wives for themselves). Self is used as an emphatic reflexive adjective agreeing with its pronoun:—swā swā hīe wȳsċton him selfum (as they wished for themselves).


Mīn (my), þīn (thy), ūre (our), ēower (your), and the dual uncer and incer are declined like other adjectives. The genitives his (his, its), hiere (her), hiera (their) are used as indeclinable possessives.


Masc. and Fem.Neut.
Nom.hwā (who),hwæt (what).

Hwelc (which) is declined like a strong adjective: it is used both as a noun and an adjective.


Nom.se (thatthe),þæt,sēo.
Instr.þȳ, þon,þȳ,(þǣre).
Nom. þā. 
Dat. þǣm. 
Gen. þāra. 


Se is both a demonstrative and a definite article. It is also used as a personal pronoun:—hē ġe·hīerþ mīn word, and wyrċþ þā (he hears my words, and does them).  as a demonstrative and pers. pronoun has its vowel long.

Nom.þes (this),þis,þēos.
Nom. þās. 
Dat. þissum. 
Gen. þissa. 

Other demonstratives, which are used both as nouns and as adjectives, are se ilca (same), which is always weak, swelc (such), which is always strong.


The regular relative is the indeclinable þe, as in ǣlc þāra þe þās mīn word ġe·hīerþ (each of those who hears these my words). It is often combined with , which is declined:—sē þe = who, masc., sēo þe, fem., &c.  alone is also used as a relative:—hēr is mīn cnapa, þone ic ġe·ċēas (here is my servant, whom I have chosen); sometimes in the sense of ‘he who’:—hēr þū hæfst þæt þīn is (here thou hast that which is thine).


Indefinites are formed with swā and the interrogative pronouns, thus:—swā hwā swāswā hwelċ swā (whoever), swā hwæt swā (whatever).{22}

Ān and sum (some) are used in an indefinite sense:—ān mannsum mann = ‘a certain man,’ hence ‘a man.’ But the indefinite article is generally not expressed.

Ǣlċ (each), ǣniġ (any), nǣniġ (no, none), are declined like other adjectives.

Ōþer (other) is always strong:—þā ōþre męnn.

Man, another form of mann, is often used in the indefinite sense of ‘one,’ French on:—his brōþor Horsan man of·slōg (they killed his brother Horsa).


There are two classes of verbs in O.E., strong and weak. The conjugation of strong verbs is effected mainly by means of vowel-gradation, that of weak verbs by the addition of d (-ode, -ede, -de) to the root-syllable.

The following is the conjugation of the strong verb bindan (bind), which will serve to show the endings which are common to all verbs:—

Pres. sing.1. bind-e,bind-e.
 2. bind-est, bintst,bind-e.
 3. bind-eþ, bint,bind-e.
plur.    bind-aþ,bind-en.
Pret. sing.1. band,bund-e.
 2. bund-e,bund-e.
 3. band,bund-e.
plur.    bund-on,bund-en.
Imper. sing. bind; plur. bind-aþ.          Infin. bind-an.
Partic. pres. bind-ende; pret. ġe-·bund-en.
Gerund. tō bind-enne.

For the plural bindaþ, both indicative and imperative, binde is used when the personal pronoun follows immediately after {23}the verb:—wē bindaþ (we bind), but binde wē (let us bind); so also gāþ! (go plur.), but gā ġē! (go ye).

The present participle may be declined like an adjective. Its declension when used as a noun is given above, p. 10.

The past participle generally prefixes ġe-, as in ġe·bundenġe·numen from niman (take), unless the other parts of the verbs have it already, as in ġe·hīeran (hear), ġe·hīered. It is sometimes prefixed to other parts of the verb as well. No ġe is added if the verb has another prefix, such as ā-be-for-; thus for·ġiefan (forgive) has the past participle for·ġiefen. The past participle may be declined like an adjective.

Traces of an older passive voice are preserved in the form hāt-te from hātan (call, name), which is both present ‘is called,’ and preterite ‘was called’:—se munuc hātte Abbo (the monk’s name was Abbo).


In the strong verbs the plural of the pret. indic. generally has a different vowel from that of the sing. (ic bandwē bundon). The 2nd sing. pret. indic. and the whole pret. subj. always have the vowel of the preterite plural indicative (þū bunde, ic bunde, wē bunden.)

The 2nd and 3rd persons sing. of the pres. indic. often mutate the root-vowel, thus:—

abecomesęas in (hē)stęntfromstandan (stand).
ea,,ie,,fielþ,,feallan (fall).
e,,i,,cwiþþ,,cweþan (say).
eo,,ie,,wierþ,,weorþan (happen).
ā,,ǣ,,hǣtt,,hātan (command).
ō,,ē,,grēwþ,,grōwan (grow).
ēa,,īe,,hīewþ,,hēawan (hew).
ēo,,īe,,ċīest,,ċēosan (choose).
ū,,ȳ,,lȳcþ,,lūcan (close).


The full ending of the 3rd pers. sing. pres. indic. is -eþ, which is generally contracted, with the following consonant-changes:—

-teþbecomes-ttas inlǣttfromlǣtan (let).
-deþ,,-tt,,bītt,,bīdan (wait).
-ddeþ,,-tt,,bitt,,biddan (pray).
-þeþ,,-þþ,,cwiþþ,,cweþan (say).
-seþ,,-st,,ċīest,,ċēosan (choose).
-ndeþ,,-nt,,bint,,bindan (bind).

Double consonants become single, as in hē fielþ from feallan.

Before the -st of the 2nd pers. consonants are often dropt, as in þū cwist from cweþanþū ċīest from ċēosan; and d becomes t, as in þū bintst from bindan.

For the changes between s and rþ and dg and h, see p. 7.

Some verbs, such as sēon (see), drop the h and contract before most inflections beginning with a vowel:—ic sēowē sēoþtō sēonne; but hē sihþ.

There are seven conjugations of strong verbs, distinguished mainly by the different formation of their preterites. The following lists comprise all the strong verbs that occur in the texts given in this book, together with several others of the commoner ones.

  1. ‘Fall’-conjugation.

The pret. sing. and pl. has ēo or ē, and the past partic. retains the original vowel of the infinitive.{25}

(a) ēo-preterites.
feallan (fall)fielþfēollfēollonfeallen
healdan (hold)hielthēoldhēoldonhealden
wealdan (wield)wieltwēoldwēoldonwealden
weaxan (grow)wiextwēoxwēoxonweaxen
blāwan (blow)blǣwþblēowblēowonblāwen
cnāwan (know)cnǣwþcnēowcnēowoncnāwen
sāwan (sow)sǣwþsēowsēowonsāwen
wēpan (weep)wēpþwēopwēoponwōpen
Wēpan has really a weak present (p. 30) with mutation (the original ō
re-appearing in the past partic.), but it makes no difference in the inflection.
flōwan (flow)flēwþflēowflēowonflōwen
grōwan (grow)grēwþgrēowgrēowongrōwen
rōwan (row)rēwþrēowrēowonrōwen
bēatan (beat)bīettbēotbēotonbēaten
hēawan (hew)hīewþhēowhēowonhēawen
hlēapan (leap)hlīepþhlēophlēoponhlēapen
(b) ē-preterites.
hātan (command)hǣtthēthētonhāten
lǣtan (let)lǣttlētlētonlǣten
fōn (seize)fēhþfēngfēngonfangen
hōn (hang)hēhþhēnghēngonhangen


  1. ‘Shake’-conjugation.

Verbs in a (ea) and ę (ie). Ō in pret. sing, and pl., a (æ) in partic. pret. Standan drops its n in the pret. The partic. pret. of swęrian is irregular.

faran (go)færþfōrfōronfaren
sacan (quarrel)sæcþsōcsōconsacen
scacan (shake)scæcþscōcscōconscacen
standan (stand)stęntstōdstōdonstanden
The following shows contraction of original ea:—
slēan (strike)sliehþslōgslōgonslæġen
hębban (lift)hęfþhōfhōfonhafen
sċieppan (create)sċiepþscōpscōponscapen
swęrian (swear)swęreþswōrswōronsworen

The presents of these verbs are inflected weak, so that their imperative sing. is hęfe and swęre, like that of węnian (p. 32). Swęrian has indic. swęrigeswęrest, like węnianhębban has hębbehęfst, &c. like hīeran (p. 30).

III. ‘Bind’-conjugation.

I (ieeeo) followed by two consonants, one or both of which is nearly always a liquid (lr) or nasal (mn) in the infin., a (æea) in pret. sing., u in pret. pl., u (o) in ptc. pret. Findan has a weak preterite.

bindan (bind)bintbandbundonbunden
drincan (drink)drincþdrancdruncondruncen
findan (find)fintfundefundonfunden
ġieldan (pay)ġieltġealdguldongolden
(on)ġinnan (begin)-ġinþ-gann-gunnon-gunnen
{27}grindan (grind)grintgrandgrundongrunden
iernan (run) [p. 7]iernþarnurnonurnen
ġe-·limpan (happen)-limpþ-lamp-lumpon-lumpen
scrincan (shrink)scrincþscrancscrunconscruncen
springan (spring)springþsprangsprungonsprungen
swincan (toil)swincþswancswunconswuncen
windan (wind)wintwandwundonwunden
winnan (fight)winþwannwunnonwunnen
berstan (burst)bierstbærstburstonborsten
breġdan (pull)bræġdbrugdonbrogden
delfan (dig)dilfþdealfdulfondolfen
sweltan (die)swiltswealtswultonswolten
beorgan (protect)bierhþbeargburgonborgen
beornan (burn) [p. 7]biernþbarnburnonburnen
ċeorfan (cut)ċierfþċearfcurfoncorfen
feohtan (fight)fiehtfeahtfuhtonfohten
weorpan (throw)wierpþwearpwurponworpen
weorþan (become)wierþwearþwurdonworden
  1. ‘Bear’-conjugation.

Verbs in e (i), followed by a single consonant, generally a liquid or nasal; in brecan the liquid precedes the vowel. A (æ) in pret. sing., ǣ (ā) in pret. pl., o (u) in ptc. pret. Cuman is irregular.

niman (take)nimþnamnāmonnumen
beran (bear)bierþbærbǣronboren
brecan (break)bricþbræcbrǣconbrocen
sċeran (shear)sċierþsċearsċēaronscoren
stelan (steal)stilþstælstǣlonstolen
teran (tear)..tærtǣrontoren
cuman (come)cymþcōmcōmoncumen
  1. ‘Give’-conjugation.

Verbs in e (ieoie) followed by single consonants, which are not liquids or nasals. This class differs from the last only in the ptc. pret. which keeps the vowel of the infinitive.

cweþan (say)cwiþþcwæþcwǣdoncweden
etan (eat)ittǣtǣtoneten
sprecan (speak)spricþspræcsprǣconsprecen
wrecan (avenge)wricþwræcwrǣconwrecen
biddan (pray)bittbædbǣdonbeden
liċġan (lie)līþlæġlǣgonleġen
sittan (sit)sittsætsǣtonseten
þiċġan (receive)þiġeþþeahþǣgonþeġen
All these have weak presents:—imper. bideliġesiteþiġe.
Their is are mutations of the e which appears in their past partic.
ġiefan (give)ġiefþġeafġēafonġiefen
(on)ġietan (understand)-ġiett-ġeat-ġēaton-ġieten
The following is contracted in most forms:—
sēon (see)sihþseahsāwonsewen
  1. ‘Shine’-conjugation.

Verbs in ī, with pret. sing, in ā, pl. i, ptc. pret. i.

bīdan (wait)bīttbādbidonbiden
bītan (bite)bīttbātbitonbiten
drīfan (drive)drīfþdrāfdrifondrifen
{29}(be)līfan (remain)-līfþ-lāf-lifon-lifen
rīdan (ride)rīttrādridonriden
rīpan (reap)rīpþrāpriponripen
(ā)rīsan (rise)-rīst-rās-rison-risen
sċīnan (shine)sċīnþscānsċinonsċinen
snīþan (cut)snīþþsnāþsnidonsniden
stīgan (ascend)stīġþstāgstigonstiġen
(be)swīcan (deceive)-swīcþ-swāc-swicon-swicen
ġe·wītan (depart)-wīttwāt-witon-witen
wrītan (write)wrīttwrātwritonwriten

VII. ‘Choose’-conjugation.

Verbs in ēo and ū, with pret. sing. ēa, pl. u, ptc. pret. oFlēon and tēon contract.

bēodan (offer)bīettbēadbudonboden
brēotan (break)brīettbrēatbrutonbroten
ċēosan (choose)ċīestċēascuroncoren
flēogan (fly)flīehþflēagflugonflogen
flēon (flee)flīehþflēahflugonflogen
flēotan (float)flīettflēatflutonfloten
hrēosan (fall)hrīesthrēashruronhroren
hrēowan (rue)hrīewþhrēawhruwonhrowen
for·lēosan (lose)-līest-lēas-luron-loren
sċēotan (shoot)sċīettsċēatscutonscoten
smēocan (smoke)smīecþsmēacsmuconsmocen
tēon (pull)tīehþtēahtugontogen
ā-þrēotan (fail)-þrīett-þrēat-þruton-þroten
brūcan (enjoy)brȳcþbrēacbruconbrocen
būgan (bow)bȳhþbēagbugonbogen
lūcan (lock)lȳcþlēacluconlocen
lūtan (bow)lȳttlēatlutonloten
scūfan (push)scȳfþsċēafscufonscofen



There are three conjugations of weak verbs—(1) in -an, pret. -de (hīeranhīerde, ‘hear’); (2) in -ian, pret. -ede (węnianwęnede, ‘wean’); (3) in -ian, pret. -ode (lufianlufode, ‘love’). The verbs of the first two conjugations nearly all have a mutated vowel in the present and infinitive, which those of the third conjugation very seldom have.

  1. an-verbs.

This class of weak verbs has the same endings as the strong verbs, except in the pret. and past partic., which are formed by adding -de and -ed respectively, with the following consonant changes.

-nddebecomes-ndeas insęndefromsęndan (send).
-llde,,-lde,,fylde,,fyllan (fill).
-tde,,-tte,,mētte,,mētan (find).
-pde,,-pte,,dypte,,dyppan (dip).
-cde,,-hte,,tǣhte,,tǣċan (show).

The past partic. is generally contracted in the same way:—sęndmētttǣht, but some of them often retain the uncontracted forms:—fylleddypped. When declined like adjectives they drop their e where practicable:—fylled, plur. fyldehīeredhīerde.

The 2nd and 3rd pres. sing. ind. are contracted as in the strong verbs.

(a) ‘Hear’-class.

Pres. sing.1. hīer-e (hear),hīer-e.
 2. hīer-st,hīer-e.
 3. hīer-þ,hīer-e.
plur.    hīer-aþ,hīer-en.
Pret. sing.1. hīer-de,hīer-de.
 2. hīer-dest,hīer-de.
 3. hīer-de,hīer-de.
plur.    hīer-don,hīer-den.
Imper. sing. hīer; plur. hīer-aþ.           Infin. hīer-an.
Ptc. pres. hīer-ende; pret. hīer-ed.
Gerund. tō hīer-enne.

Further examples of this class are:—

æt·īewan (show)-īewþ-īewde-īewed.
cȳþan (make known)cȳþþcȳþdecȳþed, cȳdd
fyllan (fill)fylþfyldefylled
(nēa)lǣċan (approach)-lǣċþ-lǣhte-lǣht
lǣdan (lead)lǣttlǣddelǣdd
lęċġan (lay)lęġþlęġdelęġd
ġe·līefan (believe)-līefþ-līefde-līefed
nęmnan (name)nęmneþnęmndenęmned
sęndan (send)sęntsęndesęnd
sęttan (set)sęttsęttesętt
smēan (consider)smēaþsmēadesmēad
tǣċan (show)tǣċþtǣhtetǣht
węndan (turn)węntwęndewęnd

(b) ‘Seek’-class.

In this class the mutated vowels lose their mutation in the preterite and past partic., besides undergoing other changes in some verbs.

Those in double consonants (and ċġ) simplify them in the contracted 2nd and 3rd sing. pres. indic.:—sęllesęlstsęlþsęċ[,g]esęġstsęġþ; also in the imperative, which is formed as in Conj. II:—sęlesęġebyġe, &c.{32}

cwęllan (kill)cwęlþcwealdecweald
ręċċan (tell)ręċþreahtereaht
sęċġan (say)sęġþsæġdesæġd
sęllan (give)sęlþsealdeseald
węċċan (wake)węċþweahteweaht
þęnċan (think)þęnċþþōhteþōht
bringan (bring)bringþbrōhtebrōht
byċġan (buy)byġþbohteboht
þynċan (appear)þynċþþūhteþūht
wyrċan (work)wyrċþworhteworht
rēċan (care)rēċþrōhterōht
sēċan (seek)sēċþsōhtesōht
  1. ‘Wean’-conjugation.
Pres. sing.1. węn-iġe (wean),węn-iġe.
 2. węn-est,węn-iġe.
 3. węn-eþ,węn-iġe.
plur.    węn-iaþ,węn-ien.
Pret. sing.1. węn-ede,węn-ede.
 2. węn-edest,węn-ede.
 3. węn-ede,węn-ede.
plur.    węn-edon,węn-eden.
Imper. węn-e, węn-iaþ.           Infin. węn-ian.
Partic. pres. węn-iende; pret. węn-ed.
Gerund. tō węn-ienne.


So are conjugated all weak verbs with a short mutated root syllable, such as fęrian (carry), węrian (defend), ġe·byrian (befit). There are not many of them.

III. ‘Love’-conjugation.

Pres. sing.1. luf-iġe (love),luf-iġe.
 2. luf-ast,luf-iġe.
 3. luf-aþ,luf-iġe.
plur.    luf-iaþ,luf-ien.
Pret. sing.1. luf-ode,luf-ode.
 2. luf-odest,luf-ode.
 3. luf-ode,luf-ode.
plur.    luf-odon,luf-oden.
Imper. luf-a, luf-iaþ.           Infin. luf-ian.
Partic. pres. luf-iende: pret. luf-od. Gerund. tō luf-ienne.

So also āscian (ask), macian (make), weorþian (honour), and many others.


Some verbs are conjugated partly after I, partly after III. Such are habban (have) and libban (live).

Habban has pres. indic. hæbbehæfsthæfþhabbaþ, subj. hæbbehæbben, pret. hæfde, imper. hafahabbaþ, particc. habbendehæfd.

Libban has pres. libbeleofastleofaþlibbaþ, subj. libbe, pret. leofode, imper. leofalibbaþ, particc. libbendelifiendeleofod.

Fętian (fetch) has pret. fętte.


The strong-weak verbs have for their presents old strong preterites, from which new weak preterites are formed. Note the occasional second person sing. in t.{34}

Pres. sing.1. wāt (know),wite.
 2. wāst,wite.
 3. wāt,wite.
plur.    witon,witen.
Pret.    wiste. 
Imper. wite, witaþ. Infin. witan.
Partic. pres. witende; pret. witen.

The other most important weak-strong verbs are given below in the 1st and 2nd sing. pres. indic., in the plur. indic., in the pret., in the infin. and partic. pret. Of several the last two forms are doubtful, or do not exist.

Āh (possess), āge, āgon; āhte; āgen (only as adjective)[4].

Cann (know) canst, cunnon; cūþe; cunnan; cūþ (only as adjective.)

Dearr (dare), durre, durron; dorste.

Ġe·man (remember), -manst; -munde; -munan.

Mæġ (can), miht, magon, mæġe (subj.); mihte.

Mōt (may), mōst, mōton; mōste.

Sċeal (shall), sċealt, sculon, scyle (subj.); scolde.

Þearf (need), þurfon, þyrfe (subj.); þorfte; þurfan.


(1) Willan (will) shows a mixture of subj. forms in the pres. indic. sing.:—

Pres. sing.1. wile,wile.
 2. wilt,wile.
 3. wile,wile.
plur.    willaþ,willen.
Pret.    wolde, etc. 


Similarly nyllan (will not):—

Pres. sing.1. nyle,nyle.
 2. nylt,nyle.
 3. nyle,nyle.
plur.    nyllaþ,nyllen.
Pret.    nolde, etc. 

(2) Wesan (be).

Pres. sing.1. eom; bēo,sīe; bēo.
 2. eart; bist,sīe; bēo.
 3. is; biþ,sīe; bēo.
plur.    sind; bēoþ,sīen; bēon.
Pret. sing.1. wæs,wǣre.
 2. wǣre,wǣre.
 3. wæs,wǣre.
plur.    wǣron,wǣren.
Imper. wes, wesaþ; bēo, bēoþ.           Infin. wesan; bēon.
Partic. pres. wesende.

The contracted negative forms are:—neomneartnisnæsnǣrenǣronnǣrenǣren.

(3) Dōn (do).

Pres. sing.1. dō,dō.
 2. dēst,dō.
 3. dēþ,dō.
plur.    dōþ,dōn.
Pret.    dyde, etc. 
Imper. dō, dōþ.           Infin. dōn.
Partic. pres. dōnde; pret. ġe·dōn.


(4) Gān (go).

Pres. sing.1. gā,gā.
 2. gǣst,gā.
 3. gǣþ,gā.
plur.    gāþ,gān.
Pret.    ēode,ēode.
Imper. gā, gāþ.           Infin. gān.
Partic. pres. gangende; pret. ġe·gān.



The following are the most important prefixes, some of which are verbal, being confined to verbs and words formed directly from them; some nominal, being confined to nouns and adjectives.

ā- (1) originally ‘forth,’ ‘away,’ as in ā·rīsan, ‘rise forth,’ ‘arise’; ā·faran, ‘go away,”depart’; but generally only intensive, as in ā·cwęllan (kill), ā·hrēosan (fall).

(2) = ‘ever’ in pronouns and particles, where it gives an indefinite sense, as in ā-hwǣr (anywhere), ā-wiht (anything).

ǣġ- from ā-ġe-, the ā being mutated and the e dropped, has a similar meaning, as in ǣġ-hwelc (each), ǣġþer = ǣġ-hwæþer (either).

be-, originally ‘by,’ ‘around’ (cp. the preposition be), (1) specializes the meaning of a transitive verb, as in be·sęttan (beset, surround), be·sċieran (shear); (2) makes an intransitive verb transitive, as in be·þęnċan (consider) from þęnċan (think); (3) gives a privative meaning, as in be·hēafdian (behead). In some words, such as be·cuman (come), it is practically unmeaning.{37}

for- (which is distinct from the preposition for) generally has the sense of ‘loss’ or ‘destruction,’ as in for·dōn (destroy), for·weorþan (perish). Of course, if the verb with which it is compounded already has this meaning, it acts merely as an intensitive, as in for·brēotan (break up, break), for·scrincan (shrink up). It also modifies in a bad sense generally, as in for·sēon (despise), or negatives, as in for·bēodan (forbid).

ġe- originally meant ‘together,’ as in ġe·fēra (fellow-traveller, companion) from fēran (travel). With verbs it often signifies ‘completion,’ ‘attainment,’ and hence ‘success,’ as in ġe·gān (conquer), originally ‘go over,’ or ‘reach,’ ġe·winnan (win) from winnan (fight). Hence generally prefixed to hīeran and sēonġe·hīeran and ġe·sēon strictly meaning ‘succeed in hearing, seeing.’ It is generally prefixed to past participles (p. 23), where it originally gave the meaning of completion—ġe·lufod = ‘completely loved.’

mis- = ‘mis,’ as in mis-dǣd (misdeed).

n- = ne (not), as in  (not), literally ‘never,’ nǣfre (never), næs (was not) = ne wæs.

on- as a verbal prefix has nothing to do with the preposition on. It properly signifies ‘separation,’ as in on·lūcan (open) from lūcan (lock, close), but is often practically unmeaning, as in on·ġinnan (begin).

or-, literally ‘out of,’ is privative, as in orsorg (unconcerned) from sorg (sorrow).

tō- as a verbal prefix has nothing to do with the preposition  (which occurs in tō·gædre, ‘together,’ &c.), but signifies ‘separation,’ as in tō·berstan (burst asunder), tō·breġdan (shake off), and hence ‘destruction,’ as in tō·cwīesan (crush to pieces, bruise).

un- negatives, as in un-ġesǣliġ (unhappy).{38}


(a) Nouns.


-end, from the present participle -ende, = ‘-er’:—Hǣlend (healer, Saviour), būend (dweller).

-ere = ‘-er’:—sāwere (sower), mynetere (money-changer, minter) from mynet (coin).

-ing, patronymic, æþeling (son of a noble, prince) from æþele (noble).


-nes, fem. from adjectives:—gōd-nes (goodness), rihtwīsnes (righteousness).

-uþ-þo, fem., generally from adjectives:—ġēoguþ (youth), stręnġþo (strength) from strang.

-ung, fem. from verbs:—scotung (shooting, shot), hęrgung (ravaging), from scotianhęrgian.

The following are also independent words:—

-dōm, masc.:—wīs-dōm (wisdom), þēow-dōm (servitude).

-hād, masc.:—ċild-hād (childhood).

-rǣden, fem.:—ġe·cwid-rǣden (agreement) from cwide (speech); mann-rǣden (allegiance).

-sċipe, masc.:—frēond-sċipe (friendship). Concrete in wæter-sċipe (piece of water, water).

(b) Adjectives.

-en, with mutation, denotes ‘material,’ ‘belonging to’:—gylden (golden), stǣnen (of stone), hǣþen (heathen) from hǣþ (heath). In seolcen (silken) there is no mutation.

-feald = ‘-fold’:—hund-feald (hundred-fold).

-iġ:—miht-iġ (mighty); hāl-iġ (holy) from hāl (whole).{39}

-isc, with mutation:—Ęnġlisc (English) from Angelmęnn-isc (human) from mann.

-ol:—swic-ol (deceitful).

-iht, with mutation, denotes ‘material,’ ‘nature’:—stǣn-iht (stony).

-sum = ‘some’:—hīer-sum (obedient).

The following exist (sometimes in a different form) as independent words:—

-fæst:—sōþ-fæst (truthful).

-full:—sorg-full (sorrowful), ġe·lēaf-full (believing, pious).

-lēas = ‘-less’:—ār-lēas (dishonoured, wicked).

-lic (cp. ġe·līc) = ‘-ly’:—folc-lic (popular), heofon-lic (heavenly).

-weard = ‘-ward’:—sūþan-weard (southward).


-lǣċan:—ān-lǣċan (unite), ġe·þwǣr-lǣċan (agree).


-e, the regular adverb-termination:—lange (long), ġe·līce (similarly) from langġe·līc. Sometimes -līce (from -lic) is used to form adverbs, as blīþe-līce (gladly) from blīþe.


Many abstract words are formed from present participles (often in a passive sense) and past participles (often in an active sense):—

-nes:—for·ġiefen-nes (forgiveness), ġe·ręċed-nes (narrative), welwillend-nes (benevolence).

-lic:—unārīmed-lic (innumerable).

-līce:—welwillend-līce (benevolently).




When masculine and feminine beings are referred to by the same adjective or pronoun, the adjective or pronoun is put in the neuter:—hīe ġe·samnodon hīeealle þā hēafod-męnn, and ēac swelce wīf-menn … and þā hīe blīþost wǣron … (they gathered themselves, all the chief men, and also women … and when they were most merry …). Here blīþost is in the neuter plur.


Accusative. Some verbs of asking (a question) and requesting, together with lǣran (teach), take two accusatives, one of the person, and another of the thing:—hīe hine ne dorston ǣniġ þing āscian (they durst not ask him anything); wē magon ēow rǣd ġe·lǣran (we can teach you a plan).

The accusative is used adverbially to express duration of time: hwȳ stande ġē hēr ealne dæġ īdle? (why stand ye here all the day idle?)

Dative. The dative in Old E. is of two kinds, (1) the dative proper, and (2) the instrumental dative, interchanging with the regular instrumental. It is not always easy to separate the two.

(1) The dative proper usually designates personal relations, and is frequently used with verbs, together with an accusative (generally of the thing). The dative is also used with adjectives. It is used not only with verbs of giving, &c., as in hē sealde ǣlcum ānne pęning (he gave each a penny); addressing, as in ic ēow sęċġe (I say to you), hē þancode his Dryhtne (he thanked his Lord); but also with many verbs of benefitinginfluencing, &c., as in ne dō ic þē nānne tēonan (I do thee no injury), hīe noldon him līefan (they would not allow {41}them to do so); þǣm rēþum stīerde (restrained the cruel ones). Also in looser constructions, to denote the person indirectly affected, benefited, &c., as in byċġaþ ēow ele (buy for yourselves oil). Note especially the following idiom: hīe ġe·sōhton Bretene Brettum tō fultume (they came to Britain as a help to the Britains—to help them); hē clipode Crīst him tō fultume (he called Christ to his help).

The dative is also used with adjectives of nearnesslikeness, &c.:—Ēadmund cyning clipode ānne biscop þe him ġe·hęndost wæs (King Edmund summoned a bishop who was nearest at hand to him); heofona rīċe is ġe·līc þǣm mangere þe sōhte þæt gōde męregrot (the kingdom of the heavens is like the merchant who sought the good pearl).

(2) The instrumental dative is used to denote the instrument and manner of an action: hē ġe·ęndode yflum dēaþe (he ended with an evil death). Hence its use to form adverbs, as in sċēafmǣlum (sheafwise). It also signifies time when:—þrim ġēarum ǣr þǣm þe hē forþ·fērde (three years before he died), which is also expressed by the instrumental itself:—sēo wolde ęfsian ǣlce ġēare þone sanct (she used to cut the saint’s hair every year); þȳ fēorþan ġēare his rīċes (in the fourth year of his reign). A past participle with a noun in the instrumental dative is used like the ablative absolute in Latin: Hubba be·lāf on Norþhymbra-lande, ġe·wunnenum siġe mid wælhrēownesse (H. remained in Northumbria, victory having been won with cruelty).

Genitive. The genitive is often used in a partitive sense:—his fēonda sum (one of his enemies); hiera fīf wǣron dysiġe (five of them were foolish). Hence it is generally used with fela, as in fela wundra (many miracles); also with numerals when used as substantives (p. 18).

The genitive is often used like an accusative to denote the object of various emotions and mental states, such as {42}joydesireremembering:—hīe þæs fæġnodon swīþe (they rejoiced at it greatly); mē lēofre wǣre þæt ic on ġe·feohte fēolle wiþ þǣm þe mīn folc mōste hiera eardes brūcan (it would be pleasanter to me to fall in fight that my people might enjoy (possess) their country); ic þæs ġe·wilniġe (I desire that); ġif hē his fēores rōhte (if he cared about his life); hē wæs þæs Hǣlendes ġe·myndiġ (he was mindful of—he remembered the Saviour).

Some of these verbs, such as biddan (ask), take an accusative of the person and a genitive of the thing:—hē hine hlāfes bitt (he asks him for bread).

Verbs of deprivingrestraining, &c., have the same construction:—nis Angel-cynn be·dǣled Dryhtnes hālgena (England is not deprived of the Lord’s saints).

Some verbs of giving, &c., take a genitive of the thing and a dative of the person:—him wæs of·togen ǣlces fōdan (they were deprived of all food).

The genitive is often used to define an adjective or noun:—þū eart wierþe slęġes (thou art worthy of death); on þǣm ġēare þe Ælfred æþeling ān and twęntiġ ġēara wæs (in the year when Prince Alfred was twenty-one).


Adjectives agree with their nouns not only when used attributively (gōde męnn), but also when the adjective follows the noun, either predicatively or in apposition:—þā męnn sind gōdehē ġe·seah ōþre īdle standan (he saw others standing idle); hīe cōmon mid langum sċipum, nā manigum (they came with long ships, not many).


In such expressions as ‘the island of Britain,’ the second noun is not put in the genitive, but the two are simply put in {43}apposition, both being declined separately:—Breten īeġland, on Bretene (þǣm) īeġlande. In ‘king Alfred,’ &c., the proper name is put first in the same way:—Ælfred æþeling (prince Alfred); on Æþelredes cyninges dæġe (in the days of king Æþelred).

There is a similar apposition with the adjective sum followed by a noun or pronoun, as in sume þā męnn (some of the men); þā þā hē sēow, sumu hīe fēollon wiþ weġ (while he sowed, some of them [the seeds] fell by the road). Sometimes the pronoun precedes, as in þā bǣdon hīe sume þæt Samson mōste him macian sum gamen (then some of them asked that Samson might make some sport for them).

Another kind of apposition occurs in instances like the following, where we have an adjective agreeing with a following noun, and denoting a part of it:—hīe ġe·sǣton sūþanwearde Bretene ǣrest (they occupied the south of Britain first); sūþanweard hit (= þæt land) hæfdon Peohtas (the Picts had the south part of it).


The weak forms are used:

(1) after the definite article:—se æþela cyning (the noble king); þæs æþelan cyningesþæt gōde męregrotþā gōdan męregrotu.

(2) after þis:—þās earman landlēode (these poor people, pl.); þes hālga cyning (this holy king), þisses hālgan cyninges.

(3) occasionally after other demonstrative and indefinite adjectives, and often after possessive pronouns:—þīne dīeglan gold-hordas (thy hidden treasures).

(4) in the vocative:—þū yfla þēow and slāwa! (thou bad and slothful servant); ēalā þū lēofa cyning! (oh, thou dear king).

Note that ōþer always keeps the strong form: þā ōþru dēor (the other wild beasts). So also do the possessive pronouns: {44}þās mīn word (these my words). Ān in the sense of ‘one’ keeps the strong form to distinguish it from the weak āna = ‘alone’: þæt ān dēorwierþe męregrot (the one precious pearl).


The definite article is omitted as in Modern English before names such as God, and also before Dryhten (the Lord), Dēofol (the Devil), although se Dēofol also occurs, and names of nations:—Bretta cyning (king of the Britons).

It is omitted in many prepositional combinations, not only in those where it is omitted in Modern English also, as in siġefæst on sǣ and on lande (victorious on sea and on land), but also in many others: ġewęnde tō wuda on·ġēan (went back to the wood); se flothęre fērde eft tō sċipe (the army of pirates went back to their ships); hē fēng tō rīċe (he took the government—came to the throne).

The definite article is, on the other hand, sometimes used where it would not be in Modern E., as in se mann = ‘man’ (men in general).

The indefinite article is often not expressed at all:—þæt dyde unhold mann (an enemy did that); hē be·stealcode on land swā swā wulf (he stole to land like a wolf). Or it is expressed by sumon þǣm lande wæs sum mann, Lēofrīċ ġe·hāten (in that country was a man called L.). Or by ān, as in Modern English:—ān wulf wearþ ā·sęnd tō be·węrienne þæt hēafod wiþ þā ōþru dēor (a wolf was sent to protect the head against the other wild beasts).


Hwæt is used interrogatively of persons where we should use ‘who’:—hē nyste hwæt hīe wǣron (he did not know who they were).{45}



After ǣlc þāra þe (each of-those-who) the verb is put in the sing., agreeing not with þāra þe but with ǣlc:—ǣlc þāra þe þās mīn word ġe·hīerþ (each of those who hear these my words).

When þæt or þis is connected with a plural predicate by means of the verb ‘to be,’ the verb is put in the plural:—þæt wǣron þā ǣrestan sċipu Dęniscra manna þe Angel-cynnes land ġe·sōhton (those were the first ships of Danish men which came to the land of the English race).

Impersonal verbs take an accusative of the person, sometimes also with a genitive of the thing.

Others, such as þynċan (appear), take a dative of the person:—wæs him ġe·þūht þæt hīe be·hȳdden þæt hēafod (they thought they (the Danes) had hidden the head).


There being no future inflection in Old E., the present is used instead:—ne ā·bȳhþ nǣfre Eādmund Hinguare (Edmund will never submit to H.); gā ġē on mīnne wīnġeard, and ic sęlle ēow þæt riht biþ (go ye into my vineyard, and I will give you what is right). As we see in this example, there is a tendency to use bēon in a future sense. Another example is ġif ic bēo ġe·bunden mid seofon rāpum, sōna ic bēo ġe·wield (if I am bound with seven ropes, I shall at once be overcome). The future is sometimes expressed by will and shall, as in Modern English, though generally with a sense of volition with the one, and of necessity with the other, the idea of simple futurity coming out most clearly in the preterites wolde and scolde:—

Hē ġe·lǣhte āne lēon þe hine ā·bītan wolde (he seized a lion {46}that was going to devour him); hīe wēndon þæt hīe scolden māre on·fōn (they expected to receive more).

The preterite has the meaning of the modern

(1) Preterite and imperfect:—se sāwere ūt ēode his sǣd tō sāwenne, and þā þā hē sēow … (the sower went out to sow his seed, and while he was sowing …).

(2) Perfect:—hēr is mīn cnapa, þone ic ġeċēas (here is my servant, whom I have chosen);—ūre cyning cōm nū hēr tō lande (our king has just landed here).

(3) Pluperfect:—þā þā ġe·cōmon þe ymb þā ęndlyftan tīd cōmon (when those came who had come at the eleventh hour).

Periphrastic tenses are sometimes formed, as in Modern E., by hæbbe and hæfde with the past participles, and often have the meanings of the modern perfect and pluperfect respectively, as in nū ic hæbbe ġestrīened ōþru twā pund (now I have gained two other pounds), but even the pluperfect often has the sense of a simple preterite. The participle is undeclinable in the later language, but originally it was declined, being really an adjective in apposition to the noun or pronoun governed by habbanhīe hæfdon hiera cyning ā·worpenne (they had deposed their king).

The pluperfect sense is often indicated by the addition of the adverb ǣr (before):—his swēora, þe ǣr wæs for·slæġen (his neck, which had been cut through).

The periphrastic forms of intransitive verbs are formed with wesan:—siþþan hīe ā·farene wǣron (after they had gone away). Here the participle always agrees with the noun or pronoun with which it is connected.

The periphrases with the present participle have no distinctive meanings of duration, &c.:—ān mann wæs eardiende on Israhēla þēode, Manuē ġe·hāten (a man dwelt in Israel called Manue).{47}


The passive is formed with wesan or weorþan with the past participle. These forms are very vague in meaning, and the distinction between the two auxiliaries is not clearly marked, but wesan appears to indicate a state, weorþan an action.

wearþ ġe·lufod is generally preterite or perfect in meaning: ān wulf wearþ ā·sęnd (a wolf was sent); mīne lēofe þeġnas, þe on hiera będdum wurdon of·slæġene (my beloved thanes, who have been killed in their beds).

wæs ġe·lufod, indicating a state, is naturally pluperfect in meaning:—se ǣrendraca sæġde his hlāforde hū him ġe·andwyrd wæs (the messenger told his lord how he had been answered).


The subjunctive states something not as a fact, as in the indicative, but merely as an object of thought. Hence it is used to express wish, conditions, doubt, &c.

  1. In principal sentences.

Wish and command (often nearly equivalent to the imperative):—þæs him sīe wuldor and lof ā būtan ęnde (therefore let there be to him praise and glory ever without end); ne hē ealu ne drince nǣfre oþþe wīn (nor shall he ever drink ale or wine).

  1. In dependent sentences.

The chief cases are the following:—

(1) In indirect narrative and questionsēo cwēn sæġde þæt hiere nǣre be healfum dǣle ġe·sæġd be Salomones mǣrþo (the queen said that she had not been told about Solomon’s glory by half); ic āsciġe hwǣr sēo offrung sīe (I ask where the offering is); męnn woldon sċēawian hū hē lǣġe (men {48}wished to see how he lay). When the statement in the indirect narration is perfectly certain in itself, and not merely accepted on the authority of the speaker, it is put in the indicative:—hē hiere sæġde on hwǣm his miht wæs (he told her what his strength consisted in).

(2) After verbs of desiring and commanding:—

þæs ic ġe·wilniġe and ġe·wysċe mid mōde þæt ic āna ne be·līfe æfter mīnum lēofum þeġnum (that I desire and wish with heart that I may not remain alone after my dear thanes).

(3) To express purpose:—þȳ lǣs ġē þone hwǣte ā·wyrtwalien (lest ye root up the wheat);—Dryhten ās·tāg niþer, tō bǣm þæt hē ġe·sāwe þā burg (the Lord descended, in order that he might see the city).

(4) To express result:—þū næfst þā mihte þæt þū mæġe him wiþ·standan (thou hast not the power that thou canst withstand him).

(5) To express hypothetical comparison (as if):—se wulf folgode forþ mid þǣm hēafde, swelce hē tam wǣre (the wolf followed on with the head, as if he were tame); hē ġe·lǣhte āne lēon, and tō·bræġd hīe tō styċċum, swelce hē tō·tǣre tiċċen (he seized a lion and tore her to pieces, as if he were rending a kid).

(6) In conditional clauses, generally with ġif or būtan, and in concessive clauses with þēahþēah þe:—God wāt þæt ic nyle ā·būgan fram his bīgęngum ǣfre, swelte ic, libbe ic (God knows that I will not swerve from his worship ever, whether I die or live); þās flotmęnn cumaþ, and þē cwicne ġe·bindaþ, būtan þū mid flēame þīnum fēore ġe·beorge (these pirates will come and bind thee alive, unless thou savest thy life with flight); God hielt Ēadmund hālne his līchaman oþ þone miċlan dæġ, þēah þe hē on moldan cōme (God will keep Edmund {49}with his body whole until the great day, although he has come to earth—been buried). Sometimes the idea of ‘if’ must be got from the context:—clipiaþ tō þissum ġieftum swā hwelce swā ġē ġe·mēten (summon to this wedding whomsoever ye meet, = if ye meet any one); hīe be·hēton hiere sċeattas wiþ þǣm þe hēo be·swice Samson (they promised her money in consideration of her betraying Samson, = if she would…).

When the statement is assumed as unreal, instead of merely hypothetical, as in the above instances, both clauses are put in the subjunctive, the preterite being substituted for the present, as in Modern English also, where if I were … implies I am not…. The modern distinction between if I were and if I had been, the former corresponding to the present indicative I am not, the latter to the preterite I was not, is not made in Old English, which uses gif ic wǣre in both instances. Sometimes the ‘if’-clause has to be supplied in thought:—mē lēofre wǣre þæt ic on ġe·feohte fēolle wiþ þǣm þe mīn folc mōste hiera eardes brūcan (I would rather fall in fight that my people might possess their country), where we must supply some such clause as ġif hit swā bēon mihte (if it might be so—if it were possible to save my people by my death).

(7) In clauses dependant on a negative sentence:—nis nān þing þe his mihte wiþ·stande (there is nothing that resists his might). Sometimes the negation must be gathered from the context, as in se hālga is mǣrra þonne męnn mæġen ā·smēan (the saint is more illustrious than men can conceive = the saint is so illustrious that no men can conceive it).

(8) In other cases, to express uncertainty, futurity, &c.: þīn rīċe ġe·wītt fram þē, oþ þæt þū wite þæt God ġe·wielt manna rīċa (thy kingdom shall depart from thee, till thou knowest that God rules the kingdoms of men); uton {50}weorþian ūrne naman, ǣr þǣm þe wē sīen tō·dǣlde ġeond ealle eorþan! (let us make our name famous, before we are dispersed over the earth).

The preterite subjunctive is often expressed by should and would with an infinitive, as in Modern English.

Scolde is used after verbs of desiringrequesting and commanding:—biddende þone Ælmihtigan þæt hē him ārian scolde (praying the Almighty to have mercy on him). In the following example the verb of commanding is understood from the noun ǣrende:—hē sęnde tō þæm cyninge bēotlic ǣrende, þæt hē ā·būgan scolde tō his mannrǣdenne, ġif hē his fēores rōhte (he sent to the king an arrogant message, that he was to turn to his allegiance, if he cared about his life).

Wolde is used after verbs of purpose:—se cyning ēode inn þæt he wolde ġe·sēon þā þe þǣr sǣton (the king went in to see those who were sitting there).


After verbs of commanding the infinitive often seems to have a passive sense:—hīe hēton him sęndan māran fultum (they ordered that more forces should be sent to them). So also after verbs of hearing, &c.:—þæt mǣste wæl þe wē sęċġan hīerdon (the greatest slaughter we have heard told of). In such cases an indefinite pronoun has been omitted: ‘ordered them to send …’ etc.


The gerund is used—

(1) to express purpose:—ūt ēode se sāwere his sǣd tō sāwenne (the sower went forth to sow his seed).

(2) it defines or determines an adjective (adverb or noun): hit is scandlic ymb swelc tō sprecenne (it is shameful to speak of such things).{51}


Some prepositions govern the accusative, such as þurh (through), ymbe (about); some the dative (and instrumental), such as æfter (after), ǣr (before), æt (at), be (by), binnan (within), būtan (without), for (for), fram (from), of (of),  (to).

Some govern both accusative and dative, such as ofer (over), on (on, in), under (under). The general rule is that when motion is implied they take the accusative, when rest is implied, the dative. Thus on with the accusative signifies ‘into,’ with the dative ‘in.’ But this rule is not strictly followed, and we often find the accusative used with verbs of rest, as in hē his hūs ġe·timbrode ofer stān (he built his house on a rock), and conversely, the dative with verbs of motion, as in hīe fēollon on stǣnihte (they fell on stony ground).

As regards the use and meaning of the prepositions, it must be noticed that in is very seldom used, its place being supplied by on, the meaning ‘on’ being in its turn often expressed by ofer, as in the passage just quoted.

When a thing is referred to, þǣr is substituted for hit, the preposition being joined on to the þǣr, so that, for instance, þǣr-tō corresponds to tō himhīe lǣddon þone cyning tō ānum trēowe, and tīeġdon hine þǣr-tō (they led the king to a tree, and tied him to it). So also hēr-beēastan is equivalent to ‘east of this (country).’

Prepositions sometimes follow, instead of preceding the words they modify, sometimes with other words intervening: hīe scuton mid gafelocum him tō (they shot at him with missiles); hīe cwǣdon him be·twēonan (they said among themselves); þǣm Ælmihtigan tō lofe, þe hīe on ġe·līefdon (to the praise of the Almighty, in whom they believed), where on {52}refers to the indeclinable þe. So also in þæt hūs þe hē inne wunode (the house he dwelt in).

Where the noun modified by such a preposition is not expressed, the preposition becomes an adverb: se cyning sęnde his hęre tō, and for·dyde þā mannslagan (the king sent his army to the place, and destroyed the murderers).


The negative particle is ne, which drops its e before some common verbs and pronouns, as in nis = ne isnān = ne ān. The negative particle is prefixed to every finite verb in a sentence, and to all the words besides which admit the contracted forms:—tō·cwīesed hrēod hē ne for·brīett (he breaks not the bruised reed), hit nā ne fēoll (it did not fall); nān mann nyste nān þing (no man knew anything). So also with ne … ne = ‘neither … nor’: ne flītt hē ne hē ne hrīemþ (he neither disputes nor cries out).


Correlation is often more fully expressed in Old than in Modern English, as in þā þā męnn slēpon, þā cōm his fēonda sum = ‘when the men slept, then came one of his enemies.’ In þā þā = ‘when’ the two correlatives are brought immediately together:—þā þā hē sēow, sumu hīe fēollon wiþ weġ = ‘then when he sowed, some of them fell by the road.’ In the following example the conjunction þæt is correlative with the pronoun þæt:—þæs ic ġe·wilniġe þæt ic āna ne be·līfe æfter mīnum lēofum þeġnum—’that I desire, that I may not remain alone after my dear thanes.’ Sometimes a word is used to include both the demonstrative and the relative meaning:—hē ġe·brōhte hine þǣr hē hine ǣr ġe·nam (he brought him to the place where he took him from).{53}


The Old English word-order resembles that of German in many respects, though it is not so strict, thus:—

The verb comes before its nominative when the sentence is headed by an adverb or adverbial group, or when the object or predicate is put at the head of the sentence:—þā cwæþ se cyning (then said the king); ǣrest wǣron būend þisses landes Brettas (at first the Britons were the inhabitants of this country); on his dagum cōmon ǣrest þrēo sċipu (in his days three ships first came); þæt bǣron olfendas (camels carried it); mǣre is se God þe Daniēl on be·līefþ (great is the God that Daniel believes in).

The infinite often comes at the end of the sentence; wē magon ēow rǣd ġe·lǣran (we can teach you a plan).

The finite verb often comes at the end in dependent sentences, an auxiliary verb often coming after an infinitive or participle; þæt wǣron þā ǣrestan sċipu Dęniscra manna þe Angel-cynnes land ġe·sōhton (those were the first ships of Danish men which came to the land of the English race); þæt mǣste wæl þe wē sęċġan hīerdon oþ þisne andweardan dæġ (the greatest slaughter that we have heard tell of up to this present day); þæt hīe þone Godes mann ā·bitan scolden (in order that they should devour the man of God).

There is a tendency to put the verb at the end in principal sentences also, or, at least, to bring it near the end: hiene man of·slōg (they killed him); hīe þǣr siġe nāmon (they got the victory there).



Sg. N.-(u)-a-e-e
Pl. N.-as-(u)-a -an 
D.-um-um-um -um 
G.-a-a-(en)a -ena 
Sg. N.-(u)-a-e-e
Pl. N.-e-(u)-e 
D. -um  -um 
G. -ra  -ra 
Sg. 1.-e;-iġe-(iġ)e– ;-de-e;-de
3.-(e)þ;-aþ-(iġ)e– ;-de-e;-de
Pl.    -aþ;-iaþ-(i)en-on;-don-en;-den
Imper. sg. -(a); pl. -(i)aþ.          Infin. -(i)an.
Partic. pres. -(i)ende; pret. -en, -ed, -od. Ger. (i)enne.


{55}  Click to Go Back to Top



Ān on-ġinn is ealra þinga, þæt is God æl-mihtiġ. Se

ġe·lēafa þe biþ būtan gōdum weorcum, sē is dēad; þis sind

þāra apostola word. Ic eom gōd hierde: se gōda hierde

sęlþ his āgen līf for his sċēapum. Ūre Ā·līesend is se gōda


hierde, and wē crīstene męnn sind his sċeap. Se mōna his

leoht ne sęlþ, and steorran of heofone feallaþ. Swā swā

wæter ā·dwǣsċþ fȳr, swā ā·dwǣsċþ sēo ælmesse synna.

Ealle ġe·sċeafta, heofonas and ęnġlas, sunnan and mōnan,

steorran and eorþan, eall nīetenu and ealle fuglas, sǣ and


ealle fiscas God ġe·scōp and ġe·worhte on siex dagum; and

on þǣm seofoþan dæġe hē ġe·ęndode his weorc; and hē

be·hēold þā eall his weorc þe hē ġe·worhte, and hīe wǣron

eall swīþe gōd. Hē fērde ġeond manigu land, bodiende

Godes ġe·lēafan. Hē for·lēt eall woruld-þing. Se cyning


be·bēad þæt man scolde ofer eall Angel-cynn sċipu wyrċan;

and hiera wæs swā fela swā nǣfre ǣr ne wæs on nānes

cyninges dæġe. Se cyning hēt of·slēan ealle þā Dęniscan

męnn þe on Angel-cynne wǣron.

Þā ne mihton hīe him nān word and-swarian, ne nān


mann ne dorste hine nān þing māre āscian. Hīe fuhton


on þā burg ealne dæġ, and þōhton þæt hīe hīe scolden

ā·brecan. Se eorl ġe·węnde west tō Īr-lande, and wæs þǣr

ealne þone winter. Æþelred cyning and Ælfred his brōþor

fuhton wiþ ealne þone hęre on Æsces-dūne.


Se mann is ēċe on ānum dǣle, þæt is, on þǣre sāwle;

hēo ne ġe·ęndaþ nǣfre. Ġif se biscop dēþ be his āgnum

willan, and wile bindan þone un-scyldigan, and þone scyldigan

ā·līesan, þonne for·līest hē þā miht þe him God

for·ġeaf. Þēod winþ on·ġēan þēode, and rīċe on·ġēan rīċe.


Ealle męnn ēow hatiaþ for mīnum naman. Hē ġe·worhte

fela wundra binnan þǣm fierste þe hē biscop wæs. Hē

ġe·hǣlde sum wīf mid hālgum wætre. Se cyning wearþ

of·slæġen fram his āgnum folce. On þǣm ilcan ġēare wæs

se miċla hungor ġeond Angel-cynn. Se mæsse-prēost āscaþ


þæt ċild, and cwiþþ: ‘Wiþ·sæcst þū dēofle?’ Þonne andwyrt

se god-fæder, and cwiþþ: ‘Ic wiþ·sace dēofle.’ God

ælmihtiga, ġe·miltsa mē synn-fullum! Æþelred cyning cōm

hām tō his āgenre þēode, and hē glædlīce fram him eallum

on·fangen wearþ.


Crīst, ūre Dryhten, be·bēad his leornung-cnihtum þæt

hīe scolden tǣċan eallum þēodum þā þing þā hē self him

tǣhte. Ġif ġē for·ġiefaþ mannum hiera synna, þonne for·giefþ

ēower se heofonlica Fæder ēowre synna. Ne mæġ nān

mann twǣm hlāfordum þēowian: oþþe hē ānne hataþ and


ōþerne lufaþ, oþþe hē biþ ānum ġe·hīersum and ōþrum unġehīersum.

Se cyning nam þæs eorles sunu mid him tō Ęnġla-lande.

Męnn be·hōfiaþ gōdre lāre on þissum tīman, þe is ġe·ęndung

þisse worulde. Se līchama, þe is þǣre sāwle rēaf, andbīdaþ


þæs miċlan dōmes; and þēah hē bēo tō dūste for·molsnod,


God hine ā·rǣrþ, and ġe·bringþ tō·gædre sāwle and

līchaman tō þǣm ēċan līfe. Hwelc fæder wile sęllan his

ċilde stān, ġif hit hine hlāfes bitt? Ā·ġiefaþ þǣm cāsere þā

þing þe þæs cāseres sind, and Gode þā þing þe Godes sind.


Sēo sāwol and-bīdaþ þæs ēċan ǣristes.

Hē wæs cyning ofer eall Ęnġla-land twęntiġ wintra. God

ælmihtiġ is ealra cyninga cyning, and ealra hlāforda hlāford.

Dēofol is ealra un-riht-wīsra manna hēafod, and þā

yflan męnn sind his limu. Synnfulra manna dēaþ is yfel and


earmlic, for þǣm þe hīe faraþ of þissum scortan līfe tō ēċum

wītum. Hū fela hlāfa hæbbe ġē? Seofon, and fēa fisca.

Ne ġe·wilna þū ōþres mannes ǣhta!

On þǣm landum eardodon Ęnġle, ǣr þǣm þe hīe hider on

land cōmon. Hīe fuhton on þā burg ealne dæġ, ac hīe ne


mihton hīe ā·brecan. Þā ēodon hīe tō hiera sċipum. Þǣr

bēoþ swīþe maniġe byriġ on þǣm lande, and on ǣlcre byriġ

biþ cyning.

God cwæþ tō Noē: ‘Ic wile for·dōn eall mann-cynn mid

wætre for hiera synnum, ac ic wile ġe·healdan þē, and þīn


wīf, and þīne þrīe suna.’ Ān mann hæfde twēġen suna; þā

cwæþ hē tō þǣm ieldran: ‘gā and wyrċ tō·dæġ on mīnum

wīn-ġearde.’ Þā cwæþ hē: ‘ic nyle:’ ēode þēah siþþan tō

þǣm wīnġearde. Hē dyde his fæder willan. Se prēost

cwæþ tō þǣm folce: ‘Ic ēow blētsiġe on naman þæs Fæder,


þæs Suna, and þæs Hālgan Gāstes.’ Āra þīnum fæder and

þīnre mēder! Sum wīf cōm tō Crīste, and bæd for hiere

dehter. Sēo dohtor wearþ ġe·hǣled þurh ġe·lēafan þǣre


Bēoþ ġe·myndiġe þāra twēġra worda þe Dryhten cwæþ on



his god-spelle! Hē cwæþ: ‘For·ġiefaþ, and ēow biþ for·ġiefen;

sęllaþ, and ēow biþ ġe·seald.’

Twēġen męnn ēodon intō Godes temple hīe tō ġe·biddenne.

Ælfred cyning fōr mid þrim sċipum ūt on sǣ, and

ġe·feaht wiþ fēower sċip-hlæstas Dęniscra manna, and þāra


sċipa twā ġe·nam, and þā męnn of·slæġene wǣron þe

þǣr-on wǣron. Þā cōmon þrēo sċipu. Þā ġe·fēngon hīe

þāra þrēora sċipa twā, and þˉa męnn of·slōgon, ealle būtan

fīfum. Se wītega ā·wrāt be þǣm fēower nīetenum þe him

æt·īewdu wǣron, þæt hīe hæfden ēagan him on ǣlce healfe.


Ān þāra nīetena wæs on męnniscre onsīene him æt·īewed,

ōþer on lēon onsīene, þridde on ċealfes, fēorþe on earnes.

God þone ǣrestan mann rihtne and gōdne ġe·scōp, and

eall mann-cynn mid him. Ælfred Æþelwulfing wæs cyning

ofer eall Angel-cynn būtan þǣm dǣle þe under Dęna onwealde


wæs. Ǣlc gōd trēow bierþ gōde wæstmas, and ǣlc

yfel trēow bierþ yfle wæstmas; ne mæġ þæt gōde trēow

beran yfle wæstmas, ne þæt yfle trēow gōde wæstmas.

Ēadigu sind ēowru ēagan, for þǣm þe hīe ġe·sēoþ, and

ēowru ēaran, for þǣm þe hīe ġe·hīeraþ. Swā hwā swā sęlþ


ānum þurstigum męnn ċeald wæter on mīnum naman, ne

for·līest hē his mēde. Ne fare ġē on hǣþenra manna weġe!

Gōd mann of gōdum gold-horde bringþ gōd forþ; and yfel

mann of yflum goldhorde bringþ yfel forþ.

Gregōrius se hālga pāpa is rihtlīce ġe·cweden Ęnġliscre


þēode apostol. Þā hē ġe·seah þæt se mǣsta dǣl þǣre þēode

his lāre for·sāwon, þā for·lēt hē hīe, and ġe·ċēas þā hǣþnan

lēode. Ġif se blinda blindne lǣtt, hīe feallaþ bēġen on ānne

pytt. Se Hālga Gāst is lufu and willa þæs Fæder and þæs

Suna; and hīe sind ealle ġe·līce mihtiġe. Bętere is sēo


sāwol þonne se męte, and bętera se līchama þonne his scrūd.


Sēo sāwol is gāst, and be eorþlicum męttum ne leofaþ.

Be·healdaþ þās flēogendan fuglas, þe ne sāwaþ ne ne rīpaþ,

ac se heofonlica Fæder hīe ā·fētt. Hē cwæþ, ‘Ic neom

ōþrum mannum ġe·līc;’ swelce hē cwǣde, ‘Ic āna eom rihtwīs,


and þā ōþre sind synn-fulle.’

Þā se Hǣlend þanon fōr, þā folgodon him twēġen blinde,

cweþende: ‘Ġe·miltsa unc, Davīdes sunu!’ Hē cwæþ tō

him: ‘Ġe·līefe ġit þæt ic inc mæġe ġe·hælan?’ Hē cwæþ:

‘Sīe inc æfter incrum ġe·lēafan.’ Æþelstān cyning fōr


inn on Scot-land, ǣġþer ġe mid land-hęre ġe mid sċip-hęre,

and his miċel ofer·hęrgode. Se mann þe God for·ġiett, God

for·ġiett ēac hine. Faraþ, and lǣraþ ealle þēoda! Lǣraþ

hīe þæt hīe healden eall þā þing þe ic ēow be·bēad! Sume

męnn sæġdon be him þæt hē wǣre Ælfredes sunu cyninges.


Se Hǣlend āscode his leornung-cnihtas, ‘Hwone sęċġaþ

męnn þæt sīe mannes Sunu?’ Hwæt sęċġe ġē þæt ic sīe?

Þū eart þæs libbendan Godes sunu. Crīst cwæþ be his

Fæder: ‘Ġē sęċġaþ þæt hē ēower God sīe, and ġē hine ne

on·cnēowon.’ Ġif hīe þone hālgan Fæder on·cnēowen,


þonne under·fēngen hīe mid ġe·lēafan his Sunu, þe hē ā·sęnde

tō middan-ġearde. Se weġ is swīþe nearu and sticol

sē þe lǣtt tō heofona rīċe; and se weġ is swīþe brād and

smēþe sē þe lǣtt tō hęlle wĭte. Dysiġ biþ se weġ-fērenda

mann sē þe nimþ þone smēþan weġ þe hīne mis-lǣtt, and


for·lǣtt þone sticolan þe hine ġe·bringþ tō þǣre byriġ. Þæt

ic ēow sęċġe on þēostrum, sęċġaþ hit on leohte; and þæt

ġē on ēare ġe·hīeraþ, bodiaþ uppan hrōfum. Hīe scufon ūt

hiera sċipu, and ġe·węndon him be·ġeondan sǣ.

Healdaþ and dōþ swā hwæt swā hīe sęċġaþ; and ne dō


ġē nā, æfter hiera weorcum: hīe sęċġaþ, and ne dōþ. Eall

hiera weorc hīe dōþ þæt męnn hīe ġe·sēon. Hīe lufiaþ þæt


man hīe grēte on strǣtum. Ēalā ġē nǣddran and nǣddrena

cynn, hū flēo ġē fram hęlle dōme?

Wē sind ealle cuman on þissum and-weardan līfe, and


ūre eard nis nā hēr; ac wē sind hēr swelce weġ-fērende

męnn: ān cymþ, ōþer færþ. Hwelc mann sęlþ his bearne

nǣddran, ġif hit fisces bitt? Ǣlc þāra þe bitt, hē on·fēhþ;

and sē þe sēċþ, hē hit fint. Ne gǣþ ǣlc þāra on heofona

rīċe þe cwiþþ tō mē, ‘Dryhten, Dryhten;’ ac sē þe wyrċþ


mīnes Fæder willan þe on heofonum is, sē gǣþ on heofona

rīċe. Nis hit nā gōd þǣt man nime bearna hlāf and hundum

weorpe. Ic hæbbe þeġnas under mē: and ic cweþe tō

þissum, ‘gā,’ and hē gǣþ; and tō ōþrum, ‘cum,’ and hē

cymþ, and tō mīnum þēowe, ‘wyrċ þis,’ and hē wyrċþ.


Se Hǣlend ġe·nam þā fīf hlāfas, and blētsode, and tō·bræc,

and tō·dǣlde be·twix þǣm sittendum; swā ġe·līce ēac

þā fiscas tō·dǣlde; and hīe ealle ġe·nōg hæfdon. Þā þe

þǣr ǣton wǣron fēower þūsend manna, būtan ċildum and

wīfum. Hīe cōmon tō him, and tō him ġebǣdon, and þus


cwǣdon: ‘Sōþlīce þū eart Godes sunu.’ Ne wēne ġē þæt

ic cōme sibbe on eorþan to sęndenne: ne cōm ic sibbe tō

sęndenne, ac sweord. Hē be·bēad þæt hīe sǣten ofer þǣre

eorþan. Hē sæġde þæt Norþ-manna land wǣre swīþe lang

and swīþe smæl.


Hīe ealle on þone cyning wǣron feohtende, oþ þæt hīe

hine ofslæġenne hæfdon. Ǣlc mann þe ōþre męnn for·sihþ

biþ fram Gode for·sewen. Sē þe ēaran hæbbe tō ġe·hiērenne,

ġe·hīere. Gōd is ūs hēr tō bēonne.

God cwæþ tō ānum wītegan, sē wæs Ionas ġe·hāten:


‘Far tō þǣre byriġ, and boda þǣr þā word þe ic þē sęċġe.’


Lufiaþ ēowre fīend, and dōþ wel þǣm þe ēow yfel dōþ.

Lufa Dryhten þīnne God on ealre þīnre heortan, and on

ealre þīnre sawle, and on eallum þīnum mōde. Sē þe ne

lufaþ his brōþor, þone þe hē ġe·sihþ, hū mæġ hē lufian God,


þone þe hē ne ġe·sihþ līcham-līce? Sęġe ūs hwonne þās

þing ġe·weorþen, and hwelc tācen sīe þīnes tō-cymes and

worulde ġe·ęndunge.

Se Hǣlend cwæþ tō ānum his leornung-cnihta, sē wæs

hāten Philippus: ‘Mid hwǣm magon wē byċġan hlāf þissum


folce?’ Wel wiste Crīst hwæt hē dōn wolde, and hē wiste

þæt Philippus þæt nyste. God mæġ dōn eall þing; wē

sculon wundrian his mihte, and ēac ġe·līefan. Crīst ā·rǣrde

Lazarum of dēaþe, and cwæþ tō his leornung-cnihtum: ‘Tō·līesaþ

his bęndas, þæt hē gān mæġe.’ God is ælmihtiġ,


and mæġ dōn eall þæt hē wile. Ġē nyton on hwelcre tīde

ēower hlāford cuman wile. For þǣm bēo ġē ġearwe; for

þǣm þe mannes Sunu wile cuman on þǣre tīde þe ġē nyton.

Se Hǣlend cwæþ be his Fæder: ‘Ic hine cann, and ġif ic

sęċġe þæt ic hine ne cunne, þonne bēo ic lēas, ēow ġe·līc.’


Se dēofol cwæþ tō Crīste: ‘Ġif þū sīe Godes sunu, cweþ

tō þissum stānum þæt hīe bēon ā·węnde tō hlāfum.’ Þā

and-wyrde se Hǣlend, and cwæþ: ‘Hit is ā·writen, “ne

leofaþ se mann nā be hlāfe ānum, ac leofaþ be eallum þǣm

wordum þe gāþ of Godes mūþe.”‘ Se Hǣlend cōm tō him,


þǣr hīe wǣron ġe·gadrode, and cwæþ: ‘Sīe sibb be·twix

ēow; ic hit eom; ne bēo ġē nā ā·fyrhte.’ Fæder ūre, þū þe

eart on heofonum, sīe þīn nama ġe·hālgod. Wē syngodon,

wē dydon un-rihtlīce; sęle ūs for·ġiefnesse: hwæt sculon wē





VII. 24-7.

Ǣlc þāra þe þās mīn word ġe·hīerþ, and þā wyrċþ, biþ

ġe·līc þǣm wīsan were, sē his hūs ofer stān ġet·imbrode.

Þā cōm þǣr reġen and miċel flōd, and þǣr blēowon windas,

and ā·hruron on þæt hūs, and hit nā ne fēoll: sōþlīce hit


wæs ofer stān ġe·timbrod.

And ǣlc þāra þe ġe·hīerþ þās mīn word, and þā ne wyrċþ,

sē biþ ġe·līc þǣm dysigan męnn, þe ġe·timbrode his hūs ofer

sand-ċeosol. Þā rīnde hit, and þǣr cōm flōd, and blēowon

windas, and ā·hruron on þǣt hūs, and þæt hūs fēoll; and


his hryre wæs miċel.

XII. 18-21.

Hēr is mīn cnapa, þone ic ġe·ċēas; mīn ġe·corena, on þǣm

wel ġe·līcode mīnre sāwle: ic ā·sętte mīnne gāst ofer hine,

and dōm hē bodaþ þēodum. Ne flītt hē, ne hē ne hriemþ,

ne nān mann ne ġe·hīerþ his stefne on strǣtum. Tō·cwīesed


hrēod hē ne for·brīett, and smēocende fleax hē ne ā·dwǣscþ,

ǣr þǣm þe hē ā·weorpe dōm tō siġe. And on his naman

þēoda ġe·hyhtaþ.

XIII. 3-8.

Sōþlīce ūt ēode se sāwere his sǣd tō sāwenne. And þā

þā hē sēow, sumu hīe fēollon wiþ weġ, and fuglas cōmon


and ǣton þā. Sōþlīce sumu fēollon on stǣnihte, þǣr hit


næfde miċle eorþan, and hrædlīce ūp sprungon, for þǣm þe

hīe næfdon pǣre eorþan dīepan; sōþlīce, ūp sprungenre

sunnan, hīe ā·drūgodon and for·scruncon, for þǣm þe hīe

næfdon wyrtruman. Sōþlīce sumu fēollon on þornas, and


þā þornas wēoxon, and for·þrysmdon þā. Sumu sōþlīce

fēollon on gōde eorþan, and sealdon wæstm, sum hund-fealdne,

sum siextiġ-fealdne, sum þritiġ-fealdnę.

XIII. 24-30.

Heofona rīċe is ġe·worden þǣm męnn ġe·līc þe sēow gōd

sǣd on his æcere. Sōþlīce, þā þā męnn slēpon, þā cōm his


fēonda sum, and ofer·sēow hit mid coccele on·middan þǣm

hwǣte, and fērde þanon. Sōþlīce, þā sēo wyrt wēox, and

þone wæstm brōhte, þā æt·īewde se coccel hine. Þā ēodon

þæs hlāfordes þēowas and cwǣdon: ‘Hlāford, hū, ne sēowe

þū gōd sǣd on þīnum æcere? hwanon hæfde hē coccel?’


Þā cwæþ hē: ‘þæt dyde unhold mann.’ Þā cwǣdon þā

þēowas: ‘Wilt þū, wē gāþ and gadriaþ hīe?’ Þā cwæp

hē: ‘Nese: þȳ lǣs ġē þone hwǣte ā·wyrtwalien, þonne ġē

þone coccel gadriaþ. Lǣtaþ ǣġþer weaxan oþ rīp-tīman;

and on pǣm rīptīman ic sęċġe þǣm rīperum: “gadriaþ


ǣrest þone coccel, and bindaþ sċēaf-mǣlum tō for·bærnenne;

and gadriaþ þone hwǣte intō mīnum bęrne.”‘

XIII. 44-8.

Heofona rīċe is ġe·līc ġe·hȳddum gold-horde on þǣm

æcere. Þone be·hȳtt se mann þe hine fint, and for his blisse

gǣþ, and sęlþ eall þæt hē āh, and ġe·byġþ þone æcer.


Eft is heofona rīċe ġe·līc þǣm mangere þe sōhte þæt gōde

męre-grot. Þā hē funde þæt ān dēor-wierþe męregrot, þā

ēode hē, and sealde eall þæt hē āhte, and bohte þæt męregrot.


Eft is heofona rīċe ġe·līc ā·sęndum nętte on þā sǣ, and of


ǣlcum fisc-cynne gadriendum. Þā hīe þā þæt nętt ūp

ā·tugon, and sǣton be þǣm strande, þā ġe·curon hīe þā

gōdan on hiera fatu, and þā yflan hīe ā·wurpon ūt.

XVIII. 12-14.

Ġif hwelc mann hæfþ hund sċēapa, and him losaþ ān of

þǣm, hū, ne for·lǣtt hē þā nigon and hund·nigontiġ on þǣm


muntum, and gǣþ, and sēċþ þæt ān þe for·wearþ? And ġif

hit ġe·limpþ þæt hē hit fint, sōþlīce ic ēow sęċġe þæt hē

swīþor ġe·blissaþ for þǣm ānum þonne for þǣm nigon and

hund·nigontigum þe nā ne losodon.

  1. 1-16.

Heofona rīċe is ġe·līc þǣm hīredes ealdre, þe on ǣrnemerġen


ūt ēode ā·hȳran wyrhtan on his wīn-ġeard. Ġe·wordenre

ġe·cwid-rǣdenne þǣm wyrhtum, hē sealde ǣlcum ānne

þęning wiþ his dæġes weorce, and ā·sęnde hīe on his wīnġeard.

And þā hē ūt ēode ymbe undern-tīd, hē ġe·seah

oþre on strǣte īdle standan. Þā cwæþ hē: ‘Gā ġē on


mīnne wīnġeard, and ic sęlle ēow þæt riht biþ.’ And hīe þā

fērdon. Eft hē ūt ēode ymbe þā siextan and nigoþan

tīd, and dyde þǣm swā ġe·līce. Þā ymbe þā ęndlyftan

tīd hē ūt ēode, and funde ōþre standende, and þā sæġde hē:

‘Hwȳ stande ġē hēr ealne daeġ īdle?’ Þā cwǣdon hīe:


‘For þǣm þe ūs nān mann ne hȳrde.’ Þā cwæþ hē: ‘And

gā ġē on mīnne wīnġeard.’

Sōþlīce þā hit wæs ǣfen ġe·worden, þā sæġde se wīnġeardes

hlāford his ġe·rēfan: ‘Clipa þā wyrhtan, and ā·ġief him

hiera mēde; on·ġinn fram þǣm ȳt·emestan oþ þone fyrmestan.’


Eornostlīce þā þā ġe·cōmon þe ymbe þā ęndlyftan

tīd cōmon, þā on·fēngon hīe ǣlc his pęning. And þā þe


þǣr ǣrest cōmon, wēndon þæt hīe scolden māre on·fōn; þā

on·fēngon hīe syndriġe þęningas. Þa on·gunnon hīe murcnian

on·ġēan þone hīredes ealdor, and þus cwǣdon: ‘Þās


ȳtemestan worhton āne tīd, and þū dydest hīe ġe·līce ūs,

þe bǣron byrþenna on þisses dæġes hǣtan.’ Þā cwæþ hē

and-swariende hiera ānum: ‘Ēalā þū frēond, ne dō ic þē

nānne tēonan; hū, ne cōme þū tō mē tō wyrċenne wiþ

ānum pęninge? Nim þæt þīn is, and gā; ic wile þissum


ȳtemestum sęllan eall swā miċel swā þē. Oþþe ne mōt ic

dōn þæt ic wile? Hwæþer þe þīn ēage mānfull is for þǣm

þe ic gōd eom? Swā bēoþ þa fyrmestan ȳtemeste, and þā

ȳtemestan fyrmeste; sōþlīce maniġe sind ġe·clipode, and

fēa ġe·corene.’

XXII. 2-14.


Heofona rīċe is ġe·līc þǣm cyninge þe macode his suna

ġiefta, and sęnde his þēowas, and clipode þā ġe·laþodan tō

þǣm ġieftum. Þā noldon hīe cuman. Þā sęnde hē eft ōþre

þēowas, and sæġde þǣm ġe·laþodum: ‘Nū ic ġe·ġearwode

mīne feorme: mīne fearras and mīne fuglas sind of·slæġene,


and eall mīn þing sind ġearu; cumaþ tō þǣm ġieftum.’ Þā

for·gīemdon hīe þæt, and fērdon, sum tō his tūne, sum tō

his mangunge. And þā ōþre nāmon his þēowas, and mid

tēonan ġe·swęnċton, and of·slōgon. Þā se cyning þæt ġe·hierde,

þā wæs hē ierre, and sęnde his hęre tō, and for·dyde


þā mann-slagan, and hiera burg for·bærnde.

Þā cwæþ hē tō his þēowum: ‘Witodlīce þās ġiefta sind

ġearwe, ac þā þe ġe·laþode wǣron ne sind wierþe. Gāþ nū

tō wega ġelǣtum, and clipiaþ tō þissum ġieftum swā hwelce

swā ġē ġe·mēten.’ Þā ēodon þā þēowas ūt on þā wegas,


and ġe·gadrodon ealle þā þe hīe ġe·mētton, gōde and yfle;

þā wǣron þā ġieft-hūs mid sittendum mannum ġefyldu.

Þā ēode se cyning inn, þæt hē wolde ġe·sēon þā þe þǣr


sǣton, and þā ġe·seah hē þǣr ānne mann þe næs mid ġieftlicum

rēafe ġescrȳdd. Þā cwæþ hē: ‘Lā, frēond, hūmeta


ēodest þū inn, and næfdest ġieftlic rēaf?’ Þa swīgode hē.

And se cyning cwæþ tō his þeġnum: ‘Ġe·bindaþ his handa

and his fēt, and weorpaþ hine on þā ȳterran þēostru; þǣr biþ

wōp and tōþa grīst-bītung.’ Witodlīce maniġe sind ġe·laþode,

and fēa ġe·corene.

XXV. 1-13.


Þonne biþ heofona rīċe ġe·līc þǣm tīen fǣmnum, þe þā

leoht-fatu nāmon, and fērdon on·ġēan þone brȳd-guman and

þā brȳd. Hiera fīf wǣron dysiġe, and fīf glēawe. And þā fīf

dysigan nāmon leohtfatu, and ne nāmon nānne ele mid him;

þā glēawan nāmon ele on hiera fatum mid þǣm leohtfatum.


Þā se brȳdguma ielde, þā hnappodon hīe ealle, and slēpon.

Witodlīce tō middre nihte man hrīemde, and cwæþ: ‘Nū se

brȳdguma cymþ, faraþ him tō·ġēanes.’ Þā ā·rison ealle þā

fǣmnan, and glęnġdon hiera leohtfatu. Þā cwǣdon þā

dysigan to pǣm wīsum: ‘Sęllaþ ūs of ēowrum ele, for þǣm


ūre leohtfatu sind ā·cwęnċtu.’ Þā and·swarodon þā glēawan,

and cwǣdon: ‘Nese; þȳ lǣs þe wē and ġē næbben ġenōg:

gāþ tō þǣm ċīependum, and byċġaþ ēow ele.’ Witodlīce,

þā hīe fērdon, and woldon byċġan, þā cōm se brȳdguma;

and þā þe ġearwe wǣron ēodon inn mid him tō þǣm


ġieftum; and sēo duru wæs be·locen. Þā æt nīehstan cōmon

þa ōþre fǣmnan, and cwǣdon: ‘Dryhten, Dryhten, lǣt ūs

inn.’ Þā and-swarode hē him, and cwæþ: ‘Sōþ ic ēow

sęċġe, ne cann ic ēow.’ Witodlīce, waciaþ, for þǣm þe ġē

nyton ne þone dæġ ne þā tīd.

XXV. 14-30.


Sum mann fērde on ęlþēodiġnesse, and clipode his


þēowas, and be·tǣhte him his ǣhta. And ānum hē sealde

fīf pund, sumum twā, sumum ān: ǣġhwelcum be his āgnum

mæġne; and fērde sōna.

Þā fērde sē þe þā fīf pund under·fēng, and ġe·strīende


ōþru fīf. And eall-swā sē þe þā twā under·feng, ġe·strīende

ōþru twā. Witodlīce sē þe þæt ān under·fēng, fērde, and

be·dealf hit on eorþan, and be·hȳdde his hlāfordes feoh.

Witodlīce æfter miċlum fierste cōm þāra þēowa hlāford,

and dihte him ġe·rad. Þā cōm sē þe þā fīf pund under·fēng,


and brōhte ōþru fīf, and cwæþ: ‘Hlāford, fīf pund þū sealdest

mē; nū ic ġe·strīende ōþru fīf.’ Þā cwæp his hlāford tō

him: ‘Bēo blīþe, þū gōda þēow and ġe·trēowa: for þǣm

þe þū wǣre ġe·trēowe ofer lȳtlu þing, ic [.]ge·sętte þē ofer

miċlu; gā intō þīnes hlāfordes blisse.’ Þā cōm sē þe þā


twā pund under·fēng, and cwæþ: ‘Hlāford, twā pund þū

mē sealdest; nū ic hæbbe ġe·strīened ōþru twā.’ Þā cwæþ

his hlāford tō him: ‘Ġe·blissa, þū gōda þēow and ġetrēowa:

for þǣm þe þū wǣre ġe·trēowe ofer fēa, ofer fela ic þē

ġe·sętte; gā on þīnes hlāfordes ġe·fēan.’ Þā cōm sē þe þæt


ān pund under·fēng, and cwæþ: ‘Hlāford, ic wāt þæt

þū eart heard mann: þū rīpst þǣr þū ne sēowe, and

gaderast þǣr þū ne spręnġdest. And ic fērde of·drǣdd,

and be·hȳdde þīn pund on eorþan; hēr þū hæfst þæt þīn

is.’ Þā andswarode his hlāford him, and cwæþ: ‘þū yfla


þēow and slāwa, þū wistest þæt ic rīpe þǣr ic ne sēowe,

and ic gadriġe þǣr ic ne strēdde: hit ġe·byrede þæt þū

be·fæste mīn feoh myneterum, and ic nāme, þonne ic cōme,

þæt mīn is, mid þǣm gafole. Ā·nimaþ þæt pund æt him, and

sęllaþ þǣm þe mē þā tīen pund brōhte. Witodlīce ǣlcum


þāra þe hæfþ man sęlþ, and hē hæfþ ġe·nōg; þǣm þe næfþ,

þæt him þynċþ þæt hē hæbbe, þæt him biþ æt·brogden. And

weorpaþ þone un·nyttan þēow on þā ȳterran þēostru; þǣr

biþ wōp and tōþa grist·bītung.’





Æfter þǣm sōþlīce ealle męnn sprǣcon āne sprǣċe. Þā

þā hīe fērdon fram Ēast-dǣle, hīe fundon ānne feld on

Sennaār-lande, and wunodon þǣr-on.

Þā cwǣdon hīe him be·twēonan: ‘Uton wyrċan ūs tiġelan,


and ǣlan hīe on fȳre!’ Witodlīce hīe hæfdon tiġelan for

stān and tierwan for weal-līm. And hīe cwǣdon: ‘Uton

timbrian ūs ċeastre, and stīepel oþ heofon hēanne! uton

weorþian ūrne naman, ǣr þ[æ]m þe wē sīen tō·dǣlde ġeond

ealle eorþan!’


Witodlīce Dryhten ā·stāg niþer, tō þǣm þæt hē ġe·sāwe

þā burg and þone stīepel, þe Adāmes bearn ġe·timbrodon.

And hē cwæþ: ‘þis is ān folc, and ealle hīe sprecaþ ān

læden, and hīe be·gunnon þis tō wyrċenne: ne ġe·swīcaþ hīe

ǣr þǣm þe hit ġearu sīe; sōþlīce uton cuman and tō·dǣlan


hiera sprǣċe!’

Swā Dryhten hīe tō·dǣlde of þǣre stōwe ġeond ealle eorþan.

And for þǣm man nęmnde þā stōwe Babēl for þǣm þe þǣr

wǣron tō·dǣlde ealle sprǣċa.


God wolde pā fandian Abrahāmes ġe·hīersumnesse, and


clipode his naman, and cwæþ him þus tō: ‘Nim þīnne

ān-cęnnedan sunu Isaāc, þe þū lufast, and far tō þǣm


lande Visionis hraþe, and ġe·offra hine þǣr uppan ānre


Abrahām þā ā·rās on þǣre ilcan nihte, and fērde mid


twǣm cnapum tō þǣm fierlenum lande, and Isaāc samod,

on assum rīdende.

Þā on þǣm þriddan dæġe, þā hīe þā dūne ġe·sāwon, þǣr

þǣr hīe tō scoldon tō of·slēanne Isaāc, þā cwæþ Abrahām

tō þǣm twǣm cnapum þus: ‘Andbīdiaþ ēow hēr mid þǣm


assum sume hwīle! ic and þǣt ċild gāþ unc tō ġe·biddenne,

and wit siþþan cumaþ sōna eft tō ēow.’

Abrahām þā hēt Isaāc beran þone wudu tō þǣre stōwe,

and hē self bær his sweord and fȳr. Isaāc þa āscode Abrahām

his fæder: ‘Fæder mīn, ic āsciġe hwǣr sēo offrung sīe;


hēr is wudu and fȳr.’ Him andwyrde se fæder: ‘God foresċēawaþ,

mīn sunu, him self þā offrunge.’

Hīe cōmon þā tō þǣre stōwe þe him ġe·sweotolode God;

and hē þǣr weofod ā·rǣrde on þā ealdan wīsan, and þone

wudu ġe·lōgode swā swā hē hit wolde habban tō his suna


bærnette, siþþan hē of·slæġen wurde. Hē ġe·band þā his

sunu, and his sweord ā·tēah, þæt hē hine ġe·offrode on þā

ealdan wīsan.

Mid þǣm þe hē wolde þǣt weorc be·ġinnan, þā clipode

Godes ęnġel arodlīce of heofonum: ‘Abrahām!’ Hē andwyrde


sōna. Se ęnġel him cwæþ tō: ‘Ne ā·cwęle þū

þæt ċild, ne þīne hand ne ā·stręċe ofer his swēoran! Nū ic

on·cnēow sōþlīce þæt pū on·drǣtst swīþe God, nū pū pīnne

ān-cęnnedan sunu woldest of·slēan for him.’

Þā be·seah Abrahām sōna under bæc, and ġe·seah þǣr


ānne ramm be·twix þǣm brēmlum be þǣm hornum ġe·hæftne,

and hē hæfde þone ramm tō þǣre offrunge, and hine þǣr

of·snāþ Gode tō lāce for his sunu Isaāc. Hē hēt þā stōwe

Dominus videt, þæt is ‘God ġe·sihþ,’ and ġiet is ġe·sæġd

swā, In monte Dominus videbit, þæt is, ‘God ġe·sihþ on dūne.’



Eft clipode se ęnġel Abrahām, and cwæþ: ‘Ic sæġde

þurh mē selfne, sæġde se Ælmihtiga, nū þū noldest ārian

þīnum āncęnnedum suna, ac þē wæs mīn ęġe māre þonne

his līf, ic þē nū blētsiġe, and þīnne of-spring ge·maniġ-fielde

swā swā steorran on heofonum, and swā swā sand-ċeosol


on sǣ; þīn ofspring sċeal āgan hiera fēonda ġeatu. And on

þīnum sǣde bēoþ ealle þēoda ġe·blētsode, for þǣm þe þū

ġe·hīersumodest mīnre hǣse þus.’

Abrahām þā ġe·ċierde sōna tō his cnapum, and fērdon him

hām sōna mid heofonlicre blētsunge.



Sum cwēn wæs on sūþ-dǣle, Saba ġe·hāten, snotor and

wīs. Þā ġe·hīerde hēo Salomones hlīsan, and cōm fram

þǣm sūþernum ġe·mǣrum to Salomone binnan Hierusalēm

mid miċelre fare, and hiere olfendas bǣron sūþerne wyrta,

and dēor-wierþe ġimm-stānas, and un-ġerīm gold. Sēo cwēn


þā hæfde sprǣċe wiþ Salomon, and sæġde him swā hwæt

swā hēo on hiere heortan ġe·þōhte. Salomon þā hīe lǣrde,

and hiere sæġde ealra þāra worda andġiet þe hēo hine āscode.

Þā ġe·seah sēo cwēn Salomones wīsdōm, and þæt mǣre

tempel þe hē ġe·timbrod hæfde, and þā lāc þe man Gode


offrode, and þæs cyninges maniġ-fealde þeġnunga, and wæs

tō þǣm swīþe of·wundrod þæt hēo næfde furþor nānne gāst,

for þǣm þe hēo ne mihte nā furþor smēan. Hēo cwæþ þā

tō þǣm cyninge: ‘Sōþ is þæt word þe ic ġe·hīerde on

mīnum earde be þē and be þīnum wīsdōme, ac ic nolde


ġe·līefan ǣr þǣm þe ic self hit ġe·sāwe. Nū hæbbe ic ā·fandod

þæt mē næs be healfum dǣle þīn mǣrþo ġe·cȳped. Māre

is þīn wīsdōm and þīn weorc þonne se hlīsa wǣre þe ic

ġe·hīerde. Ēadige sind þīne þeġnas and þīne þēowas, þe

simle æt·foran þē standaþ, and þīnne wīsdōm ġe·hīeraþ.


Ġe·blētsod sīe se ælmihtiga God, þe þē ġe·ċēas and ġe·sętte


ofer Israhēla rīċe, þæt þū dōmas sętte and riht-wīsnesse,’

Hēo for·ġeaf þǣem cyninge þā hund·twęlftiġ punda goldes,

and unġerīm dēorwierþra wyrta and dēorwierþra ġimmstāna.

Salomon ēac for·ġeaf þǣre cwēne swā hwæs swā hēo ġiernde


æt him; and hēo ġe·węnde on·ġeān tō hiere ēþle mid hiere

þeġnum. Salomon þā wæs ġe·mǣrsod ofer eallum eorþlicum

cyningum, and ealle þēoda ġe·wilnodon þæt hīe hine ġe·sāwen,

and his wīsdōm ġe·hīerden, and hīe him maniġfeald lāc



Sēo cwēn hæfde ġe·tācnunge þǣre hālgan ġe·laþunge ealles

crīstenes folces, þe cōm tō þǣm ġe·sibbsuman Crīste tō

ġe·hīerenne his wīsdōm and þā god-spellican lāre þa hē

ā·stealde, and be on·liehtunge þæs sōþan ġe·lēafan, and be

þǣm tōweardan dōme, be ūrre sāwle un-dēadlicnesse, and be


hyhte and wuldre þæs ġe·mǣnelican ǣristes.

Sēo cwēn cōm tō Salomone mid miċlum lācum on golde

and on dēorwierþum ġimmstānum and wyrt-brǣþum; and

þæt bǣron olfendas. Sēo ġe·lēaffulle ġe·laþung, þe cymþ

of ǣlcum earde tō Crīste, bringþ him þās fore-sæġdan lāc


æfter gāstlicum andġiete. Hēo offraþ him gold þurh sōþne

ġe·lēafan, and wyrtbrǣþas þurh ġe·bedu, and dēorwierþe

ġimmas þurh fæġernesse gōdra þēawa and hāliġra mæġna.

Be þisse ġe·laþunge cwæþ se wītega tō Gode: Adstitit

regina a dextris tuis, in vestitu deaurato, circumdata varietate,


þæt is, ‘sēo cwēn stęnt æt þīnre swīþran, on ofergyldum

ġierlan, ymb·scrȳdd mid maniġfealdre fāgnesse.’ Sēo gāstlice

cwēn, Godes ġe·laþung, is ġe·glęnġed mid dēorwierþre

frætwunge and maniġfealdum blēo gōdra drohtnunga and



Hēo sæġde Salomone ealle hiere dīegolnessa, and sēo

ġe·laþung ġe·openaþ Crīste hiere inn-ġehyġd and þa dīeglan

ġe·þōhtas on sōþre andetnesse.

Olfendas bǣron þā dēorwierþan lāc mid þǣre cwēne


intō Hierusalēm; for þǣm þe þā hǣþnan, þe ǣr wǣron


ġe·hoferode þurh ġītsunge and atollice þurh leahtras, bǣron,

þurh hiera ġe·ċierrednesse and ġe·lēafan, þā gāstlican lāc

tō Crīstes handum.

Sēo cwēn wundrode Salomones wīsdōmes, and his ġe·timbrunga,

and þeġnunga; and sēo ġe·laþung wundraþ Crīstes


wīsdōmes, for þǣm þe hē is sōþ wīsdōm, and eall wīsdōm is

of him. Hē ġe·timbrode þā hēalican heofonas and ealne

middanġeard, and ealle ġe·sceafta ġe·sętte on þrim þingum,

in mensura, et pondere, et numero, þæt is, on ġe·mete, and

on hęfe, and on ġe·tele. Crīstes þeġnung is ūre hǣlo and


folca ā·līesednes, and þā sind ġe·sǣliġe þe him þeġniaþ tō

ġe·cwēmednesse on þǣm gāstlicum ġe·rȳnum.

Sēo cwēn sæġde þæt hiere nǣre be healfum dǣle ġe·sæġd

be Salomones mǣrþo, and sēo gāstlice cwēn, Godes ġe·laþung,

oþþe ġe·hwelc hāliġ sāwol, þonne hēo cymþ tō þǣre heofonlican


Hierusalēm, þonne ġe·sihþ hēo miċle māran mǣrþo

and wuldor þonne hiere ǣr on līfe þurh wītegan oþþe apostolas

ġe·cȳdd wǣre. Ne mæġ nān ēage on þissum līfe

ġe·sēon, ne nān ēare ġe·hīeran, ne nānes mannes heorte

ā·smēan þā þing þe God ġearcaþ þǣm þe hine lufiaþ. Þā


þing wē magon be·ġietan, ac wē ne magon hīe ā·smēan,

ne ūs nǣfre ne ā·þrīett þāra gōda ġe·nyhtsumnes.

Crīst is ealra cyninga cyning, and swā swā ealle þēoda

woldon ġe·sēon þone ġe·sibbsuman Salomon, and his wīsdōm

ġe·hīeran, and him mislicu lāc brōhton, swā ēac nū of eallum


þēodum ġe·wilniaþ męnn tō ġe·sēonne þone ġe-sibbsuman

Crīst þurh ġe·lēafan, and þone godspellican wīsdōm ġe·hīeran,

and hīe him dæġ-hwǣmlīce þā gāstlican lāc ġe·offriaþ on

maniġfealdum ġe·metum.


On Cȳres dagum cyninges wrēġdon þā Babilōniscan þone



wītegan Daniēl, for þǣm þe hē tō·wearp hiera dēofol-ġield,

and cwǣdon ān-mōdlīce tō þǣm fore-sæġdan cyninge Cȳrum:

‘Betǣċ ūs Daniēl, þe ūrne god Bēl tō·wearp, and þone dracan

ā·cwealde þe wē on be·līefdon; ġif þū hine for·stęntst, wē

for·dilgiaþ þē and þīnne hīred.’


Þā ġe·seah se cyning þæt hīe ān-mōde wǣron, and nīedunga

þone wītegan him tō handum ā·sċēaf. Hīe þā hine

ā·wurpon intō ānum sēaþe, on þǣm wǣron seofon lēon, þǣm

man sealde dæġhwǣmlīce twā hrīþeru and twā sċēap, ac him

wæs þā of·togen ǣlces fōdan siex dagas, þæt hīe þone Godes


mann ā·bītan scolden.

On þǣre tīde wæs sum ōþer wītega on Jūdēa-lande, his

nama waes Abacuc, sē bær his rifterum męte tō æcere. Þā

cōm him tō Godes ęnġel, and cwæþ: ‘Abacuc, ber þone

męte tō Babilōne, and sęle Daniēle, sē þe sitt on þāra lēona


sēaþe.’ Abacuc andwyrde þǣm ęnġle: ‘Lā lēof, ne ġe·seah

ic nǣfre þā burg, ne ic þone sēaþ nāt.’

Þā se ęnġel ġe·lǣhte hine be þǣm feaxe, and hine bær

tō Babilōne, and hine sętte bufan þǣm sēaþe. Þā clipode se

Abacuc: ‘þū Godes þēow, Daniēl, nim þās lāc þe þē God


sęnde!’ Daniēl cwæþ: ‘Mīn Dryhten Hǣlend, sīe þē lof

and weorþ-mynd þæt þū mē ġe·mundest.’ And hē þā þǣre

sande brēac. Witodlīce Godes ęnġel þǣr-rihte mid swiftum

flyhte ġe·brōhte þone disc-þeġn, Abacuc, þǣr hē hine

ǣr ġe·nam.


Se cyning þā Cȳrus on þǣm seofoþan dæġe ēode drēoriġ

tō þāra lēona sēaþe, and inn be·seah, and efne þā Daniēl

sittende wæs ġe·sundfull on·middan þǣm lēonum. Þā clipode

se cyning mid miċelre stefne: ‘Mǣre is se God þe Daniēl

on be·līefþ.’ And hē þā mid þǣm worde hine ā·tēah of þǣm


scræfe, and hēt inn weorpan þā þe hine ǣr for·dōn woldon.

Þæs cyninges hǣs wearþ hrædlīce ġe·fręmmed, and þæs

wītegan ēhteras wurdon ā·scofene be·twix þā lēon, and hīe


þǣr-rihte mid grǣdigum ċeaflum hīe ealle tō·tǣron. Þā

cwæþ se cyning: ‘Forhtien and on·drǣden ealle eorþ-būend


Daniēles God, for þǣm þe hē is Ā·līesend and Hǣlend,

wyrċende tācnu and wundru on heofonan and on eorþan.’


Nabochodonosor, se hǣþena cyning, ġe·hęrgode on Godes

folce, on Jūdēa-lande, and for hiera mān-dǣdum God þæt

ġe·þafode. Þā ġe·nam hē þā māþm-fatu, gyldenu and silfrenu,


binnan Godes temple, and tō his lande mid him

ġe·lǣdde. Hit ġe·lamp eft siþþan þæt hē on swefne āne

ġe·sihþe be him selfum ġe·seah, swā swā him siþþan ā·ēode.

Æfter þissum ymb twelf mōnaþ, ēode se cyning binnan

his healle mid ormǣtre ūp-āhafennesse, hęriende his weorc


and his miht, and cwæþ: ‘Hū, ne is þis sēo miċle Babilōn,

þe ic self ġe·timbrode tō cyne-stōle and tō þrymme, mē

selfum to wlite and wuldre, mid mīnum āgnum mæġne

and stręnġþo?’ Ac him clipode þǣrrihte tō swīþe ęġeslic

stefn of heofonum, þus cweþende: ‘Þū Nabochodonosor,


þīn rīċe ġe·wītt fram þē, and þū bist fram mannum ā·worpen,

and þīn wunung biþ mid wildēorum, and þū itst gærs, swā

swā oxa, seofon ġēar, oþ þæt þū wite þæt se hēalica

God ġe·wielt manna rīċa, and þæt hē for·ġiefþ rīċe þǣm

þe hē wile.’


Witodlīce on þǣre ilcan tīde wæs þēos sprǣċ ġe·fylled

ofer Nabochodonosor, and hē arn tō wuda, and wunode mid

wildēorum, leofode be gærse, swā swā nīeten, oþ þæt his

feax wēox swā swā wīf-manna, and his næġlas swā swā

earnes clawa.


Eft siþþan him for·ġeaf se ælmihtiga Wealdend his ġe·witt,

and hē cwæþ: ‘Ic Nabochodonosor ā·hōf mīn ēagan ūp tō

heofonum, and mīn andġiet mē wearþ for·ġiefen, and ic þā

blētsode þone hīehstan God, and ic hęrede and wuldrode


þone þe leofaþ on ēċnesse, for þǣm þe his miht is ēċe, and


his rīċe stęnt on mǣġþe and on mǣġþe. Ealle eorþ-būend

sind tō nāhte ġe·tealde on his wiþ·metennesse. Æfter his

willan hē dēþ ǣġþer ġe on heofone ġe on eorþan, and nis

nān þing þe his mihte wiþ·stande, oþþe him tō cweþe ‘hwȳ

dēst þū swā?’ On þǣre tīde mīn andġiet ġe·węnde tō mē,


and ic be·cōm tō weorþ-mynde mīnes cyne-rīċes, and mīn

męnnisce hīw mē be·cōm. Mīne witan mē sōhton, and mīn

mǣrþo wearþ ġe·ēacnod. Nū eornostlīce ic mǣrsiġe and

wuldriġe þone heofonlican cyning, for þǣm þe eall his weorc

sind sōþ, and his wegas riht-wīse, and hē mæġ ġe·ēaþ-mēdan


þā þe on mōdiġnesse faraþ.’

Þus ġe·ēaþmēdde se ælmihtiga God þone mōdigan cyning





Ān mann wæs eardiende on Israhēla þēode, Manuē

ġe·hāten, of þǣre mǣġþe Dan; his wīf wæs un-tīemend, and

hīe wunodon būtan ċilde. Him cōm þā gangende tō Godes

ęnġel, and cwæþ þæt hīe scolden habban sunu him


ġe·mǣnne; ‘ne hē ealu ne drince nǣfre oþþe wīn, ne nāht

fūles ne þiċġe; sē biþ Gode hāliġ fram his ċildhāde; and

man ne mōt hine ęfsian oþþe be·sċieran, for þǣm þe hē

on·ġinþ tō ā·līesenne his folc, Israhēla þēode, of Philistēa



Hēo ā·cęnde þā sunu, swā swā hiere sæġde se ęnġel, and

hēt hine Samson; and hē swīþe wēox; and God hine blētsode,

and Godes gāst wæs on him. Hē wearþ þā mihtiġ on

miċelre stręnġþo, swā þæt hē ġe·lǣhte āne lēon be weġe, þe

hine ā·bītan wolde, and tō·bræġd hīe tō styċċum, swelce he


tō·tǣre sum ēaþelic tiċċen.

Hē be·gann þā tō winnenne wiþ þā Philistēos, and hiera

fela of·slōg and tō scame tūcode, þēah þe hīe onweald hæfden

ofer hīs lēode. Þā fērdon þā Philistēi forþ æfter Samsone,

and hēton his lēode þæt hīe hine ā·ġēafen tō hiera onwealde,


þæt hīe wrecan mihten hiera tēon-rǣdenne mid tintregum

on him. Hīe þā hine ġe·bundon mid twǣm bæstenum rāpum

and hine ġe·lǣddon tō þǣm folce. And þā Philistēiscan þæs

fæġnodon swīþe; urnon him tō·ġēanes ealle hlȳdende; woldon

hine tintreġian for hiera tēonrǣdenne. Þā tō·bræġd


Samson bēġen his earmas, þæt þā rāpas tō-burston þe hē mid


ġe·bunden wæs. And hē ġe·lǣhte þ a sōna sumes assan

ċinn-bān þe hē þǣr funde, and ġe·feaht wiþ hīe, and of·slōġ

ān þūsend mid þæs assan ċinnbāne. Hē wearþ þā swīþe

of·þyrst for þǣm wundorlican slęġe, and bæd þone heofonlican


God þæt hē him ā·sęnde drincan, for þǣm þe on þǣre

nēawiste næs nān wætersċipe. Þā arn of þǣn ċinnbāne

of ānum tēþ wæter; and Samson þā dranc, and his Dryhtne


Æfter þissum hē fērde tō Philistēa lande, intō ānre byriġ


on hiera onwealde, Gaza ġe·hāten. And hīe þæs fæġnodon;

be·sętton þā þǣt hūs þe hē inne wunode; woldon hine

ġe·niman mid þǣm þe hē ūt ēode on ǣrne-merġen, and hine

of·slēan. Hwæt þā Samson hiera sierwunga under·ġeat; and

ā·rās on middre nihte tō·middes his fēondum, and ġe·nam


þā burg-ġeatu, and ġe·bær on his hryċġe mid þǣm postum,

swā swā hīe be·locenu wǣron, ūp tō ānre dūne tō ufeweardum

þǣm cnolle; and ēode swā or-sorg of hiera ġe·sihþum.

Hine be·swāc swā·þēah siþþan ān wīf, Dalila ġe·hāten, of


þǣm hǣþnan folce, swā þæt hē hiere sæġde, þurh hiere swīcdōm

be·pǣht, on hwǣm his stręnġþo wæs and his wundorlicu

miht. Þā hǣþnan Philistēi be·hēton hiere sċeattas wiþ þǣm

þe hēo be·swice Samson þone strangan. Þā āscode hēo

hine ġeorne mid hiere ōlǣċunge on hwǣm his miht wǣre;


and hē hiere andwyrde: ‘Ġif ic bēo ġe·bunden mid seofon

rāpum, of sinum ġeworhte, sōna ic bēo ġe·wield.’ Þæt

swicole wīf þā be·ġeat þā seofon rāpas, and hē þurh sierwunge

swā wearþ ġe·bunden. And him man cȳþde þæt

þǣr cōmon his fīend; þā tō·bræc hē sōna þā rāpas, swā


swā hęfel-þrǣdas; and þæt wīf nyste on hwǣm his miht

wæs. Hē wearþ eft ġe·bunden mid eall-nīwum rāpum; and

hē þā tō·bræc, swā swā þā ōþre.

Hēo be·swāc hine swā·þēah, þæt hē hiere sæġde æt


nīehstan: ‘Ic eom Gode ġe·hālgod fram mīnum ċildhāde; and


ic næs nǣfre ġe·ęfsod, ne nǣfre be·scoren; and ġif ic bēo

be·scoren, þonne bēo ic un-mihtiġ, ōþrum mannum ġe·līc;’

and hēo lēt þā swā.

Hēo þā on sumum dæġe, þā þā hē on slǣpe læġ, for·ċearf

his seofon loccas, and ā·weahte hine siþþan; þā wæs


hē swā unmihtiġ swā swā ōþre męnn. And þā Philistēi

ġe·fēngon hine sōna, swā swā hēo hine be·lǣwde, and ġe·lǣddon

hine on·weġ; and hēo hæfde þone sċeatt, swā swā

him ġe·wearþ.

Hīe þā hine ā·blęndon, and ġe·bundenne lǣddon on


heardum racentēagum hām tō hiera byriġ, and on cwearterne

be·lucon tō langre fierste: hēton hine grindan æt

hiera hand-cweorne. Þā wēoxon his loccas and his miht

eft on him. And þā Philistēi full·blīþe wǣron: þancodon

hiera Gode, Dagon ġe·hāten, swelce hīe þurh his fultum


hiera fēond ġe·wielden.

Þā Philistēi þā miċle feorme ġe·worhton, and ġe·samnodon

hīe on sumre ūp-flōra, ealle þā hēafod-męnn, and

ēac swelce wīf-męnn, þrēo þūsend manna on miċelre blisse.

And þā þā hīe blīþost wǣron, þā bǣdon hīe sume þæt Samson


mōste him macian sum gamen; and hine man sōna

ġe·fętte mid swīþlicre wāfunge, and hēton hine standan

be·twix twǣm stǣnenum swēorum. On þǣm twǣm swēorum

stōd þæt hūs eall ġe·worht. And Samson þā plegode

swīþe him æt·foran; and ġe·lǣhte þā swēoras mid swīþlicre


mihte, and slōg hīe tō·gædre þæt hīe sōna tō·burston; and

þæt hūs þā ā·fēoll eall, þǣm folce tō dēaþe, and Samson

forþ mid, swā þæt hē miċle mā on his dēaþe ā·cwealde

þonne hē ǣr cwic dyde.




Breten īeġ-land is eahta hund mīla lang, and twā hund

mīla brād; and hēr sind on þǣm īeġlande fīf ġe·þēodu:

Ęnġlisc, Brettisc, Scyttisc, Pihtisc, and Bōc-læden.

Ǣrest wǣron būend þisses landes Brettas. Þā cōmon


of Armenia, and ġe·sǣton sūþan-wearde Bretene ǣrest. Þā

ġe·lamp hit þæt Peohtas cōmon sūþan of Scithian mid

langum sċipum, nā manigum; and þā cōmon ǣrest on

Norþ-ibernian ūp; and þǣr bǣdon Scottas þæt hīe þǣr

mōsten wunian. Ac hīe noldon him līefan, for þǣm þe hīe


cwǣdon þæt hīe ne mihten ealle æt·gædre ġe·wunian þǣr.

And þā cwǣdon þā Scottas: ‘Wē magon ēow hwæþre rǣd

ġe·lǣran: wē witon ōþer īeġland hēr-be·ēastan; þǣr ġē

magon eardian, ġif ġē willaþ; and ġif hwā ēow wiþ·stęnt,

wē ēow fultumiaþ þæt ġē hit mæġen ġe·gān.’


Þā fērdon þā Peohtas, and ġefērdon þis land norþan-weard;

sūþan-weard hit hæfdon Brettas, swā swā wē ǣr cwǣdon.

And þā Peohtas him ā·bǣdon wīf æt Scottum on þā ġe·rād

þæt hīe ġe·curen hiera cyne-cynn ā on þā wīf-healfe. Þæt

hīe hēoldon swā lange siþþan.


And þā ġe·lamp ymbe ġēara ryne þæt Scotta sum dǣl

ġe·wāt of Ibernian on Bretene, and þæs landes sumne dǣl

ġe·ēodon; and wæs hiera hęre-toga Rēoda ġe·hāten: fram

þæm hīe sind ġe·nęmnede Dālrēodi.


Anno 449. Hēr Martiānus and Valentīnus on·fēngon rīċe,


and rīċsodon seofon winter.

And on hiera dagum, Hęnġest and Horsa, fram Wyrtġeorne

ġe·laþode, Bretta cyninge, ġe·sōhton Bretene on þǣm

stęde þe is ġe·nęmned Ypwines-flēot, ǣrest Brettum tō fultume,

ac hīe eft on hīe fuhton.


Se cyning hēt hīe feohtan on·ġēan Peohtas; and hīe swā

dydon, and siġe hæfdon swā hwǣr swā hīe cōmon.

Hīe þā sęndon tō Angle, and hēton him sęndan māran

fultum; and hēton him sęċġan Bret-wēala nāhtnesse and þæs

landes cysta. Hīe þā sęndon him māran fultum. Þā cōmon


þā męnn of þrim mǣġþum Ġermānie: of Eald-seaxum, of

Ęnġlum, of Īotum.

Of Īotum cōmon Cant-ware and Wiht-ware—þæt is sēo

mǣġþ þe nū eardaþ on Wiht—and þæt cynn on West-seaxum

þe man nū·ġiet hǣtt ‘Īotena cynn.’ Of Eald-seaxum


cōmon Ēast-seaxe, and Sūþ-seaxe, and West-seaxe.

Of Angle cōmon—sē ā siþþan stōd wēste be·twix Īotum and

Seaxum—Ēast-ęnġle, Middel-ęnġle, Mierċe, and ealle Norþhymbre.

  1. Hēr Hęnġest and Horsa fuhton wiþ Wyrtġeorne


þǣm cyninge in þǣre stōwe þe is ġe·cweden Æġles-þrep;

and his brōþor Horsan man of·slōg. And æfter þǣm Hęnġest

fēng tō rīċe, and Æsc his sunu.

  1. Hēr Hęnġest and Æsc fuhton wiþ Brettas in þǣre

stōwe þe is ġe·cweden Cręċġan-ford, and þǣr of·slōgon


fēower þūsend wera. And þā Brettas þā for·lēton Cęnt-land,

and mid miċle ęġe flugon tō Lunden-byriġ.

  1. Hēr Henġest and Æsc ġe·fuhton wiþ Wēalas, and

ġe·nāmon un-ārīmedlicu hęre-rēaf, and þā Wēalas flugon

þā Ęnġle swā swā fȳr.


  1. Hēr nam Beorht-rīċ cyning Offan dohtor Ēad-burge.

And on his dagum cōmon ǣrest þrēo sċipu; and þā se


ġe·rēfa þǣr tō rād, and hīe wolde drīfan tō þæs cyninges

tūne, þȳ hē nyste hwæt hīe wǣron; and hine man of·slōg.

Þæt wǣron þā ǣrestan sċipu Dęniscra manna þe Angel-cynnes


land ġe·sōhton.

  1. Hēr Ċeorl ealdor-mann ġe·feaht wiþ hǣþne męnn

mid Defena-sċīre æt Wiċġan-beorge, and þǣr miċel wæl

ġe·slōgon, and siġe nāmon.

And þȳ ilcan ġēare Æþelstān cyning and Ealhhęre dux


miċelne hęre of·slōgon æt Sand-wīc on Cęnt; and nigon

sċipu ġe·fēngon, and þā ōþru ġe·flīemdon; and hǣþne męnn

ǣrest ofer winter sǣton.

And þȳ ilcan ġēare cōm fēorþe healf hund sċipa on

Tęmese-mūþan, and brǣcon Cantwara-burg, and Lunden-burg,


and ġe·flīemdon Beorhtwulf Mierċna cyning mid his

fierde; and fērdon þā sūþ ofer Tęmese on Sūþriġe; and

him ġe·feaht wiþ Æþelwulf cyning and Æþelbeald his

sunu æt Āc-lēa mid West-seaxna fierde, and þǣr þæt mǣste

wæl ġe·slōgon on hǣþnum hęre þe wē sęċġan hīerdon oþ


þisne andweardan dæġ, and þǣr siġe nāmon.

  1. Hēr fōr se hęre of Ēast-ęnġlum ofer Humbre-mūþan

tō Eoforwīc-ċeastre on Norþ-hymbre. And þǣr wæs miċel

un-ġeþwǣrnes þǣre þēode be·twix him selfum, and hīe

hæfdon hiera cyning ā·worpenne Ōsbryht, and un-ġecyndne


cyning under·fēngon Ællan. And hīe late on ġēare tō þǣm

ġe·ċierdon þæt hīe wiþ þone hęre winnende wǣron; and hīe

þēah miċle fierd ġe·gadrodon, and þone hęre sōhton æt

Eoforwīc-ċeastre; and on þā ċeastre brǣcon, and hīe sume

inne wurdon; and þǣr wæs un-ġemetlic wæl ge·slæġen Norþanhymbra,


sume binnan, sume būtan, and þā cyningas

bēġen ofslæġene; and sēo lāf wiþ þone hęre friþ nam.




Sum swīþe ġe·lǣred munuc cōm sūþan ofer sǣ fram sancte

Benedictes stōwe, on Æþelredes cyninges dæġe, to Dūnstāne

ærċe-biscope, þrim ġēarum ǣr þǣm þe hē forþ·fērde,

and se munuc hātte Abbo. Þā wurdon hīe æt sprǣċe, oþ


þæt Dūnstān reahte be sancte Ēadmunde, swā swā Ēadmundes

sweord-bora hit reahte Æþelstāne cyninge, þā þā

Dūnstān ġēong mann wæs, and se sweord-bora wæs for·ealdod

mann. Þā ġe·sętte se munuc ealle þā, ġe·ręċednesse on

ānre bēc, and eft, þā þā sēo bōc cōm tō ūs, binnan fēam


ġēarum, þā ā·węndon wē hit on Ęnġlisc, swā swā hit hēr·æfter

stęnt. Se munuc þā Abbo binnan twǣm ġēarum ġe·węnde

hām tō his mynstre, and wearþ sōna tō abbode

ġe·sętt on þǣm ilcan mynstre.

Ēadmund se ēadiga, Ēast-ęnġla cyning, wæs snotor and


weorþfull, and weorþode simle mid æþelum þēawum þone

ælmihtigan God. Hē wæs ēaþ-mōd and ġe·þungen, and

swā ān-rǣd þurh·wunode þæt hē nolde ā·būgan tō bismerfullum

leahtrum, ne on nāwþre healfe hē ne ā·hielde his

þēawas, ac wæs simle ġe·myndiġ þǣre sōþan lāre: ‘Ġif þū


eart tō hēafod-męnn ġe·sętt, ne ā·hęfe þū þē, ac bēo be·twix

mannum swā swā ān mann of him.’ Hē wæs

cystiġ wǣdlum and widewum swā swā fæder, and mid

wel-willendnesse ġe·wissode his folc simle tō riht-wīsnesse,

and þǣm rēþum stīerde, and ġe·sǣliġlīce leofode on sōþum




Hit ġe·lamp þā æt nīehstan þæt þā Dęniscan lēode fērdon

mid sċip-hęre, hęrgiende and slēande wīde ġeond land, swā

swā hiera ġe·wuna is. On þǣm flotan wǣron þā fyrmestan

hēafod-męnn, Hinguar and Hubba, ġe·ānlǣhte þurh dēofol,


and hīe on Norþhymbra-lande ġe·lęndon mid æscum, and

ā·wēston þæt land, and þā lēode of·slōgon. Þā ġe·węnde

Hinguar ēast mid his sċipum, and Hubba be·lāf on Norþhymbra-lande,

ġe·wunnenum siġe mid wæl-hrēownesse.

Hinguar þā be·cōm tō Ēast-ęnġlum rōwende on þǣm ġēare


þe Ælfred æþeling ān and twęntiġ ġēara wæs, sē þe West-seaxna

cyning siþþan wearþ mǣre. And se fore-sæġda

Hinguar fǣrlīce, swā swā wulf, on lande be·stealcode, and

þā lēode slōg, weras and wīf, and þā unġewittigan ċīld,

and to bismere tūcode þā bilewītan Crīstenan. Hē sęnde


þā siþþan sōna tō þǣm cyninge bēotlic ǣrende, þæt hē

ā·būgan scolde tō his mann-rǣdenne, ġif hē his fēores rōhte.

Se ǣrend-raca cōm þā tō Ēadmunde cyninge, and Hinguares

ǣrende him arodlīce ā·bēad: ‘Hinguar ūre cyning, cēne

and siġefæst on sǣ and on lande, hæfþ fela þēoda ġe·weald,


and cōm nū mid fierde fǣrlīce hēr tō lande, þæt

hē hēr winter-setl mid his werode hæbbe. Nū hǣtt hē þē

dǣlan þīne dīeglan gold-hordas and þīnra ieldrena ġe·strēon

arodlīce wiþ hine, and þū bēo his under-cyning, ġif þū

cwic bēon wilt, for þǣm þe þū næfst þā miht þæt þū mæġe


him wiþ·standan.’

Hwæt þā Ēadmund cyning clipode ānne biscop þe him

þā ġe·hęndost wæs, and wiþ hine smēade hū hē þǣm

rēþan Hinguare andwyrdan scolde. Þā forhtode se biscop

for þǣm fǣrlican ġe·limpe, and for þæs cyninges līfe,


and cwæþ þæt him rǣd þūhte þæt hē tō þǣm ġe·buge þe

him bēad Hinguar. Þā swīgode se cyning, and be·seah

tō þǣre eorþan, and cwæþ þā æt nīehstan cynelīce him

tō: ‘Ēalā þū biscop, tō bismere sind ġe·tāwode þās earman


land-lēode, and mē nū lēofre wǣre þæt ic on ġe·feohte


fēolle wiþ þǣm þe mīn folc mōste hiera eardes brūcan.’

And se biscop cwæþ: ‘Ēalā þū lēofa cyning, þīn folc

līþ of·slæġen, and þū næfst þone fultum þæt þū feohtan

mæġe, and þās flot-męnn cumaþ, and þē cwicne ġe·bindaþ,

būtan þū mid flēame þīnum fēore ġe·beorge, oþþe þū þē swā


ġe·beorge þæt þū būge tō him.’ Þā cwæþ Ēadmund cyning,

swā swā hē full·cēne wæs: ‘þæs ic ġe·wilniġe and ġe·wȳsċe

mid mōde þæt ic āna ne be·līfe æfter mīnum lēofum þeġnum,

þe on hiera będdum wurdon mid bearnum and wīfum fǣrlīce

of·slæġene fram þissum flot-mannum. Næs mē nǣfre ġe·wunelic


þæt ic worhte flēames, ac ic wolde swīþor sweltan,

ġif ic þorfte, for mīnum āgnum earde, and se ælmihtiga God

wāt þæt ic nyle ā·būgan fram his bī-gęnġum ǣfre, ne fram

his sōþre lufe, swelte ic, libbe ic.’

Æfter þissum wordum hē ġe·węnde tō þǣm ǣrend-racan þe


Hinguar him tō sęnde, and sæġde him un·forht: ‘Witodlīce

þū wǣre nū wierþe slęġes, ac ic nyle ā·fȳlan on þīnum fūlum

blōde mīne clǣnan handa, for þǣm þe ic Crīste folgiġe, þe

ūs swā ġe·bȳsnode; ac ic blīþelīce wile bēon of·slæġen

þurh ēow, ġif hit swā God fore-sċēawaþ. Far nū swīþe hraþe,


and sęġe þīnum rēþan hlāforde, “ne ā·bȳhþ nǣfre Ēadmund

Hinguare on līfe, hǣþnum hęre-togan, būtan hē to Hǣlende

Crīste ǣrest mid ġe·lēafan on þissum lande ġe·būge.”‘

Þā ġe·węnde se ǣrend-raca arodlīce on·weġ, and ġe·mētte

be weġe þone wæl-hrēowan Hinguar mid ealre his fierde


fūse to Ēadmunde, and sæġde þǣm ārleasan hū him ġe·andwyrd

wæs. Hinguar bebēad þā mid bieldo þǣm sċip-hęre

þæt hīe þæs cyninges ānes ealle cēpan scolden, þe his hǣse

for·seah, and hine sōna bindan.

Hwæt þā Ēadmund cyning, mid þǣm þe Hinguar cōm,


stōd innan his healle, þæs Hǣlendes ġe·myndiġ, and ā·wearp

his wǣpnu: wolde ġe·efenlǣċan Crīstes ġe·bȳsnungum, þe


for·bēad Petre mid wǣpnum tō winnenne wiþ þā wælhrēowan

Iūdēiscan. Hwæt þā ārlēasan þā Ēadmund ġe·bundon, and

ġe·bismrodon huxlīce, and bēoton mid sāglum, and swā


siþþan lǣddon þone ġe·lēaffullan cyning tō ānum eorþ-faestan

trēowe, and tīeġdon hine þǣr-tō mid heardum bęndum,

and hine eft swungon langlīce mid swipum; and hē

simle clipode be·twix þǣm swinglum mid sōþum ġe·lēafan tō

Hǣlende Crīste; and þā hǣþnan þā for his ġe·lēafan wurdon


wōdlīce ierre, for þǣm þe hē clipode Crīst him tō fultume:

hīe scuton þā mid gafelocum him tō, swelce him to gamene,

oþ þæt hē eall wæs be·sętt mid hiera scotungum, swelce īles

byrsta, swā swā Sebastiānus wæs. Þā ġe·seah Hinguar, se

ārlēasa flotmann, þæt se æþela cyning nolde Crīste wiþ·sacan,


ac mid ānrǣdum ġe·lēafan hine ǣfre clipode: hēt hine þā

be·hēafdian, and þā hǣþnan swā dydon. Be·twix þǣm þe hē

clipode tō Crīste þā·ġiet, þā tugon þā hǣþnan þone hālgan

tō slęġe, and mid ānum swęnġe slōgon him of þæt hēafod,

and his sāwol sīþode ġe·sǣliġ tō Crīste. Þǣr wæs sum


mann ġe·hęnde ġe·healden, þurh God be·hȳdd þǣm hǣþnum,

þe þis ġe·hīerde eall, and hit eft sæġde, swā swā wē hit

sęċġaþ hēr.

Hwæt þā se flot-hęre fērde eft tō sċipe, and be·hȳddon þæt

hēafod þæs hālgan Ēadmundes on þǣm þiċċum brēmlum,


þæt hit be·byrġed ne wurde. Þā æfter fierste siþþan hīe

ā·farene wǣron, cōm þæt land-folc tō, þe þǣr tō lāfe wæs,

þǣr hiera hlāfordes līc læġ būtan hēafde, and wurdon swiþe

sāriġe for his slęġe on mōde, and hūru þæt hīe næfden þæt

hēafod tō þǣm bodiġe. Þā sæġde se sċēawere þe hit ǣr


ġe·seah, þæt þā flotmęnn hæfden þæt hēafod mid him; and

wæs him ġe·þūht, swā swā hit wæs full·sōþ, þæt hīe behȳdden

þæt hēafod on þǣm holte for·hwega.

Hīe ēodon þā ęndemes ealle tō þǣm wuda, sēċende ġe·hwǣr,

ġeond þȳflas and brēmlas, ġif hīe ā-hwǣr mihten



ġe·mētan þæt hēafod. Wæs ēac miċel wundor þæt ān wulf

wearþ ā·sęnd, þurh Godes wissunge, tō be·węrienne þæt

hēafod wiþ þā ōþru dēor ofer dæġ and niht. Hīe ēodon þā

sēċende and simle clipiende, swā swā hit ġe·wunelic is þǣm

þe on wuda gāþ oft, ‘hwǣr eart þū nū, ġe·fēra?’ And him


andwyrde þæt hēafod, ‘hēr, hēr, hēr;’ and swā ġe·lōme

clipode andswariende him eallum, swā oft swā hiera ǣniġ

clipode, oþ þæt hīe ealle be·cōmon þurh þā clipunge him tō.

Þā læġ se grǣga wulf þe be·wiste þæt hēafod, and mid his

twǣm fōtum hæfde þæt hēafod be·clypped, grǣdiġ and hungriġ,


and for Gode ne dorste þæs hēafdes on·byrġan, ac

hēold hit wiþ dēor. Þā wurdon hīe of·wundrode þæs

wulfes hierd-rǣdenne, and þæt hāliġe hēafod hām fęredon

mid him, þanciende þǣm Ælmihtigan ealra his wundra.

Ac se wulf folgode forþ mid þǣm hēafde, oþ þæt hīe tō


tūne cōmon, swelce hē tam wære, and ġe·węnde eft siþþan

tō wuda on·ġēan.

Þā land-lēode þā siþþan lęġdon þæt hēafod tō þǣm hālgan

bodiġe, and be·byriġdon swā hīe sēlest mihton on swelcre

hrædunge, and ċiriċan ā·rǣrdon sōna him on·uppan. Eft


þā on fierste, æfter fela ġēarum, þā sēo hęrgung ġe·swāc,

and sibb wearþ for·ġiefen þǣm ġe·swęnċtan folce, þā fēngon

hīe tō·gædre, and worhton āne ċiriċan weorþlīce þǣm hālgan,

for þǣm þe ge·lōme wundru wurdon æt his byrġenne, æt

þǣm ġe·bed-hūse þǣr hē be·byrġed wæs. Hīe woldon þā


fęrian mid folclicre weorþmynde þone hālgan līchaman, and

lęċġan innan þǣre ċiriċan. Þā wæs miċel wundor þæt hē

wæs eall swā ġe·hāl swelce hē cwic wǣre, mid clǣnum līchaman,

and his swēora wæs ġe·hǣled, þe ǣr wæs for·slæġen, and

wæs swelce ān seolcen þrǣd ymbe his swēoran, mannum tō


sweotolunge hū hē ofs·læġen wæs. Ēac swelce þā wunda,

þe þā wælhrēowan hǣþnan mid ġe·lōmum scotungum on his

līce macodon, wǣron ġe·hǣlde þurh þone heofonlican God;


and hē; līþ swā onsund oþ þisne and-weardan dæġ, and-bīdiende

ǣristes and þæs ēċan wuldres. His līchama ūs


cȳþþ, þe līþ un-formolsnod, þæt hē būtan for·liġre hēr on

worulde leofode, and mid clǣnum līfe tō; Crīste sīþode.

Sum widewe wunode, Ōswyn ġe·hāten, æt þæs hālgan

byrġenne, on ġe·bedum and fæstennum manigu ġēar siþþan.

Sēo wolde ęfsian ǣlce ġēare þone sanct, and his næġlas


ċeorfan sīeferlīce mid lufe, and on scrīne healdan tō hāliġ-dōme

on weofode. Þa weorþode þæt land-folc mid ġe·lēafan þone

sanct, and Þēodred biscop þearle mid ġiefum on golde and

on seolfre, þǣm sancte tō weorþmynde.

Þā cōmon on sumne sǣl un-ġesǣlige þēofas eahta on


ānre nihte tō þǣm ār-weorþan hālgan: woldon stelan þā

māþmas þe męnn þider brōhton, and cunnodon mid cræfte

hū hīe inn cuman mihten. Sum slōg mid slęċġe swīþe þā

hæspan, sum hiera mid fēolan fēolode ymb·ūtan, sum ēac

under·dealf þā duru mid spadan, sum hiera mid hlǣddre wolde


on·lūcan þǣt ēag-þȳrel; ac hīe swuncon on īdel, and earmlīce

fērdon, swā þæt se hālga wer hīe wundorlīce ġe·band,

ǣlcne swā hē stōd strūtiendne mid tōle, þæt hiera nān ne

mihte þæt morþ ġe·fręmman ne hīe þanon ā·styrian; ac

stōdon swā oþ merġen. Męnn þā þæs wundrodon, hū þā


weargas hangodon, sum on hlǣddre, sum lēat tō ġe·delfe,

and ǣlc on his weorce wæs fæste ġe·bunden. Hīe wurdon

þā ġe·brōhte tō þǣm biscope ealle, and hē hēt hīe ā·hōn on

hēam ġealgum ealle; ac hē næs nā ġe·myndiġ hū se mildheorta

God clipode þurh his wītegan þās word þe hēr standaþ:


Eos qui ducuntur ad mortem eruere ne cesses, ‘þā þe man lǣtt

tō dēaþe ā·līes hīe ūt simle.’ And ēac þā hālgan canōnes

bēc ġe·hādodum for·bēodaþ ġe biscopum ġe prēostum tō

bēonne ymbe þēofas, for þǣm þe hit ne ġe·byreþ þǣm þe

bēop ġe·corene Gode to þeġnienne þæt hīe ġe·þwǣrlǣċan


scylen on ǣniġes mannes dēaþe, ġif hīe bēoþ Dryhtnes


þeġnas. Eft þā Þēodred biscop sċēawode his bēc, hē siþþan

be·hrēowsode mid ġēomrunge þæt hē swā rēþne dōm sętte

þǣm unġesǣligum þēofum, and hit be·sārgode ǣfre oþ his

līfes ęnde, and þā lēode bæd ġeorne þæt hīe him mid fæsten


fullīce þrīe dagas, biddende þone Ælmihtigan þæt hē him

ārian scolde.

On þǣm lande wæs sum mann, Lēofstān ġe·hāten, rīċe

for worulde, un-ġewittiġ for Gode; sē rād tō þǣm hālgan

mid rīċetere swīþe, and hēt him æt·īewan orgellīce swīþe


þone hālgan sanct, hwæþer hē ġe·sund wǣre; ac swā hraþe

swā hē ġe·seah þæs sanctes līchaman, þā ā·wēdde hē sōna,

and wæl-hrēowlīce grymetode, and earmlīce ġe·ęndode yflum

dēaþe. Þis is þǣm ġe·līc þe se ġe·lēaffulla pāpa Gregōrius

sæġde on his ġesętnesse be þǣm hālgan Laurentie, þe līþ on


Rōme-byriġ, þæt męnn wolden sċēawian hū hē lǣġe ġe

gōde ġe yfle; ac God hīe ġe·stilde swā þæt þǣr swulton

on þǣre sċēawunge seofon męnn æt·gædre; þā ġeswicon

þā ōþre tō sċēawienne þone martyr mid męnniscum ġe·dwylde.


Fela wundra wē ġe·hīerdon on folclicre sprǣċe be þǣm

hālgan Ēadmunde, þe wē hēr nyllaþ on ġe·write sęttan, ac hīe

wāt ġe·hwā. On þissum hālgan is sweotol, and on swelcum

ōþrum, þæt God ælmihtiġ mæġ þone mann ā·rǣran eft on

dōmes dæġe onsundne of eorþan, sē þe hielt Ēadmund hālne


his līchaman oþ þone mīċlan dæġ, þēah þe hē on moldan cōme.

Wierþe wǣre sēo stōw for þǣm weorþfullan hālgan þæt hīe

man weorþode and wel ġe·lōgode mid clǣnum Godes þēowum

tō Crīstes þēowdōme; for þǣm þe se hālga is mǣrra þonne

męnn mæġen ā·smēan. Nis Angel-cynn be·dǣled Dryhtnes


hālgena, þonne on Ęnġla-lande liċġaþ swelce hālgan swelce

þes hālga cyning, and Cūþberht se ēadiga and sancte

Æþelþrȳþ on Ēliġ, and ēac hiere sweostor, onsund on līchaman,

ġe·lēafan tō trymmunge. Sind ēac fela ōþre on


Angel-cynne hālgan, þe fela wundra wyrċaþ, swā swā hit


wīde is cūþ, þǣm Ælmihtigan tō lofe, þe hīe on ġe·līefdon.

Crīst ġe·sweotolaþ mannum þurh his mǣre hālgan þæt hē is

ælmihtiġ God þe wyrċþ swelc wundru, þēah þe þā earman

Iūdēiscan hine eallunga wiþ·sōcen, for þǣm þe hīe sind

ā·wierġde, swā swā hīe wȳsċton him selfum. Ne bēoþ nān


wundru ġe·worht æt hiera byrġennum, for þǣm þe hīe ne

ġe·līefaþ on þone lifiendan Crīst; ac Crīst ġe·sweotolaþ

mannum hwǣr se gōda ġe·lēafa is, þonne hē swelc wundru

wyrċþ þurh his hālgan wīde ġeond þās eorþan, þæs him sīe

wuldor and lof ā mid his heofonlicum Fæder and þǣm Hālgan


Gāste, ā būtan ęnde.


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The references marked ‘Gr.’ are to the pages and paragraphs of the grammar; paragraph-references in ( ) are to the numbered paragraphs in the grammar.


Line 2. sē. Gr. 21. 1.

þis sind. Gr. 45. 2.

  1. 6. sęlþ.Gr. 45. 5.
  2. 7. sēo ælmesse.Gr. 44. 3.
  3. 12. ġeworhte.Gr. 46. (3).
  4. 16. hiera.Gr. 41. 3.

nǣfre … ne … nānes. Gr. 52. 2. ne wæs is usually contracted into næs; the full form is used here because the wæs is emphatic.

  1. 17. hēt ofslēan.Gr. 50. 4.
  2. 23. Æþelred cyning.Gr. 42. 6.
  3. 24. Æsces-dūnsf.Ashdown, literally ‘hill (or down) of the ashtree.’
  4. 27. wilehere denotes repetition, = ‘is in the habit of.’ Cp. l. 52.
  5. 28. þonneis correlative with gif(l. 26), Gr. 52. 3.
  6. 37. ælmihtiga.Gr. 43. (4).
  7. 43. ēower se heofonlica Fæder.This insertion of the definite article between a possessive pronoun and an adjective is frequent.
  8. 50. bēo.Gr. 48. (6).
  9. 52. , for.
  10. 56. twęntiġ wintra.Gr. 18.
  11. 58. Dēofol.Gr. 44. 1.
  12. 60. scortan.Gr. 43. (2).
  13. 61. fisca.Gr. 41. 3.
  14. 63. pǣm, those.

hider on land, lit. hither on to land, = to this land.

  1. 74. blētsian.The older form of this word is bledsian. It is a derivative of blōd, like rīċsianfrom rīċe, with mutation of the root vowel. Its original meaning was to ‘sprinkle with blood,’ and hence, in heathen times, to ‘consecrate,’ especially to consecrate an altar by sprinkling it with the blood of the victim.
  2. 80. godspell.The original form of this word was probably gōdspell= ‘good tidings,’ a literal translation of the Greek euaggélion. {92}Afterwards the first vowel was shortened before the following consonant-group, or else god was directly substituted for gōd, as giving a more evident meaning, the result being that the word was taken in the sense of ‘God’s tidings.’ In this form it was adopted into Icelandic (guðspiall) and Old High German (gotespel), having been introduced by the Old English missionaries.

biþ. Gr. 45. 5.

  1. 82. hīe.Gr. 19.
  2. 89. him on ǣlce healfe, lit. ‘to (for) themselves on each side,’ = on every side (of themselves).
  3. 92. rihtne.Gr. 42. 5.
  4. 93. Æþelwulf-ing.Gr. 38.
  5. 101. fare ġē.Gr. 22. 7.
  6. 106. forsāwon.A plural verb after a singular noun of multitude is common in O. E., as in other languages.
  7. 107. ġif se blinda blindne lǣtt.ġifhere takes the indic., instead of the subj. (Gr. 48. 6), because the case is not assumed to be unreal. So also in V. 13, where the opposition (wiþstęnt) is assumed as certain, and VI. 19.
  8. 114. cwǣde.Gr. 48. (5).
  9. 118. mæġe.Compare Gr. 47. (B. 1).
  10. 119. sīe.Gr. 47. (A).
  11. 120. Scotlandis here used in its older sense of ‘Ireland.’ Compare the first extract from the Chronicle, p. 79below.
  12. 121. his.Gr. 41. 3.
  13. 123. healden.Gr. 48. (2).
  14. 124. wǣre.Gr. 47. (B. 1).
  15. 132. sē þe.Gr. 21.
  16. 135. þæt.Gr. 21; 52. 3.
  17. 137. on ēare.Gr. 51. 2.
  18. 138. ġewęndon him, lit. ‘they went for-themselves’; a reflexive pronoun in the dative, Gr. 40. (1), is often added to verbs of motion.
  19. 139. dō ġē.Gr. 22.
  20. 142. grēte.Compare Gr. 49. (8).
  21. 145. swelce, adverb, ‘as it were.’
  22. 151. nime.Gr. 49. (7).
  23. 161. cōme.Compare mæġe, l. 118 above.
  24. 166. ofslæġenne.Gr. 46. 5.
  25. 176. ġeweorþan.Gr. 47. (B. 1.)
  26. 180. wolde.Gr. 45. 5.
  27. 191. bēon.Gr. 48. (2).{93}
  29. 1. þās mīn word.Gr. 43. 8.
  30. 16. āweorpe.Gr. 49. (8).
  31. 20. hitrefers back to sǣd, l. 18.
  32. 22. ūp sprungenre sunnan.Gr. 41. 2.
  33. 28. is ġeworden.An over-literal rendering of the Latin factum est.
  34. 32. hine, reflexive, Gr. 19.
  35. 40. tō forbærnenne.We see here how out of the active ‘in order to burn it’ may be developed the passive ‘in order that it may be burnt,’ as in the modern E. ‘a house to let.’ Compare Gr. 50. 4, (1).
  36. 52. on hiera fatu.Compare l. 137.
  37. 60. ġewordenre ġecwidrǣenne þǣm wyrhtum.A very stiff adaptation of the ablative absolute of the original, ‘conventione autem facta cum operariis.’ þǣm wyrhtumis to be taken as a dative of the person affected (Gr. 41).
  38. 67. dyde þǣm swā ġelīce.The Latin has simply ‘fecit similiter.’ The sense is ‘did like to it’ (like his former proceeding), the swābeing pleonastic.
  39. 86. þæt.Gr. 21.
  40. 90. suna, dative, ‘for his son.’
  41. 106. ġiefthūs.hūsmust here be taken in the sense of ‘hall,’ ‘chamber.’ In Icelandic the plural hūs is regularly used to denote the group of buildings (often detached) constituting a house or homestead, the kitchen, for instance, which was originally detached, being still called eldhūs (fire-house).
  42. 107. þæt hē wolde gesēon.This clause is due to a confusion of two constructions, (1) hē wolde ġesēon, (2) þæt(in order that) hē ġe·sāwe.


The first two pieces are taken from Ælfric’s translation of the Heptateuch, first published by Thwaites in his Heptateuchus, and afterwards by Grein as vol. i. of his Bibliothek der angelsächsischen Prosa—Genesis xi. and xxii. The other three are from Ælfric’s Homilies (edited by Thorpe)—ii. 584 foll., i. 570, ii. 432.

  1. 4. him betwēonan.Gr. 51. 5.
  2. 13. læden.This word is the Latin latina(= lingua latina) used first in the sense of ‘Latin language,’ then of language generally.{94}
  3. 17. for þǣm … for þǣm þe, correlative, the first demonstrative, the second relative.
  4. 28. tō scoldon.This use of sċealwith a verb of motion understood is very common.
  5. 36. him self.himis the reflexive dative of interest referring to God—literally, ‘God him-self will appoint for him-self.’ In such constructions we see the origin of the modern himselfthemselves.
  6. 46, 47. nū … nū, correlative, = now … now that, the second being almost causal (since).
  7. 51. hæfde … tō, took … for.
  8. 52. Gode tō lāce.Gr. 40. (1).
  9. 57. mīn ęġe, objective genitive, ‘the fear of me.’

māre, neut. ‘a greater thing,’ ‘something more important.’

  1. 81. māre.Cp. l. 57.
  2. 82. wǣre.Gr. 49. (7).
  3. 89. hwæsis governed by ġiernde, by ‘attraction.’
  4. 135. miċle, adverb.
  5. 137. wǣre.Gr, 49. (7).
  6. 153. belīefanis a later form for ġelīefan.
  7. 156. tō handum.Cp. l. 122 above.
  8. 174. ǣr ġenam.Gr. 46. 6.
  9. 200. fram mannum.framhere, as usual, denotes the agent ‘by’ in passive constructions.
  10. 202. wite.Compare Gr. 48. (3) and 49. (8).
  11. SAMSON.

From Ælfric’s translation of the Book of Judges in Thwaites’ Heptateuch.

  1. 8. onġinþ tō ālīesenne, will release, onġinnanis often used pleonastically in this way.
  2. 35. Gaza ġehāten.When a name together with ġehātenis put in apposition to another noun it is left undeclined, contrary to the general principle (Gr. 42. 6).
  3. 41. swā swā hīe belocenu wǣron, locked as they were.

ufeweardum þǣm cnolle. Gr. 43. 2.

  1. 46. wæs, consisted.
  2. 51. ġeworhte.We should expect ġeworhtum(Gr. 42. 5). Perhaps the nom. is due to confusion with the construction with a relative clause—þe of sinum ġeworhte sind.{95}
  3. 74. Dagon ġehāten.Compare l. 35. swelce, ‘on the ground that’—’because (as they said).’
  4. 81. hēton.Compare l. 106.
  5. 87. forþis often used pleonastically in this way with mid.
  7. 2. hēr sind, there are here. hēris here used analogously to þǣr, as in II. 3 and the modern E. there are. Cp. also l. 12 below.

ġeþēodu, languages as the test of nationality. It is believed that Latin was still spoken as a living language by the Romanized Britons at the time of the venerable Bede (eighth century), from whose Church History this section was taken by the compilers of the Chronicle.

  1. 5. Armeniais an error for Armorica.
  2. 6. Scithie, Scythia.
  3. 8. Norþibernie, North of Ireland.
  4. 24. hēr, at this date—at this place in the series of entries which constitute the Chronicle.
  5. 26. Wyrtġeornis the regular development of an earlier *Wurtigernfrom the British Vortigern.
  6. 28. Ypwinesflēothas not been identified; some say Ebbsfleet.
  7. 45. Æġlesþrep, Aylesthorpe, a village near Aylesford.
  8. 49. Cręċġanford, Crayford.
  9. 52. The diction of this passage, with its alliteration and simile, shows that it is taken from some old poem.
  10. 61. hǣþne męnn, Danes.
  11. 62. mid Defena-sċīre, literally ‘together with Devonshire,’ that is ‘with a force of Devonshire men.’
  12. 64. duxis here written instead of ealdormann. So also we find rexfor cyning.
  13. 65. Sandwīc, Sandwich.
  14. 68. fēorþe healf hund, fourth half = three and a half. This is the regular way of expressing fractional numbers, as in the German viertehalb.
  15. 71. Sūþriġe, Surrey.
  16. 73. Āclēa, Ockley.
  17. 76. se hęre, the Danish army. hęregot a bad sense, through its association with hęrgian(to harry), and hence is applied only to a plundering, marauding body of men. In the Laws hęre is defined as {96}a gang of thieves more than thirty-five in number. The national English army (militia) is called fierd, l. 71, 3 above.

Humbremūþa, mouth of the Humber.

  1. 77. Eoforwīc, York; a corruption of Eboracum.
  2. 84. inne wurdon, got in.
  3. 85. sume.Compare IV. 51.

From Ælfric’s Lives of the Saints, now published for the Early English Text Society by Prof. Skeat. The present life has been printed only by Thorpe, in his Analecta Anglosaxonica from a very late MS. It is here given from the older MS., Cott. Jul. E. 7.

It will be observed that the present piece is in alliterative prose, that is, with the letter-rime of poetry, but without its metrical form. The alliteration is easily discernible:—cōm sūþan ofer sǣ fram sancte Benedictes stōwe; dæġe, tō Dūnstāne, &c.

  1. 1. sancteis an English modification of the Latin genitive sancti.
  2. 5. sancteis here the E. dative inflection, sancthaving been made into a substantive.
  3. 39. bilewīt*bile-hwīt(with the regular change of hw into w between vowels) literally ‘white (=tender) of bill,’ originally, no doubt, applied to young birds, and then used metaphorically in the sense of ‘gentle,’ ‘simple.’
  4. 70. worhte flēames.This construction of wyrcanwith a genitive is frequent.
  5. 76. wǣre, subj. Gr. 48. (6).
  6. 85. fūse.The correct reading is probably fūsne, but the plural fūsemay be taken to refer to Hinguar and his men collectively.
  7. 149. ġebedhūs.The Welsh bettws, as in Bettws-y-coed = ‘chapel in the wood,’ still preserves the O. E. form nearly unchanged.
  8. 176. swā þætdoes not denote result here, but is explanatory—’namely by being bound….’
  9. 178. hīe, reflexive.
  10. 179. þæs … hū, correlative.
  11. 185. The reference is apparently to Proverbs xxiv. 11, which (in the Vulgate) runs thus: ‘Erue eos qui ducuntur ad mortem.’
  12. 200. hwæþer, (that he might see) whether …
  13. 215. līchaman, instrumental dative (Gr. 41) of defining.
  14. 222. Ēliġǣl-īeg‘eel-island.


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The order is strictly alphabetical (þ following t) except that words with the prefix ge are put in the order of the letter that follows the ge (gebed under b, &c.).

The following abbreviations are used :—

sm.sn.sf. masc., neut., fem. substantive.

  1. strong verb.
  2. weak verb.

swv. strong-weak verb (preterito-present).

The others require no explanation.

The numbers after sv. refer to the classes of strong verbs in the grammar.

Words in [ ] are Latin (and Greek) originals or cognate Old E. words. The latter are only referred to when the connection can be proved by the phonetic laws given in the grammar.

Ā, av. ever, always.

abbodsm. abbot [Latin abbatem].

ā-·bēodansv. 7w. dat. (offer), announce.

ā-·biddansv. 5, ask for, demand.

ā-·bītansv. 6, devour.

ā-·blęndanwv. blind [blind].

ā-·brecansv. 4, break into, take (city).

ā-·būgansv. 7, bend; swerve, turn.

accj. but.

ā-·cęnnanwv. bring forth, bear (child).

ā-·cwęllanwv. kill.

ā-·cwęnċanwv. extinguish.

ā-·drūgianwv. dry up, intr. [drȳġe].

ā-·dwǣsċanwv. extinguish.

æcersm. field.

æþeleaj. noble, excellent.

æþelingsm. prince.

ǣfensm. evening.

ǣfreav. ever, always.

æfterav.prep. w. dat. after—æfter þǣem, after that, afterwards; according to, by.

ǣġ-hwelcprn. each.

ǣġþerprn. either, each—cj. ǣġþer ġe … ġe, both … and [ = ǣġ hwæþer].

ǣhtsf. property [āhte, āgan].

ǣlanwv. burn.

ǣlċaj. each.

ælmessesf. alms, charity [Greek eleēmosúnē].

æl-mihti[g.]aj. almighty.

ǣniġaj. any [ān].

ǣrprep. w. dat. before (of time), ǣr þǣm þe, cj. before.

ǣrav. formerly, before; superl. ǣrest, adj. and adv., first.

ærċe-biscopsm. archbishop [Latin archiepiscopus].

ǣrendesn. errand, message.


ǣrend-racasm. messenger.

ǣ-ristsfm. (rising again), resurrection [ārīsan].

ǣrne-mergensm. early morning.

æscsm. (ash-tree); war-ship.

ætprp. w. dat. at; deprivation, from; originsource—ābǣdon wīf æt him, ‘asked for wives from them;’ specificationdefining—wurdon æt sprǣċe, ‘fell into conversation.’

æt-·breġdansv. 3 (snatch away), deprive of.

æt-·foranprp. w. dat. before.

æt-·gædreav. together.

æt-īewanwv. w. dat. show.

ǣtonsee etan.

ā-·fandianwv. experience, find out [findan].

ā-·faransv. 2, go away, depart.

ā-·feallansv. 1, fall.

ā-·fēdanwv. feed.

ā-·fȳlanwv. defile [fūl].

ā-fyrhtaj. frightened [past partic. of ā·fyrhtan from forht].

āganswv. possess.

ā-·gānsv. happen.

āgenaj. own [originally past partic. of āgan].

ā-·ġiefansv. 5w. dat. give, render.

āhsee āgan.

ā-·hębbansv. 2, raise, exalt.

ā-·hieldanwv. incline.

ā-·hōnsv. 1, hang, trans.

ā-·hrēosansv. 7, fall.

āhtesee āgan.

ā-hwǣrav. anywhere.

ā-·hȳranwv. hire.

ā-·līesanwv. (loosen), release; redeem [lēas].

ā-·līesed-nessf. redemption.

ā-līesendsm. redeemer.

ānaj. one (always strong); a certain one, certain; alone (generally weak); gen. pl. ānra in ānra ge-hwelċ, ‘each one.’

ān-cęnnedaj. (past partic.) (only-born), only (child).

andcj. and.

and-bīdianwv. w. gen. wait, expect [bīdan].

andet-nessf. confession.

andettanwv. confess.

and-ġietsn. sense, meaning; understanding, intelligence.

and-swarianwv. w. dat. answer [andswaru].

and-swarusf. answer [swęrian].

and-weardaj. present.

and-wyrdanwv. w. dat. answer [word].

Angelsm. Anglen (a district in Slesvig).

Angel-cynnsn. English nation, England.

ā-·nimansv. 4, take away.

ān-lǣċanwv. unite.

ān-mōdaj. unanimous.

ān-mōd-līceav. unanimously.

ān-rǣdaj. (of one counsel) constant, firm, resolute.

apostolsm. apostle.

ārsf. mercy; honour.

ā-·rǣranwv. raise, build [ārīsan].

ārianwv. w. dat. honour; spare, have mercy on [ār].

ā-·rīsansv. 6, arise.

ār-lēasaj. wicked.

arnsee iernan.

arodaj. quick, bold.

arod-līceav. quickly, readily, boldly.

ār-weorþadj. worthy of honour, venerable.

āscianwv. ask.

ā-·scūfansv. 7, thrust.

ā-·sęndanwv. send.

ā-·sęttanwv. set, place.

ā-·smēanwv. consider, think of, conceive.

assasm. ass.

ā-·stęllanwv. institute.

ā-·stīgansv. 6, ascend, descend.

ā-·stręċċanwv. stretch out, extend.

ā-·styrianwv. stir, move.

ā-·tēonsv. 7, draw out, draw, take.

atol-licaj. deformed.

ā-·þrēotansv. 7, fail, run short.


ā-·węċċanwv. awake, arouse [wacian].

ā-·wēdanwv. go mad [wōd].

ā-·węndanwv. turn; translate.

ā-·weorpansv. 3, throw, throw away; depose (king).

ā-·wēstanwv. lay waste, ravage.

ā-·wierġedaj. cursed, accursed, [past. partic. of āwierġan, from wearg].

ā-wihtprn. aught, anything.

ā-·wrītansv. 6, write.

ā-·wyrtwalianwv. root up.


Bæcsn. back—under bæc, behind.

bædsee biddan.

bǣdonsee biddan.

bærnanwv. burn, trans. [beornan].

bærnettsn. burning.

bǣronsee beran.

bæstsm. bast.

bæstenaj. of bast.

beprep. w. dat. by; about, concerning.

bealdaj. bold.

bearnsn. child [beran].

bēatansv. 1, beat.

be-·bēodansv. 7w. dat. bid, command.

be-·byrġanwv. bury.

bēċsee bōc.

be-·clyppanwv. embrace, encompass, hold.

be-·cumansv. 4, come.

ġe·bedsn. prayer [biddan].

be-·dǣlanwv. w. gen. deprive of [dǣl].

będdsn. bed.

be-·delfansv. 3; (hide by digging), bury.

ġe·bed-hūssn. oratory, chapel.

be-·fæstanwv. (make fast); w. dat. commit, entrust to.

be-·foranprp. w. dat. before.

bēġenprn. both.

be-·ġeondanprp. w. acc. beyond.

be-·ġietansv. 5, get, obtain.

be-·ġinnansv. 3, begin.

be-·hātansv. 1w. dat. promise.

be-·hēafdianwv. behead [hēafod].

be-·healdansv. 1, behold.

be-·hōfianwv. w. gen. require.

be-·hrēowsianwv. repent [hrēowan].

be-·hȳdanwv. hide.

be-·lǣwanwv. betray.

be-·līefanwv. believe.

be-·līfansv. 6, remain [lāf].

be-·lūcansv. 7, lock, close.

bęndsmfn. bond [bindan].

bēodansv. 7w. dat. offer.

bēonv. be—bēon ymbe, have to do with.

beorgsm. hill, mountain.

ġebeorgansv. 3w. dat. save, protect.

beornansv. 3, burn, intrans.

bēot-licaj. boastful.

be-·pǣċanwv. deceive.

beransv. 4, bear, carry; (ġeberan, bring forth).

bęrnsn. barn.

berstansv. 3, burst.

be-·sārgianwv. lament [sāriġ].

be-·sċieransv. 4, shear, cut hair.

be-·sēonsv. 5, see, look.

be-·sęttanwv. set about, surround, cover.

be-·stealcianwv. go stealthily, steal.

be-·swīcansv. 6, deceive, circumvent, betray.

be-·tǣċanwv. commit, entrust, give up.

bęterabętstsee gōd.

be·twēonanprp. w. dat. between, among.

be-·twixprep. w. acc. and dat. between, among; of time, during—betwix þǣm þe, cj. while.

be-·węrianwv. defend.

be-·witanswv. watch over, have charge of.

bīdansv. 6, wait.

biddansv. 5, ask, beg.

ġe·biddansv. 5refl. pray.


bieldosf. (boldness), arrogance [beald].

bī-gęngsm. worship [bi, by, and gęnġ from gān].

bile-wītaj. simple, innocent.

bindansv. 3, bind.

binnanav. inside; prp. w. dat. within, in [ = be-innan].

biscopsm. bishop [Latin episcopus].

bi-smersnm. insult, ignominy.

bismer-fullaj. ignominious, shameful.

bismerianwv. treat with ignominy, insult [bismer].

bītansv. 6, bite.

biþsee bēon.

blāwansv. 1, blow.

bleohsn. colour.

blēowsee blāwan.

blētsianwv. bless.

blindaj. blind.

blisssf. merriment, joy.

blissianwv. rejoice.

blīþeaj. glad, merry.

blīþe-līceav. gladly.

blōdsn. blood.

bōcsf. book, scripture.

Bōc-lædensn. book Latin, Latin.

bodianwv. announce, preach [bēodan].

bodiġsm. body.

bohtesee byċġan.

brādaj. broad.

brǣþsm. vapour, odour.

brecansv. 4, break; take (city).

breġdansv. 3, pull.

brēmelsm. bramble.

Bretensf. Britain.

Brettassmpl. the British.

Brettiscaj. British [Brettas].

bringanwv. bring.

brōhtesee bringan.

brōþorsm. brother.

brūcansv. 7w. gen. enjoy, partake of.

brȳdsf. bride.

brȳd-gumasm. bridegroom [literally bride-man].

būanwv. dwell.

būendsmpl. dwellers [pres. partic. of būan].

bufanprp. w. dat. and acc. over, above, on.

būgansv. 7, bend, incline.

bundonsee bindan.

burgsf. city.

burg-ġeatsn. city-gate.

būtanav. outsīde; prp. w. dat. without, except, besides [ = be-ūtan].

būtancj. unless, except.

byċġanwv. buy.

byrþensf. burden [beran].

byrġensf. tomb [bebyrġan].

ġebyrianwf. be due, befit.

byriġsee burg.

byrstsf. bristle.

ġe·bȳsnianwv. give example, illustrate.

ġe·bȳsnungsf. example.


Cannsee cunnan.

canōnsm. canon; canōnes bēc, canonical books.

Cantwara-burgsf. Canterbury [Cantwara, gen. of Cantware].

Cant-warepl. Kent-dwellers, men of Kent [Lat. Cantia and ware].

cāseresm. emperor [Latin Caesar].

ċeaflassmpl. jaws.

ċealdaj. cold.

ċealfsn. calf.

ċēapsn. purchase.

ċēassee ċēosan.

ċeastersf. city [Latin castra].

cēneaj. brave, bold.

cęnnanwv. bring forth, bear child.

Cęntsf. Kent [Cantia].

Cęnt-landsn. Kent.

ċeorfansv. 3, cut.

ċēosansv. 7, choose.

cēpanwv. w. gen. attend, look out for.

ċīepanwv. trade, sell [ċēap].

ċīependsm. seller [pres. partic. of ċīepan].

ċierrsm. turn.


ċierranwv. turn, return, go—ċierran tō, take to.

ġe·ċierred-nessf. conversion.

ċildsn. child.

ċild-hādsm. childhood.

ċinn-bānsn. jawbone.

ċiriċesf. church.

clǣneaj. clean, pure.

clawusf. claw.

clipianwv. call, summon.

clipungsf. calling.

clyppanwv. clip, embrace.

cnapasm. (boy, youth), servant.

cnollsm. top, summit.

coccelsm. corn-cockle.

cōmsee cuman.

corensee ċēosan.

cræftsm. skill, cunning.

crīstenaj. Christian.

cumasm. stranger [cuman].

cumansv. 4, come; cuman ūp, land.

cunnanswv. know.

cunnianwv. try [cunnan].

curonsee ċēosan.

cūþaj. known [originally past partic. of cunnan].

cwǣdonsee cweþan.

cwaeþsee cweþan.

cwearternsn. prison.

cwēmanwv. please, gratify.

ġe·cwēmednessf. pleasing.

cwēnsf. queen.

cweþansv. 5, say, speak; name, call.

cwicaj. alive.

cwidesm. speech, address [cweþan].

ġecwīd-rǣdensf. agreement.

cwiþþsee cweþan.

cymþsee cuman.

cyne-cynnsn. royal family.

cyne-līcaj. royal.

cyne-līceav. like a king, royally.

cyne-stōlsm. throne.

cyningsm. king.

cynnsn. race, kind.

cystsf. excellence [ċēosan].

cystiġaj. (excellent), charitable.

cȳþanwv. make known, tell [cūþ].


Dǣdsf. deed.

dæġsm. day.

dæġ-hwǣm-līceav. daily.

dǣlsm. part—be healfum dǣle, by half.

dǣlanwv. divide, share.

dēadaj. dead.

dēaþsm. death.

Defena-sċīrsf. Devonshire [Devonia].

dehtersee dohtor.

ġedelfsn. digging.

delfansv. 3, dig.

Dęnesmpl. Danes.

Dęniscaj. Danish.

dēofolsum. devil [Latin diabolus].

dēofol-ġieldsn. idol.

dēopaj. deep.

dēorsn. wild beast.

dēoreaj. dear, precious.

dēor-wierþeaj. precious.

dīegolaj. hidden, secret.

dīegol-nessf. secret.

dīepesf. depth [dēop].

dihtanwv. appoint [Latin dictare].

disc-þeġnsm. (dish-thane), waiter.

dohtorsf. daughter.

dōmsm. doom, judgment, sentence.

dōnsv. do, act.

dorstesee durran.

dracasm. dragon.

drancsee drincan.

drēoriġaj. sad.

drīfansv. 6, drive.

drincasm. drink.

drincansv. 3, drink.

drohtnianwv. live, continue, behave.

drohtnungsf. conduct.

drȳġeaj. dry.

Dryhtensm. Lord,

dūnsf. hill, down.

durranswv. dare.

durusf. door.

dūstsn. dust.

ġe·dwyldsn. error.

dydesee dōn.

dyppanwv. dip.

dysiġaj. foolish.



Ēacav. also; ēac swelce, also.

ēacnianwv. increase.

ēadiġaj. (prosperous), blessed.

ēagesn. eye.

ēag-þȳrelsn. (eye-hole), window.

eahtanum. eight.

ēa-lāinterj. oh!

ealdaj. old—cp. ieldra.

Eald-seaxesmpl. Old Saxons.

ealdorsm. chief, master.

ealdor-mannsm. chief, officer.

eallaj. all.

eallav. quite ; eall swā miċel swā, (quite) as much as.

eall-nīweaj. quite new.

eallungaav. entirely.

ealusn. ale.

eardsm. country, native land.

eardianwv. dwell.

ēaresn. ear.

earmsm. arm.

earmaj. poor, wretched, despicable.

earm-licaj. miserable.

earm-līceav. miserably, wretchedly.

earnsm. eagle.

eartsee wesan.

ēastav. eastwards.

ēast-dǣlsm. east part, the East.

Ēast-ęnġlesmpl. East-Anglians.

Ēast-seaxesmpl. East-Saxons.

ēaþe-licaj. insignificant, weak.

ēaþ-mēdanwv. humble [ēaþmōd].

ēaþ-mōdaj. humble.

ēċeaj. eternal.

ēċ-nessf. eternity.

efenaj. even.

ġe·efen-lǣċanwv. imitate.

efneav. behold, lo! [efen].

ęfsianwv. clip, shear.

eftav. again; afterwards, then; back.

ęġesm. fear.

ęġesasm. fear [eġe].

ęġes-licaj. fearful, awful.

ēhteresm. persecutor.

elesm. oil.

ęl-þēodiġ-nessf. foreign land.

ęndesm. end.

ęndemesav. together.

ġe·ęndianwv. end; die.

ęndlufonnum. eleven.

ęndlyftaaj. eleventh.

ġe·ęndungsf. ending, end.

ęnġelsm. angel [Latin angelus].

Ęnġla-landsn. England [Ęnġla gen. pl. of Ęnġle].

Ęnġlesmpl. the English [Angel].

Ęnġliscaj. English—sn. English language [Ęnġle].

ēodesee gān.

eomsee wesan.

eorlsm. earl.

eorþ-būendsm. earth-dweller.

eorþesf. earth.

eorþ-fæstaj. firm in the earth.

eorþ-licaj. earthly.

eornostsf. earnest.

eornost-līceav. in truth, indeed.

ēowsee þū.

etansv. 5, eat.

ēþelsm. country, native land.


Fædersm. father.

fæġenaj. glad.

fæġeraj. fair.

fæġer-nessf. fairness, beauty.

fæġnianwv. w. gen. rejoice.

fǣmnesf. virgin.

fǣr, sf. danger.

fǣr-licaj. sudden.

fǣr-līceav. suddenly.

fæstaj. fast, firm.

fæstanwv. fast.

fæstensf. fasting.

fætsn. vessel.

fāg-nessf. variegation, various colours.

fandianwv. w. gen. try, test, tempt [findan].

faransv. 2, go.

farusf. procession, retinue, pomp.

fēaaj. pl. few.

ġe·fēasm. joy.

feallansv. 1, fall.

fearrsm. bull; ox.

feaxsn. hair of head.


fēdanwv. feed [fōda].

felaaj. pl. w. gen. many.

feldsm. field.

feohsn. money, property.

ġe·feohtsn. fight.

feohtansv. 3, fight.

fēolesf. file.

fēolianwv. file.

fēollsee feallan.

fēondsm. enemy.

feorhsnm. life.

feormsf. (food); feast, banquet.

feorrav. far.

fēorþanum. fourth.

fēowernum. four.

ġe·fērasm. companion [fōr].

fēranwv. go, fare [fōr].

ġe·fēranwv. (go over), take possession of.

fęrianwv. carry [faran].

fētsee fōt.

fętianwv. fetch—pret. ġefętte.

ġe·fęttesee fętian.

fīendsee fēond.

fierdsf. army [faran].

fierlenaj. distant [feorr].

fierstsm. period, time.

fīfnum. five.

findansv. 3 (pret. funde), find.

fiscsm. fish.

fisc-cynnsn. fish-kind.

flēamsm. flight [flēon].

fleaxsn. flax.

flēogansv. 7, fly.

flēonsv. 7, flee.

flēotansv. 7, float.

flītansv. 6, quarrel, dispute.

ġe·flīemanwv. put to flight [flēam].

flōdsm. flood.

flotasm. fleet [flēotan].

flot-hęresm. naval army, army of pirates.

flot-mannsm. sailor, pirate.

flōwansv. 1, flow.

flugonsee flēon.

flyhtsm. flight [flēogan].

fōdasm. food.

folcsn. people, nation.

folc-licaj. popular.

folgianwv. w. dat. follow; obey.

fōnsv. 1, seize, take, capture; fēng tō rīċe, came to the throne; tōgædre fēngon, joined together.

forprep. w. dat. before—rīċe for worulde, in the eyes of the world; causal, for, because of, for the sake of—ne dorste for Gode, for the fear of God—for þǣm, therefore, for þǣem (þe), because; w. acc., instead of, for.

fōrsf. journey [faran].

fōrsee faran.

for-·bærnanwv. burn up, burn, trans.

for-·bēodansv. 7, forbid.

for-·brēotansv. 7, break.

for-·ċeorfansv. 3, cut off.

for-·dilgianwv. destroy.

for-·dōnsv. destroy.

for-·ealdodaj. aged [past partic. of forealdian, grow old].

fore-sċēawianwv. pre-ordain, decree, appoint.

fore-sęċġanwv. say before—se foresæġda, the aforesaid.

for-·ġiefansv. 5w. dat. give, grant; forgive.

for-·ġief-nessf. forgiveness.

for-·ġīemanwv. neglect.

for-·ġietansv. forget.

forhtaj. afraid.

forhtianwv. be afraid.

for-·hwegaav. somewhere.

for-·lǣtansv. 1, leave, abandon.

for-·lēosansv. 7, lose.

for-·liġersn. wantonness, immorality.

formaaj. first—superl. fyrmest, first.

for-·molsnianwv. crumble, decay.

for-·scrincansv. 3, shrink up.

for-sēonsv. 5, despise.

for-·slēansv. 2, cut through.

for-·standansv. 2, (stand before), protect.

forþav. forth, forwards, on.

forþ-·fēranwv. depart, die.

for-·þrysmanwv. suffocate, choke.


for-·weorþansv. 3, perish.

fōtsm. foot.

frætwianwv. adorn.

frætwungsf. ornament.

framprep. w. dat. from; agent. w. pass. hīe wǣron fram Wyrtġeorne ġelaþode, invited by.

fręmmanwv. perform, do.

frēondsm. friend.

friþsm. peace—friþ niman, make peace.

fugolsm. bird.

fuhtonsee feohtan.

fūlaj. foul, impure.

fullaj. full.

full-·blīþeaj. very glad.

full-·cēneaj. very brave.

ful-līceav. fully.

full-·sōþaj. very true.

fultumsm. help; forces, troops.

fultumianwv. w. dat. help.

fundesee findan.

furþorav. further, more [forþ].

fūsaj. hastening.

fyllanwv. fill, fulfil [full].

fȳrsn. fire.

fyrmestsee forma.


Gadrianwv. gather.

gærssn. grass.

gafelocsm. missile, spear.

gafolsn. interest, profit.

gamensn. sport.

gānsv. go.

ġe·gānsv. gain, conquer.

gangendesee gān.

gāstsm. spirit; se hālga gāst, the Holy Ghost.

gāst-licaj. spiritual.

ġecj. and—ġe … ġe, both … and.

ġēsee þū.

ġealgasm. gallows.

ġēarsn. year.

ġearcianwv. prepare [ġearo].

ġeardsm. yard, court.

ġearuaj. ready.

ġearwianwv. prepare.

ġeatsn. gate.

ġēoguþsf. youth.

ġēomrungsf. lamentation.

ġeondprp. w. acc. through, throughout.

ġēongaj. young.

ġeornaj. eager.

ġeorneav. eagerly, earnestly.

ġiefansv. 5, give.

ġieftasfpl. marriage, wedding [ġiefan].

ġieft-hūssn. wedding-hall.

ġieft-licaj. wedding.

ġiefusf. gift; grace (of God) [ġiefan].

ġierlasm. dress [ġearu].

ġiernanwv. w. gen. yearn, desire; ask [ġeorn].

ġietav. yet; further, besides.

ġifcj. if.

ġimmsm. gem, jewel [Latin gemma].

ġimm-stānsm. gem, jewel.

ġitsee þū.

ġītsianwv. covet.

ġītsungsf. covetousness, avarice.

glædaj. glad.

glæd-līceav. gladly.

glēawaj. prudent, wise.

glęnġanwv. adorn; trim (lamp).

godsm. God.

god-fædersm. godfather.

god-spellsn. gospel.

godspel-licaj. evangelical.

gōdaj. good—compar. bętera. superl. bętst.

gōdsn. good thing, good.

goldsn. gold.

gold-hordsn. treasure.

grǣdiġaj. greedy.

grǣġaj. grey.

grētanwv. greet, salute.

grindansv. 3, grind.

grīst-bītungsf. gnashing of teeth.

grymetianwv. grunt, roar.

gyldanwv. gild [gold].

gyldenaj. golden [gold].


Habbanwv. have; take.


hādsm. rank, condition.

ġe·hādodaj. ordained, in orders, clerical [past partic. of hādian, ordain].

hæfdehæfþsee habban.

hæftanwv. hold fast, hold [habban].

hǣlanwv. heal [hāl].

hǣlendsm. Saviour [pres. partic. of hǣlan].

hǣlosf. salvation [hāl].

hǣssf. command.

hæspesf. hasp.

hǣtesf. heat [hāt].

hǣþsf. heath.

hǣþenaj. heathen [hǣþ].

hālaj. whole, sound.

ġe·hālaj. whole, uninjured.

hālgasm. saint.

hālġianwv. hallow, consecrate.

hāliġaj. holy.

hāliġ-dōmsm. holy object, relic.

hāmav. homewards, home.

handsf. hand.

hand-cweornsf. hand-mill.

hangianwv. hang, intr. [hōn].

hātaj. hot.

hātansv. 1, command, ask—w. inf. in passive sense, hēton him sęċġan, bade them be told ; name—passive, hātte.

hatianwv. hate.

hāttesee hātan.

prn. he.

hēafodsn. head.

hēafod-mannsm. head-man, ruler, chief.

hēahaj. high—superl. hīehst.

healdansv. 1, hold, keep; guard; preserve; observe, keep.

healfaj. half.

healfsf. side.

hēa-licaj. lofty [hēah].

heallsf. hall.

heardaj. hard ; strong; severe.

hębbansv. 2, raise.

hęfel-þrǣdsm. web-thread, thread.

hęfesm. weight [hębban].

hęfiġaj. heavy [hęfe].

hęllsf. hell.

ġe·hęndeaj. w. dat. near [hand].

hēosee .

heofonsm. heaven—often in plur., heofona rīċe.

heofon-licaj. heavenly.

hēoldsee healdan.

heordsf. herd.

heortesf. heart.

hērav. here; hither—hēr·æfter, &c., hereafter.

hēr-be-·ēastanav. east of this.

hęresm. army.

hęre-rēafsn. spoil.

hęre-togasm. army-leader, general, chief [toga from tēon].

hęrgianwv. ravage, make war [hęre].

hęrgungsf. (ravaging), warfare, war.

hęrianwv. praise.

hētsee hātan.

hiderav. hither.

hīesee .

hīehstsee hēah.

hierasee .

ġe·hīeranwv. hear.

hierdesm. shepherd [heord].

hierd-rǣdensf. guardianship.

hieresee .

ġe·hīer-sumaj. w. dat. obedient [hīeran].

ġe·hīersum-nessf. obedience.

himhinesee .

hīredsnm. family, household.

hissee .

hitsee .

hīwsn. hue, form.

hlǣddersf. ladder.

hlæstsm. load.

hlāfsm. bread, loaf of bread.

hlāfordsm. lord.

hlīsasm. fame.

hlūdaj. loud.

hlȳdanwv. make a noise, shout [hlūd].

hnappianwv. doze.

ġe·hoferodaj. (past partic.), hump-backed.

holtsn. wood.


hōnsv. 1, hang [hangian].

hornsm. horn.

hræd-līceav. quickly.

hrædungsf. hurry.

hraþeav. quickly—swā hraþe swā, as soon as.

hrēodsn. reed.

hrēowansv. 7, rue, repent.

hrīemanwv. cry, call.

hrīþersn. ox.

hrōfsn. roof.

hryċġsm. back.

hryresm. fall [hrēosan].

av. how.

hū-metaav. how.

hundsn. w. gen. hundred.

hundsm. dog.

hund-fealdaj. hundredfold.

hund-·nigontiġnum. ninety.

hund-·twęlftiġnum. hundred and twenty.

hungorsm. hunger; famine.

hungriġaj. hungry.

hūruav. especially.

hūssn. house.

hux-līceav. ignominiously.

hwāprn. who.

ġe·hwāprn. every one.

hwǣmsee hwā.

hwǣrav. where—swā hwǣr swā, wherever.

ġe·hwǣrav. everywhere.

hwæshwætsee hwā.

hwætinterj. what! lo! well.

hwǣtesm. wheat.

hwæþerav. cj. whether—hwæþer þe, to introduce a direct question.

hwæþreav. however.

hwanonav. whence.

hwelċprn. which; any one, any—swā hwelċ swā, whoever.

ġe·hwelċprn. any, any one.

hwīlsf. while, time.

hwonesee hwā.

hwonneav. when.

hwȳav. why.

hȳdanwv. hide.

hyhtsf. hope.

ġe·hyhtanwv. hope.

hȳranwv. hire.


prn. I.

īdelaj. idle; useless, vain—on īdel, in vain.

īeġ-landsn. island.

ieldanwv. delay [eald].

ieldrasee eald.

ieldransmpl. ancestors [originally compar. of eald].

iernansv. 3, run; flow.

ierreaj. angry.

īlsm. hedgehog.

ilcaprn. same (always weak, and with the definite article).

inprp. w. dat. and acc. in, into.

incsee þū.

innav. in (of motion).

innanprp. w. dat. (av.) within.

inneav. within, inside.

inn-ġehyġdsn. inner thoughts, mind.

in-tōprp. w. dat. into.

Īotansmpl. Jutes.

Īr-landsn. Ireland.

Iūdēiscaj. Jewish—þā Iūdēiscan, the Jews.


interj. lo!—lā lēof! Sir!

lācsn. gift; offering, sacrifice.

ġe·lǣċanwv. seize.

lǣdanwv. lead; carry, bring, take.

lædensn. Latin; language.

læġsee liċġan.

lǣranwv. w. double acc. teach; advise, suggest [lār].

ġe·lǣredaj. learned [past partic. of lǣran].

lǣsav. less—þȳ lǣs (þe), cj. w. subj. lest.

lǣtansv. 1, let; leave—hēo lēt þā swā, she let the matter rest there.

ġe·lǣtesn.—wega ġelǣtu, pl. meetings of the roads.

lāfsf. remains—tō lāfe bēon, remain over, be left [(be)līfan].


ġe·lampsee ġelimpan.

landsn. land, country.

land-folcsn. people of the country.

land-hęresm. land-army.

land-lēodesmpl. people of the country.

langaj. long.

langeav. for a long time, long.

lang-līceav. for a long time, long.

lārsf. teaching, doctrine.

lateav. slowly, late—late on ġēare, late in the year.

ġe·laþianwv. invite.

ġe·laþungsf. congregation.

lēafsf. leave.

ġe·lēafasm. belief, faith.

ġe·lēaf-fullaj. believing, pious.

leahtorsm. crime, vice.

lēasaj. without (expers), in compos.—less; false.

lēatsee lūtan.

lęċġanwv. lay [liċġan].

ġe·lęndanwv. land [land].

lēosmf. lion.

lēodesmpl. people.

lēofaj. dear, beloved; pleasant—mē wǣre lēofre, I would rather—[lufu].

leofodesee libban.

leohtsn. light.

leoht-fætsn. (light-vessel), lamp.

leornianwv. learn.

leornung-cnihtsm. disciple.

lētsee lǣtan.

libbanwv. live.

līcsn. body, corpse.

ġe·līcaj. w. dat. like.

ġe·līceav. in like manner, alike, equally.

liċġansv. 5, lie.

līc-hamasm. body.

līcham-līceav. bodily.

ġelīcianwv. w. dat. please.

līefanwv. w. dat. allow [lēaf].

ġe·līefanwv. believe [gelēafa].

līfsn. līfe.

lifiendsee libban.

limsn. limb, member.

ġe·limpsn. event, emergency, calamity.

ġe·limpansv. 3, happen.

līþsee liċġan.

loccsm. lock of hair.

lofsn. praise; glory.

ġe·lōgian, place; occupy, furnish.

ġe·lōmaj. frequent, repeated.

ġe·lōmeav. often, repeatedly.

losianwv. w. dat. be lost—him losaþ, he loses [(for)lēosan].

lūcansv. 7, close.

lufianwv. love.

lufusf. love [lēof].

Lunden-burgsf. London [Lundonia].

lūtansv. 7, stoop.

lȳtelaj. little.


see micel.

macianwv. make.

mæġswv. can, be able.

mæġensn. strength, capacity; virtue [mæġ].

mǣġþsf. family; tribe, nation; generation.

ġe·mǣneaj. common.

ġe·mǣnelicaj. common, general.

mǣreaj. famous, glorious, great (metaphorically).

ġe·mǣresn. boundary, territory.

mǣrsianwv. extol, celebrate [mǣre].

mǣrþosf. glory [mǣre].

mæssesf. mass [Latin missa].

mæsse-prēostsm. mass-priest.

mǣstsee miċel.

magonsee mæġ.

manindef. one [mann].

mānsn. wickedness.

mān-dǣdsf. wicked deed.

mān-fullaj. wicked.

mangeresm. merchant.

mangungsf. trade, business.

maniġaj. many.

manīġ-fealdaj. manifold.

maniġ-fieldanwv. multiply [maniġfeald].

mannsm. man; person.

mann-cynnsn. mankind.


mann-rǣdensf. allegiance.

mann-slagasm. manslayer, murderer [slēan, slęġe].

māresee miċel.

martyrsm. martyr.

māþmsm. treasure.

māþm-fætsn. precious vessel.

see ic.

mearcsf. boundary.

mēdsf. reward, pay.

mēdersee mōdor.

męnnsee mann.

męnniscaj. human [mann].

męre-grotsr. pearl [margarita].

merġensm. morning [morgen].

ġe·met, sn. measure; manner, way.

metansv. 5, measure.

ġe·mētanwv. meet; find [ġemōt].

mętesm. food—pl. męttas.

miċelaj. great, much—comp. māre, mā (adv.sn.aj.), sup. mǣst.

miċleav. greatly, much.

midprp. w. dat. (instr.) with—mid þǣm þe, cj. when.

middan-ġeardsm. world [literally middle enclosure].

middeaj. mid, middle (only of time).

middelsn. middle.

Middel-ęnġlesmpl. Middle-Angles.

Mierċesmpl. Mercians [mearc].

mihtsf. might, strength; virtue [mæġ].

mihtesee mæġ.

mihtiġaj. mighty, strong.

mīlsf. mile [Latin milia (passuum)].

mild-heortaj. mild-hearted, merciful.

ġe·miltsianwv. w. dat. have mercy on, pity [milde].

mīnsee ic.

mis-lǣdanwv. mislead, lead astray.

mis-licaj. various.

mōdsn. heart, mind.

mōdigaj. proud.

mōdiġ-nessf. pride.

mōdorsf. mother.

moldesf. mould, earth.

mōnasm. moon.

mōnaþsm. month—pl. mōnaþ [mōna].

morgensm. morning.

morþsn. (murder), crime.

mōste, see mōtan.

ġe·mōtsn. meeting.

mōtanswv. may; ne mōt, must not.

ġe·munanswv. remember.

muntsm. mountain, hill [Latin montem].

munucsm. monk [Latin monachus].

murcnianwv. grumble, complain.

mūþsm. mouth.

mūþasm. mouth of a river [mūþ].

ġe·myndsf. memory, mind [ġemunan].

ġe·myndiġaj. w. gen. mindful.

mynetsf. coin [Latin moneta].

myneteresm. money-changer.

mynstersn. monastery [Latin monasterium].


av. not, no [ = ne ā].

nabban = ne habban.

nǣddresf. snake.

næfdenæfst, = ne hæfde, ne hæfst.

nǣfreav. never [ = ne ǣfre].

næġelsm. nail.

næs = ne wæs.

nāhtprn. w. gen. naught, nothing [ = nān wiht].

nāht-nessf. worthlessness, cowardice.

namsee niman.

namasm. name.

nāmonsee niman.

nānprn. none, no [ = ne ān].

nāt = ne wāt.

nāwþerprn. neither [ = ne āhwæþer (either)].

neav. not—ne … ne, neither … not.


nēahav. near; superl. nīehst—æt nīehstan, next, immediately, afterwards.

nearuaj. narrow.

nēa-wistsfm. neighbourhood [wesan].

nęmnanwv. name [nama].

neom = ne eom.

neseav. no.

nęttsn. net.

nīedsf. need.

nīedungaav. needs, by necessity.

nīehstsee nēah.

nīetensn. animal.

nigonnum. nine.

nigoþaaj. ninth.

nihtsf. night.

nimansv. 4, take, capture; take in marriage, marry.

nis = ne is.

niþerav. down.

nīweaj. new.

ġe·nōgaj. enough.

nolde = ne wolde.

norþav. north.

Norþhymbra-landsn. Northumberland.

Norþ-hymbresmpl. Northumbrians [Humbra].

norþan-weardaj. northward.

Norþ-męnnpl. Norwegians.

av. now, just now; cj. causal, now that, since.

nū·ġietav. still.

ġe·nyht-sum-nessf. sufficience, abundance.

nyle, = ne wile.

nystenyton = ne wiste, ne witon.


Ofprp. w. dat. of, from of placeoriginprivationrelease, &c.; partitive, sęllaþ ūs of ēowrum ele, some of your oil.

of-·drǣddaj. afraid [past partic. of ofdrǣdan, dread].

oferprp. w. dat. and acc. over; on; of time, during, throughout, over.

ofer-gyldaj. (past partic.), gilded over, covered with gold.

ofer-·hęrgianwv. ravage, over-run.

ofer-·sāwansv. 2, sow over.

offrianwv. offer, sacrifice [Latin offerre].

offrungsf. offering, sacrifice.

of-·slēansv. 2, slay.

of-·snīþansv. 6, kill [snīþan, cut].

of-springsm. offspring [springan].

oftav. often.

of-·tēonsv. 7, w. dat. of pers. and gen. of thing, deprive.

of-·þyrstaj. thirsty [past partic. of ofþyrstan, from þurst].

of-·wundrianwv. w. gen. wonder.

ō-lǣċungsf. flattery.

olfendsm. camel [Latin elephas].

onprp. w. dat. and acc. on; in; hostility, against, on hīe fuhton; of time, in.

on-·byrġanwv. taste.

on-·cnāwansv. 1, know, recognize.

on·drǣdansv. 1wv. dread, fear.

on-·fōnsv. 1, receive.

on-·ġēanprp. w. dat. and acc. towards; hostility, against.

on-·ġēanav. back—ġewęnde on-ġēan, returned.

on-ġinnsn. beginning.

on-·ġinnansv. 3, begin.

on-·liehtanwv. illuminate, enlighten [leoht].

on·liehtungsf. illumination, light.

on-·lūcan, sv. 7, unlock.

on-·middanprp. w. dat. in the midst of.

on-sīensf. appearance, form.

on-sundaj. sound, whole.

on-·uppanprp. w. dat. upon.

on-wealdsm. rule, authority, power; territory.

on-·weġav. away.

openaj. open.

openianwv. open, reveal, disclose.

orgel-līceav. proudly.


or-mǣteaj. immense, boundless [metan].

or-sorgaj. unconcerned, careless.

prp. w. acc. until—oþ þæt, cj. until; up to, as far as.

ōþerprn. (always strong), second; other.

oþþecj. or—oþþe … oþþe, either … or.

oxasm. ox.


Pāpasm. pope [Latin papa].

pęningsm. penny.

Peohtassmpl. Picts.

Philistēiscaj. Philistine.

Pihtiscaj. Pictish [Peohtas].

plegianwv. play.

postsm. post [Latin postis].

prēostsm. priest [Latin presbyter].

pundsn. pound [Latin pondus].

pyttsm. pit [Latin puteus].


Racentēagsf. chains.

rād, see rīdan.

ġe·rādsn. reckoning, account; on þā ġerād þæt, on condition that.

rǣd, sm. advice; what is advisable, plan of action—him rǣd þūhte, it seemed advisable to him.

rammsm. ram.

rāpsm. rope.

rēafsn. robe, dress.

reahtesee reċċan.

rēċanwv. w. gen. reck, care.

ręċċanwv. tell, narrate.

ġe·ręċednessf. narrative.

ġe·rēfasm. officer, reeve, bailiff.

reġensm. rain.

rēþeaj. fierce, cruel.

rīċeaj. powerful, of high rank.

rīċesn. kingdom, sovereignty, government.

rīċeteresn. (ambition), pomp.

rīċsianwv. rule.

rīdansv. 6, ride.

rifteresm. reaper.

rihtaj. right; righteous.

riht-līceav. rightly, correctly.

riht-wīsaj. righteous.

riht-wīsnessf. righteousness.

rīmsm. number.

rīmanwv. count.

rīnanwv. rain [reġen].

rīpansv. 6, reap.

rīperesm. reaper.

rīp-tīmasm. reaping-time, harvest.

rōhtesee rēċan.

Rōme-burgsf. city of Rome.

rōwansv. 1, row.

rynesm. course.

ġe·rȳnesn. mystery.


sf. sea—dat. sǣ.

sǣdsn. seed.

sæġdesee sęċġan.

sǣlsm. time, occasion.

ġe·sǣliġaj. happy, blessed.

ġe·sǣliġ-līceav. happily, blessedly.

sæt, sǣton, see sittan.

sagolsm. rod, staff.

ġe·samnianwv. collect, assemble.

samodav. together, with.

sanctsm. saint [Latin sanctus].

sandsf. dish of food [sęndan].

sand-ċeosolsm. sand (literally sand-gravel).

sārsn. grief.

sāraj. grievous.

sāriġaj. sorry, sad.

sāwansv. 1, sow.

sāweresm. sower.

sāwolsf. soul.

scamusf. shame.

scandsf. disgrace.

scand-licaj. shameful.

sċēafsm. sheaf [scūfan].

sċēaf-mǣlumav. sheafwise.

ġe·sċeaftsf. creature, created thing. sċeal, swv. ought to, must; shall.

sċēapsn. sheep.

sċeattsm. (tribute); money.

sċēaweresm. spy, witness.

sċēawianwv. see; examine; read.

sċēawungsf. seeing, examination.

sċēotansv. 7, shoot.


sċieppansv. 2, create.

sċieransv. 4, shear.

sċipsn. ship.

sċip-hęresm. fleet.

sċip-hlæstsm. (shipload), crew.

sċīrsf. shire.

scoldesee sceal.

scōpsee sċieppan.

scortaj. short.

scotianwv. shoot [sċēotan].

Scot-landsn. Ireland.

Scottassmpl. the Irish.

scotungsf. shot.

scræfsn. cave.

scrīnsn. shrine [Latin scrinium].

scrincansv. 3, shrink.

scrūdsn. dress.

scrȳdanwv. clothe [scrūd].

scūfansv. 7, push—scūfan ūt, launch (ship).

sculonsee sċeal.

scutonsee sċēotan.

scyldsf. guilt [sculon, sceal].

scyldigaj. guilty.

scylensee sceal.

Scyttiscaj. Scotch [Scottas].

seprn. that; the; he; who.

ġeseahsee ġesēon.

sealdesee sęllan.

sēaþsm. pit.

Seaxesmpl. Saxons.

sēċanwv. seek; visit, come to; attack.

sęċġanwv. say.

selfprn. self.

sęllanwv. give; sell.

sēlestav. superl. best.

sęndanwv. send, send message [sand].

sēosee se.

seofonnum. seven.

seofoþaaj. seventh.

seolcsf. silk.

seolcenaj. silken.

seolforsn. silver.

ġe·sēonsv. 5, see.

sēowsee sāwan.

ġe·sętnessf. narrative [sęttan].

sęttanwv. set; appoint, institute—dōm sęttan w. dat. pass sentence on; compose, write; create [sittan].

sibbsf. peace.

ġe·sibb-sumaj. peaceful.

sīesee wesan.

sīefer-līceav. purely.

sīefreaj. pure.

sierwungsf. stratagem.

siexnum. six.

siextaaj. sixth.

siextiġnum. sixty.

siextiġ-fealdaj. sixtyfold.

siġesm. victory—siġe niman, gain the victory.

siġe-fæstaj. victorious.

ġe·sihþsf. sight; vision, dream [ġesēon].

sifrenaj. silver.

simleav. always.

sindsee wesan.

sinusf, sinew.

sittansv. 5, sit; settle, stay.

ġe·sittansv. 5, take possession of.

sīþsm. journey.

sīþianwv. journey, go.

siþþanav. since, afterwards; cj. when.

slǣpsm. sleep.

slǣpansv. 1, sleep,

slagasm. slayer. [slēan, past. partic. ġeslæġen].

slāwaj. slow, slothful, dull.

slēansv. 2, strike; slay, kill.

slęċġsm. hammer [slaga, slēan].

slęġesm. killing [slaga, slēan].

slēpsee slǣpan.

slōgsee slēan.

smælaj. narrow.

smēanwv. consider, think; consult.

smēocansv. 7, smoke.

smēþeaj. smooth.

snotoraj. wise, prudent.

sōnaav. soon; then.

sorgsf. sorrow.

sōþaj. true.

sōþsn. truth.

sōþ-līceav. truly, indeed.

spadewf. spade [Latin spatha].


sprǣċsf. speech, language; conversation [sprecan].

sprecansv. 5, speak.

spręnġanwv. (scatter); sow [springan].

springansv. 3, spring.

sprungensee springan.

stǣnenaj. of stone [stān].

stǣnihtsn. stony ground [originally adj. ‘stony,’ from stān].

stānsm. stone; brick.

standansv. 2, stand.

stēapaj. steep.

stędesm. place.

stefnsf. voice.

stelansv. 4, steal.

stęntsee standan.

stēorsf. steering, rudder.

steorrasm. star.

sticolaj. rough.

stīepelsm. steeple [stēap].

stīeranwv. w. dat. restrain [stēor].

ġe·stillanwv. stop, prevent.

stilleaj. still, quiet.

stōdsee standan.

stōlsm. seat.

stōwsf. place.

strǣtsf. street, road [Latin strata via].

strandsm. shore.

strangaj. strong.

strēdanwv. (scatter), sow.

stręnġþosf. strength [strang].

ġe·strēonsn. possession.

ġe·strīenanwv. gain [ġestrēon].

strūtianwv. strut.

styċċesn. piece.

sumprn. some, a certain (one), one; a.

ġe·sundaj. sound, healthy.

ġe·sund-fullaj. safe and sound.

sundorav. apart.

sunnesf. sun.

sunusm. son.

sūþav. south, southwards.

sūþanav. from the south.

sūþan-weardaj. southward.

sūþ-dǣlsm. the South.

sūþerneaj. southern.

Sūþ-seaxesmpl. South-Saxons.

swāav. so; swā, swā, as, like—swā … swā, so … as.

swācsee swīcan.

swā-·þēah, av. however.

swefnsn. sleep; dream.

swelċprn. such.

swelċeav. as if, as it were, as, like.

sweltansv. 3, die.

swęnċanwv. afflict, molest [swincan].

swęnġsm. stroke, blow [swingan].

swēorsm. pillar.

swēorasm. neck.

sweordsn. sword.

sweord-borasm. sword-bearer [beran].

sweotolaj. clear, evident.

sweotolianwv. display, show, indicate.

sweotolungsf. manifestation, sign.

swęriansv. 2, swear.

swīcsm. deceit.

ġe·swīcansv. 6 (fail, fall short); cease (betray).

swīc-dōmsm. deceit [swīcan].

swicolaj. deceitful, treacherous.

swiconsee swīcan.

swiftaj. swift.

swīgianwv. be silent.

swincansv. 3, labour, toil.

swingansv. 3, beat.

swinglesf. stroke [swingan].

swipesm. whip.

swīþeav. very, much, greatly, violently—cp. swīþor, rather, more.

swīþ-licaj. excessive, great.

swīþresf. right hand [cp. of swīþe with hand understood].

swultonsee sweltan.

swunconsee swincan.

swungonsee swingan.

syndriġaj. separate [sundor].

syn-fullaj. sinful.

syngianwv. sin.

synnsf. sin.



Tācen, sn. sign, token; miracle.

tācnianwv. signify.

ġe·tācnungsf. signification, type.

tǣċanwv. w. dat. show; teach.

talusf. number [getel].

tamaj. tame.

tāwianwv. ill-treat.

tēamsm. progeny [tēon].

ġe·telsn. number.

tęllanwv. count, account—tęllan tō nāhte, count as naught [talu].

Tęmessf. Thames [Tamisia].

tempelsn. temple [Latin templum].

tēonsv. 7, pull, drag.

tēonasm. injury, insult.

tēon-rǣdensf. humiliation.

tēþsee tōþ.

tiċċensn. kid.

tīdsf. time; hour.

tīeġanwv. tie.

tīemanwv. teem, bring forth [tēam].

tīennum. ten.

tierwesf. tar.

tiġelewf. tile [Latin tegula].

tīmasm. time.

timbrianwv. build.

ġe·timbrungsf. building.

tintreġsn. torture.

tintregianwv. torture.

prp. w. dat. (av.) to—tō abbode ġesętt, made abbot; time, at—tō langum fierste, for a long time; adverbial, tō scande, ignominiously; fitnesspurposefor—þǣm folce (dat.) tō dēaþe, to the death of the people, so that the people were killed; tō þǣm þæt, cj. in order that—tō þæm (swīþe) … þæt, so (greatly) … that.

av. too.

tō-·berstansv. 3, burst, break asunder.

tō-·brecansv. 4, break in pieces, break through.

tō-·breġdansv. 3, tear asunder.

tō-·cwīesanwv. crush, bruise.

tō-cymesm. coming [cuman].

tō-·dæġav. to-day.

tō-·dǣlanwv. disperse; separate, divide.

tō-·gædreav. together.

tō-·ġēanesprp. w. dat. towards—him tōġēanes, to meet him.

tōlsn. tool.

tō-·līesanwv. loosen [lēas].

tō-·middesprp. w. dat. in the midst of.

tō-·teransv. 4, tear to pieces.

tōþsm. tooth.

tō-weardaj. future.

tō-·weorpansv. 3, overthrow, destroy.

trēowsn. tree.

ġe·trēowe, aj. true, faithful.

trumaj. strong.

trymmanwv. strengthen [trum].

trymmungsf. strengthening, encouragement.

tūcianwv. ill-treat.

tugonsee tēon.

tūnsm. village, town.

twātwǣmsee twēġen.

twēġennum. two.

twęlfnum. twelve.

twęntiġnum. w. gen. twenty.


Þāav. cj. then; when—þā þā, when, while—correlative þā … þā, when … (then).

þā, þǣm, &c., see se.

þǣrav. there—þǣrtō, &c. thereto, to it; where—þǣr þǣr, correl. where.

þǣresee se.

þǣr-rihteav. immediately.

þæsav. therefore; wherefore.

þæsþætsee se.

þætcj. that.

ġe·þafianwv. allow, permit.

þā-·ġietav. still, yet.

þancsm. thought; thanks.

þancianwv. w. gen. of thing and dat. of person, thank.


þanonav. thence, away.

þāssee þis.

þerel. prn. who—sē þe, who; av. when.

þēsee þū.

þēahav. cj. though, yet, however—þēah þe, although.

þearfswv. need.

þearleav. very, greatly.

þēawsm. custom, habit; þēawas, virtues, morality.

þeġensm. thane; servant.

þeġnianwv. w. dat. serve.

þeġnungsf. service, retinue.

þęnċanwv. think, expect [þanc].

þēodsf. people, nation.

ġe·þēodesn. language.

þēofsm. thief.

þēossee þes.

þēostruspl. darkness.

þēowsm. servant.

þēow-dōmsm. service.

þēowianwv. w. dat. serve.

þēowotsn. servitude.

þesprn. this.

þiċċeaj. thick.

þiċġansv. 5, take, receive; eat, drink.

þīnsee þū.

þingsn. thing.

þisþissum, &c., see þes.

ġe·pōhtsm. thought.

þōhtesee þęnċan.

þonesee se.

þonneav. cj. then; when; because.

þonneav. than.

þorftesee þearf.

þornsm. thorn.

þrǣdsm. thread.

þrēosee þrīe.

þriddaaj. third.

þrīenum. three.

þrimsee þrīe.

þritiġnum. thirty.

þritiġ-fealdaj. thirtyfold.

þrymmsm. glory.

þūprn. thou.

þūhtesee þynċan.

ġe·þungenaj. excellent, distinguished.

þurhprp. w. acc. through; causal, through, by.

þurh-·wunianwv. continue.

þurstsm. thirst.

þurstiġaj. thirsty.

þusav. thus.

þūsendsn. thousand.

ġe·þwǣr-lǣċanwv. agree.

þȳinstr. of se; av. because.

þȳfelsm. bush.

þȳ·lǣscj. lest.

þynċanwv. impers. w. dat. mē þynċþ, methinks [þęnċan].

þȳrelsn. hole [þurh].


Ufe-weardaj. upward, at the top of.

un-ārīmed-licaj. innumerable.

uncsee ic.

un-ġecyndaj. strange, of alien family.

un-dēad-lic-nessf. immortality.

underprp. w. dat. and acc. under.

under-cyningsm. under-king.

under-·delfansv. dig under.

under-·fōnsv. 1, receive, take.

under-·ġietansv. 5, understand.

undern-tīdsf. morning-time.

un-forhtaj. dauntless.

un-for-molsnodaj. (past partic.) undecayed.

un-ġehīersumaj. w. dat. disobedient.

un-holdaj. hostile.

un-ġemetlicaj. immense.

un-mihtiġaj. weak.

un-nyttaj. useless.

un-rihtlīceav. wrongly.

un-rihtwīsaj. unrighteous.

un-ġerīmsn. countless number or quantity.

un-ġerīmaj. countless.

un-ġesǣliġaj. unhappy, accursed.

un-scyldiġaj. innocent.

un-tīemendaj. barren [from pres. partic. of tīeman].


un-ġeþwǣr-nessf. discord.

un-ġewittiġaj. foolish.

ūpav. up.

ūp-āhafen-nessf. conceit, arrogance.

ūp-flōrsf. (dat. sing. -a) upper floor, upper story.

uppanprp. w. dat. on, upon.

urnonsee iernan.

ūssee ic.

ūtav. out.

ūtanav. outside.

utondefect. verb, w. infin. let us—uton gān, let us go!


Wacianwv. be awake, watch.

wǣdlasm. poor man.

wælsn. slaughter—wæl ġe·slēan, make a slaughter.

wæl-hrēowaj. cruel.

wælhrēow-līceav. cruelly, savagely.

wælhrēownessf. cruelty.

wǣpensn. weapon.

wæraj. wary.

wǣronwæssee wesan.

wæstmsm. (growth); fruit.

wætersn. water.

wæter-sċipesm. piece of water, water.

wāfungsf. (spectacle), display.

-warepl. (only in composition) dwellers, inhabitants [originally defenders, cp. węrian].

wātsee witan.

ġewātsee ġewītan.

see ic.

ġe·wealdsn. power, command.

wealdansv. 1, w. gen. rule.

Wealhsm. (pl. Wēalas), sm. Welshman, Briton (originally foreigner).

weallsm. wall.

weall-līmsm. (wall-lime), cement, mortar.

weargsm. felon, criminal [originally wolf, then proscribed man, outlaw].

weaxansv. 1, grow, increase.

weġsm. way, road.

weġ-fērendeaj. (pres. partic.) way-faring.

welav. well.

wel-willend-nessf. benevolence.

wēnanwv. expect, think.

ġe·węndanwv. turn; go [windan].

węnianwv. accustom, wean [ġewuna].

weofodsn. altar.

weorcsn. work.

weorpansv. 3, throw.

weorþsn. worth.

weorþaj. worth, worthy.

weorþansv. 3, happen; become—w. æt sprǣċe, enter into conversation.

ġe·weorþansv. 3, impers. w. dat.—him ġewearþ, they agreed on.

weorþ-fullaj. worthy.

weorþianwv. honour, worship; make honoured, exalt.

weorþ-līceaj. honourably.

weorþ-myndsf. honour.

wēoxsee weaxan.

wēpansv. 1, weep.

wersm. man.

węrianwv. defend [wær].

werodsn. troop, army.

wesansv. be.

westav. west.

West-seaxesmpl. West-saxons.

wēsteaj. waste, desolate.

wīdaj. wide.

wīdeav. widely, far and wide.

widewesf. widow.

ġe·wieldanwv. overpower, conquer [wealdan].

wierþeaj. w. gen. worthy [weorþ].

wīfsn. woman; wife.

wīf-healfsf. female side.

wīf-mannsm. woman.

wihtsf. wight, creature, thing.

Wihtsf. Isle of Wight [Vectis].

Wiht-warepl. Wight-dwellers.

wildeaj. wild.

wildēorsn. wild beast.

willasm. will.


willanswv. will, wish; of repetition, be used to.

ġe·wilnianwv. w. gen. desire.

wīnsn. wine.

windsm. wind.

windansv. 3, wind.

wīn-ġeardsm. vineyard.

winnansv. 3, fight.

ġe·winnansv. 3, win, gain.

winter, (pl. winter), sm. winter; in reckoning = year.

winter-setlsn. winter-quarters.

wīsaj. wise.

wīs-dōmsm. wisdom.

wīsesf. (wise), way.

ġe·wissaj. certain.

ġe·wissianwv. guide, direct.

ġe·wissungsf. guidance, direction.

wistesee witan.

witsee ic.

witasm. councillor, sage.

witanswv. know.

ġe·wītansv. 6, depart.

wītesn. punishment; torment.

wītegasm. prophet.

witod-līceav. truly, indeed, and [witan].

ġe·wittsn. wits, intelligence, understanding [witan].

wiþprp. w. dat. and acc. towards; along—wiþ weġ, by the road; hostility, against—fuhton wiþ Brettas, fought with the Britons; association, sharing, &c., with; defence, against; exchange, price, for—wiþ þǣm þe, in consideration of, provided that.

wiþ-·meten-nessf. comparison.

wiþ-·sacansv. 2, w. dat. deny.

wiþ-·standansv. 2, w. dat. withstand, resist.

wlitesm. beauty.

wōdaj. mad.

wōd-līceav. madly.

woldesee willan.

wōpsm. weeping [wēpan].

wordsn. word, sentence; subject of talk, question, answer, report.

ġewordensee weorþan.

worhtesee wyrċan.

woruldsf. world.

woruld-þingsn. worldly thing.

wrecansv. 5, avenge.

wrēġanwv. accuse.

ġe·writsn. writing [wrītan].

wrītansv. 6, write.

wudusm. wood.

wuldorsn. glory.

wuldrianwv. glorify, extol.

wulfsm. wolf.

ġe·wunasm. habit, custom [wunian].

wundsf. wound.

wundorsn. wonder; miracle.

wundor-licaj. wonderful, wondrous.

wundor-līceav. wonderfully, wondrously.

wundrianwv. w. gen. wonder.

ġe·wunelicaj. customary.

wunianwv. dwell, stay, continue [ġewuna].

wunungsf. dwelling.

ġewunnensee ġewinnan.

wyrċanwv. work, make; build; do, perform [weorc].

wyrhtasm. worker.

wyrtsf. herb, spice; crop.

wyrt-brǣþsm. spice-fragrance, fragrant spice.

wyrtrumasm. root.

wȳsċanwv. wish.


Yfelaj. evil, bad.

yfelsn. evil.

ymbeprp. w. acc. around; of time, about, at.

ymb-·scrȳdanwv. clothe, array.

ymb-·ūtanav. round about.

ȳterraaj. comp. outer; superl. ȳtemest, outermost, last [ūt].



[1] Where no key-word is given for a long vowel, it must be pronounced exactly like the corresponding short one, only lengthened.

[2] Both vowels.

[3] Wherever the acc. is not given separately, it is the same as the nom.

[4] So also nāh = ne (not) āh.