How well do you know the origins of English words?

Can you tell which word derives from the English of Anglo-Saxon times, and which word came from French?

From Old Norse to Modern Icelandic

Thus the language spoken and written in Iceland today is quite close to what has been called Old Norse, such as it appears in the medieval texts.

Old English Words for Relics of the Saints

This study begins with a review of some Latin terms and of certain material traits common to early medieval relic-cults, since these profoundly shaped the Old English vocabulary surveyed in the second part of the paper.

The original Frenglish

When France was speaking English without the prompting of a war or was it England who was speaking French….

Island Words, Island Worlds: The Origins and Meanings of Words for ‘Islands’ in North-West Europe

This paper proposes the notion that words mirror ideas, perspectives and world- views. Etymologies and meanings of general words for ‘islands’ in a number of languages in North and West Europe are then discussed.

Old Norse Influence in Modern English: The Effect of the Viking Invasion

It is estimated that there are around 400 Old Norse borrowings in Standard English. These borrowings are amongst the most frequently used terms in English and denote objects and actions of the most everyday description.

Theories of the Nonsense Word in Medieval England

The goos the cokkow and the doke also
So cryede kek kek kokkow quek quek hye

The Origins of the Tale of the Blood Drinking Hungarians

The motif of the covenant of blood was quite widespread in West European chronicle literature, and it was not necessarily applied to Oriental peoples, nor particularly to Hungarians.

From Legible Text to Magical Pattern: Arabic Inscriptions in Muslim and Christian Spain

The Arabic inscriptions in this building fascinated me, and led me down a long path of research that continues today over a decade later. Today I will present some of that research, showing you some of the other structures and objects that are adorned with the same inscription.

British Library purchases the Catholicon Anglicum

The British Library has paid £92,500 in order to keep a 500-year old dictionary from leaving the United Kingdom. They announced earlier this week that they had completed the purchase of the Catholicon Anglicum, a 15th-century English-Latin dictionary.

Alphabet Poems: A Brief History

As a collector of alphabet books, and sometime editor of a newsletter on the subject, I have had many opportunities to consider the history of the alphabet poem. Although alphabet poems may take a wide range of forms, most are generally divided into twenty-six parts (lines, couplets, stanze…), one for each letter.

Voynich Manuscript partially decoded, text is not a hoax, scholar finds

A Professor in Applied Linguistics believes he has decoded a few words from the mysterious Voynich Manuscript, a 600-year old work that has baffled scholars for the last hundred years.

Norse Rune code cracked

A scholar of the University of Oslo has cracked one of the rune codes used by the Vikings, revealing they were sending each other messages such as ‘Kiss me’.

The Most Significant Manuscript Sources of Medieval Croatian Vernacular Verse

The first part of the article gives a brief overview of the history of Croatian literacy up to the first written record of poetry in the Old Croatian language.

Medieval English for Dummies

A quick-and-dirty guide for would-be Time-travellers

The Anonymous Old English Legend of the Seven Sleepers and its Latin Source

The earliest extended treatment of the legend of the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus in a
western vernacular language is the anonymous Old English prose version preserved
in British Library MS Cotton Julius E vii…

The Rise of the French Language in Medieval Europe

A free exhibition, The Moving Word: French Medieval Manuscripts in Cambridge, begins today at Cambridge University Library.

Víking – ’rower shifting’? An etymological contribution

There is an extensive literature on the etymology of víking f. ‘freebooting voyage’ and víkingr m. ‘sea warrior’, but none of the well-known suggestions are satisfactory.

Is the Author Really Better than his Scribes? Problems of Editing Pre-Carolingian Latin Texts

Latin texts composed after ca. 600 and before the Carolingian writing re- forms that began in the late eighth century present problems that editors rarely have to face when working on classical texts (including most writings of late antiquity), or texts written after ca. 800.

Losing the null subject : a contrastive study of (Brazilian) Portuguese and (Medieval) French

This paper deals with the development and the use of subject pronouns in Portuguese and discusses the question of whether or not Brazilian Portuguese is a language which is losing its null subject property or which has already lost it

Heathen: Linguistic Origins and Early Context

It is my hope that this endeavor will allow the reader to have a serious understanding of the origins, early history, and more importantly the context of the word heathen, and what this might have meant for the people implied by it.

Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British Sources completed after 100 years

After over 58,000 entries, 3830 pages and seventeen volumes, the Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British Sources is now finished.

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