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Hist-English-lnks – 1/11/06


A set of web links to information on the history of the English language and its development by Dame Aoife Finn of Ynos Mon. Includes also some links for Old Icelandic and Old Scotts.


NOTE: See also the files: languages-msg, Ital-Phrases-art, Latin-msg, Latin-online-art, literacy-msg, mottoes1-msg, per-latin-art, per-literacy-art.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.


Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org



From:   aoife at scatoday.net

Subject: [Aoife-Links] Links: From Whence our English language hails

Date: October 29, 2004 7:49:54 AM CDT

To:   aoife-links at scatoday.net


Greetings, my Faithful Readers!


This edition of the Links list was the brainchild of Iustinos Tekton (Called

Justin), publisher of SCAtoday. He sent me a post by someone named  Jen on

the SCA-Bards list (the topic was alliteration), and a Links List was born.

In fact, the first few links are Jen's, so Jen, wherever you are, THANKS!


Please enjoy this list on the origins of the Modern English Language (which

is really a Germanic Language at it's roots). If English word history isn't

your bag, however, scroll down to the end where you will find dictionaries

for both Old Icelandic and Old Scotts.


As always, please feel free to forward this list wherever it will find

interest, but please remove my email address first. I have put my address

below in a sort of non-readable format for those machines that crawl

webmessages looking for valid addresses. On this new address I have already

received my first virus disguised as a bounced message---so let's try to

keep a good thing going and NOT spread germs :)





aoife at scatoday dot net


Dame Aoife Finn of Ynos Mon

Canton of Riverouge

Barony of the Endless Hills

Kingdom of Aethelmearc





an old-spelling edition of STC 4884  (An Early Dictionary)


(Site Excerpt) Robert Cawdrey's Table Alphabeticall, first printed in 1604,

is generally regarded to be the first fully developed representative of the

monolingual dictionary in English. For each of the 2543 headwords contained

in its first edition, Cawdrey provided a concise definition -- the standard

entry rarely exceeded more than a few words, usually synonyms -- and he

marked those words thought to be of French or Greek origin; in some cases,

he also marked those words which were a "kind of" a larger group.


Bartleby.com: Changes in the Language to the Days of Chaucer. 11. Words

adopted from French.


(Site Excerpt) In the Peterborough Chronicle written about 1154, the French

words amount to nearly a score. Their character is significant. They include

emperice empress, cuntesse countess (of Anjou), curt court (king Henry II

"held mycel curt" at London in 1154), dubbian to dub a knight, prison,

privilege, rente, tenserie (the name of an impost). We are told that king

Henry II "dide god iustice and makede pais (peace)."


Word Origins: A (Very) Brief History of the English Language


(Site Excerpt--and a note that we shouldn't forget "fadir" in Old Norse :)

The influence of the original Indo-European language, designated

proto-Indo-European, can be seen today, even though no written record of it

exists. The word for father, for example, is vater in German, pater in

Latin, and pitr in Sanskrit. These words are all cognates, similar words in

different languages that share the same root.


Martha Barnette's Funwords (the origin of words--note the link is to the

alphabetical list of word and their origins)


(Site Excerpt) accismus (ak-SIZZ-muss)  The pretended refusal of something

that is actually desired very much. Experts in the art of rhetoric use

accismus to refer to a statement that feigns disinterest. There's a famous

instance of accismus early in Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar," when Caesar

gives the impression that he's reluctant to accept the crown. A more

everyday example might be: "Why no, I couldn't possibly have that last bite

of your fallen chocolate souffle with hot fudge sauce." It's from the Greek

akkismos, which means "coyness," or "affectation."  "Really now, Gerald,

your accismus is hardly persuasive."


Old English at the University of Virginia


See Escespially the practice sentences link (with sound files) at:


(Site Excerpt) This site contains resources for students of Old English at

the University of Virginia and elsewhere, including texts and exercises,

information about Introduction to Old English, the new textbook by the

creator of this web site (with a link to the free on-line version), and

links to a selection of on-line resources. Students everywhere are invited

to make free use of these pages.


Georgetown University: Old English


(Site Excerpt) An index to electronic editions of Old English texts,

translations, and images of Anglo-Saxon manuscripts available on the Web.




An e-list for composition in Old English.


Roots of English An Etymological Dictionary by Prof. Eugene Cotter, Seton

Hall University


(Site Excerpt) Roots of English is a free software package developed by Dr.


at Seton Hall University. The software was created using Asymetrix's

Toolbook, but it is self-contained and packages as a simple, standard

Windows Installation program for the PC. (sorry, no Mac version).

The software will help you find the Greek and Latin roots of thousands

of words in the English language, and  the hypertext links make it fast

and easy to use. The Dictionary also contains background on the history

of English and details on the sources of individual words.


The Forest of Rhetoric

silva rhetoricae


(Site Excerpt) This online rhetoric, provided by Dr. Gideon Burton of

Brigham Young University, is a guide to the terms of classical and

renaissance rhetoric. Sometimes it is difficult to see the forest (the big

picture) of rhetoric because of the trees (the hundreds of Greek and Latin

terms naming figures of speech, etc.) within rhetoric.


English 419 (History of English)


(Site Excerpt) Old English (OE) is the general term linguists apply to the

Germanic language spoken by the Anglo-Saxon inhabitants of Britain from

roughly the time they conquered the island in the fifth century to the time

they were themselves conquered (by the French-speaking Normans) in the

eleventh century. As with all languages which are no longer spoken, Old

English is known only from written sources and from what we are able to

deduce about it from other languages, both related tongues like Old High

German (OHG), Old Norse (ON), and Gothic (Go), and more recent descendants,

such as Middle English (ME) and Modern English (ModE). Old English is

usually taught as a foreign language nowadays; it is different enough from

the language we speak to be completely unintelligible, most of the time.


Old English Riddles

Se Sceawere-stede

by Prof. Andrew Orchard


Some resources for the class (alas, no riddles!)


Instant Old English--a phrasebook


(Site Excerpt) Ic grete þe.[I greet you (sing.).]

Ic þe þancas doThank you [I give you (sing.) thanks]



Old English in Context


(Site Excerpt) Hwt! This is the first word of Beowulf, where translators

render it variously as Lo, Listen, Hear me, and Yes. There is in fact no

translation equivalent in Modern English, and using a dictionary isn't much

help. To understand this word, you must see how it is used in a number of

contexts: i.e., in Old English texts. It is the premise of the present book

that all words in another language ought to be learned in context, and that

they can be learned in this way.


The Dictionary of Old English

Centre for Medieval Studies

University of Toronto


(Site Excerpt--Word of the Week--note there is a link to download a font

that is old-english compatible)  geomor-frod ---sad in (one's) old age, sad

and old


A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue

from the twelfth century to the end of the seventeenth


(Site Excerpt) The Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (DOST) is a

comprehensive dictionary of Older Scots, the language of Lowland Scotland

from the early Middle Ages to the seventeenth century. It was inspired by

Sir William Craigie who was its first editor. From 1955 to 1983 his work was

continued and greatly expanded by Professor A.J.Aitken as Senior Editor and

from 1983 to 1985 by Dr J.A.C.Stevenson. Together with the Scottish National

Dictionary, whose period of coverage is 1700 to the present day, DOST

completes the record of Scots from its beginnings to modern times. It is

based on upwards of 1,000,000 quotations excerpted by 80 volunteers from

more than 2000 printed and manuscript sources.


A Concise Dictionary of Old Icelandic (1910, 551 pp), by Geir T. Zoga


This site is an electrnic image index of Old Icelandic Words, from an

original publication (print). CLicking on a letter takes you to a  list of

words.  Clicking in a word will take you to an image of the page upon which

the word appears int he publication.


Fontes Anglo-Saxonici

A Register of Written Sources Used by Anglo-Saxon Authors


(Site Excerpt) Fontes Anglo-Saxonici: A Register of Written Sources Used by

Authors in Anglo-Saxon England is intended to identify all written sources

which were incorporated, quoted, translated or adapted anywhere in English

or Latin texts which were written in Anglo-Saxon England (i.e. England to

1066), or by Anglo-Saxons in other countries.


Anonymous Old English Homilies: A Preliminary Bibliography of Source

Studies,  Richard Rawlinson Center for Anglo-Saxon Studies and Manuscript

Research, Medieval Institute

Western Michigan University


(Site Excerpt) This monograph is the first in a series of bibliographies to

be prepared as part of the Fontes Anglo-Saxonici project. The primary

purpose of the series is to aid the compilers of the 'Register of Written

Sources used by Authors in Anglo-Saxon England,' by providing details of

potentially relevant publications already in the public domain.


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org