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LIST OF ENGLISH WORDS
THE ETYMOLOGY OF WHICH IS ILLUSTRATED BY
COMPARISON WITH ICELANDIC
PREPARED IN THE FORM OF
CLEASBY AND VIGFUSSON'S
REV. WALTER W. SKEAT, M. A.
Lecturer and late Fellow of Christ's College, Cambridge; and M. A. of Exeter College, Oxford
One of the Vice-Presidents of the Cambridge Philological Society
M DCCC LXXVI
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THE following List is intended as a mere index, suggesting, in the briefest possible way, an etymological comparison between the English and Icelandic languages. The nature of the relation that subsists between the compared words will, in general, be sufficiently apparent when the Icelandic words have been looked out in the Dictionary, though it cannot always be exactly defined.
To give the list greater fulness, several Anglo-Saxon and Middle-English or provincial English forms have been inserted. The latest form of the word has, in general, been chosen; in all cases, the object has been to make the list of easy practical use. Sometimes, accordingly, a word appears in two forms, lest it should be overlooked.
The Anglo-Saxon words are marked with an asterisk (*), and are mostly spelt and accented as in Dr. Bosworth's Anglo-Saxon Dictionary; in a very few instances, they are taken from Grein's Anglo-Saxon Dictionary.
The Middle-English or provincial English words are marked with an obelus (+), and are spelt according to the form which is of most usual occurrence. Most of them will be found in Halliwell's Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial English ; such as do not appear there may be found in Jamieson's Scottish Dictionary or in Stratmann's Dictionary of Old English.
Some words that are really of Romance or Latin origin (and, in many cases, not of early use in English) are distinguished by being spelt with a small initial letter. Thus 'abbess' and 'abbot' do not belong to English or Icelandic except as borrowed words ; but it seemed better to include them, both in order to give a juster view of the languages as compared with each other, and also because the number of such words is by no means large.
When an English word has a fair'equivalent in Icelandic, that word is given without further remark. Thus the English 'all' is the Icelandic 'allr.' But when the relationship is less exact, the word ‘see' is inserted. Thus the entry 'Ambiht * (messenger); see ambátt' signifies that the A.S. ambiht is etymologically connected with Icel. ambátt, though the latter word is used in the signification of a handmaid or bondwoman.
Some space has been saved by the omission of several compound words. Thus the reference to Icel. barn given under Bairn will of course enable the reader to find out that the Icelandic for Bairnless is barnlauss. On the other hand, some compound words have been inserted in order to draw attention to the partial difference in form between the English and the Icelandic. Thus, whilst the Icel. agi is exactly the English awe, there is no such word in Icelandic as awful. The form used is not awe-full, but awe-like, variously spelt as ógnarligr, ógurligr, or ægiligr, the last form being very rare, as the reader may discover at once by looking out the three forms for himself. I have in no case attempted to convey information where the Dictionary itself should rather be consulted.
In cases where an Icelandic noun takes a different form in composition, I have, in general, supplied a compound term as a guide to this change. Thus the English Bear appears in Icelandic as bera, bersi, or björn, the last form being the usual one; but björn in composition appears as bjarn or bjarnar, and a guide to this is given by the insertion of the entry_' Bearskin, bjarnskinn;' an entry which seemed to me the more necessary because the word bjarnskinn is neither given nor referred to under the heading 'björn. The suffix which can be most readily added to words (both in Icelandic and English) is the suffix -less (Icel. -lauss), and this has often been chosen for the purpose of exhibiting changes of form in the stem. On the other hand, the suffix -ness does not occur in Icelandic, and it is curious to watch the way in which its place is supplied. In all cases, practical utility has been aimed at, rather than a rigid precision.
Wherever an analogy has seemed doubtful, a note of interrogation has been added. This must be taken, not so much as an expression of opinion on my part, as a hint to the reader that he is
Seo Icel, barness is barnlauss. tial thifiference in forere het no such word. in order is the Icel. agiriful, but anus
the heading boo-less (Icel. - On the otheis place is
can be used in and so through to words di
the etymope it may b incompleteposes.
expected to judge for himself. Thus the note of interrogation after “Cable, kaðall' is not meant as expressing my opinion that there is a doubt about this, but was inserted because Mr. Vigfússon, in calling attention to the resemblance between the words, has inserted the word 'probably.' I express no opinion upon this either way. I have, in general, followed Mr. Vigfússon's guidance, differing from him but seldom, and that only where I believe the case to be clear.
To the comparisons suggested by Mr. Vigfússon I have added a rather large number, chiefly from Middle-English and provincial English, but the list must not be regarded as at all complete. A closer search through our glossaries and dictionaries of provincial English would, no doubt, reveal many more points of resemblance between Icelandic and our own language. The number of words still in use in the South of Scotland and in the North of England which were borrowed from Scandinavian sources is well known to be very large ; and I have only indicated the principal of these.
The present List is written upon precisely the same plan as the 'List of English words, the etymology of which is illustrated by comparison with Meso-Gothic, printed at cols. 311-340 of my Meso-Gothic Glossaryl; and can be used in connection with that list. Thus the word acre, in Icelandic akr, appears in Mæso-Gothic as akrs; and so throughout.
Another list on the same plan, having reference only to words discussed by Curtius", will sometimes shew the analogous words in Latin and Greek. Thus our word acre appears in Latin as ager, and in Greek as åypós ; and so in other instances. A comparison of these lists will shew, for example, that the provincial English bear, signifying barley (and constituting the first syllable in that word), is represented in Icelandic by barr, in Moso-Gothic by baris, and in Latin by far; also that the etymology is discussed by Curtius, at p. 281 of the third edition of his Grundzüge.
I hope it may be clearly understood that the following list pretends to be no more than a mere index (and I fear an incomplete one) for the use of the student who wishes to refer to the Icelandic Dictionary for etymological purposes. It is a saving of time to be told at once that the verb to leap must be looked for under h, and the adjective wrong under r; and this is all my present aim. Moreover, though I have tried to avoid making mistakes, the List does not pretend to be of any authority, and it may easily happen that a student, after examining 'a suggested comparison, may have some good reason for rejecting it.
Neither do I, in general, attempt to define the nature of the connection between the two languages. In some cases, as in gospel, the Icelandic word was borrowed from the English, as explained in the Dictionary, p. 219. In other cases, as in addle † (to earn), it is extremely probable that the English was borrowed from the Icelandic, there being no trace of the word in the AngloSaxon dictionaries. Again in other cases, as in acre, the English, Icelandic, Latin, and Greek forms are all from a common source; and it would be wrong to say that the English was borrowed from the Icelandic or from the Greek, or that the Icelandic or the Greek was borrowed from the English. It is only in words like abbot, which are neither true English nor true Icelandic, that I have added any mark of distinction; these words (as explained above) are spelt with a small initial letter, except in the case of proper names.
It is a very obvious criticism to suggest that the nature of the relationship between the compared words should have been distinctly indicated, and that, with this view, the words should have been separated into distinct classes. Any one, however, who will attempt to do this will soon find so many cases in which a word has as much claim to be inserted in one class as in another, that it is by no means an easy matter to decide correctly. I will only say that I have carefully considered this matter, and have come to the conclusion that it is best, at any rate in the first instance, to include all the words under one alphabet; which is precisely what I have done. This arrangement clears the way for a more discriminating treatment of the subject hereafter ; and I am of opinion that the present state of English etymology is such, that all haste, over-confidence, and dogmatism are much to be avoided.
I offer the List, accordingly, to the consideration of those who can appreciate an Index, hoping that what is erroneous or deficient will be excused for the sake of what is useful. Any emendations or additions will be thankfully received, and may be addressed to me at 'Cambridge.'
IA Moso-Gothic Glossary, with an Introduction, etc., and a list of Anglo-Saxon and Old and Modern English words etymologically connected with Moso-Gothic. By the Rev. W. W. Skeat, M.A. London: Asher and Co., 1868.
? A Handlist of some cognate words in English, Latin, and Greek; with references to the pages in Curtius' Grundzüge der Griechischen Etymologie (3rd edition), in which their etymologies are discussed. By the Rev. W. W. Skeat, M.A. London and New York: Macmillan, 1871.
A LIST OF ENGLISH WORDS
THE ETYMOLOGY OF WHICH IS ILLUSTRATED BY COMPARISON WITH ICELANDIC.
Aith t (name of a place in Shet- Answer, andsvar; see andorða. Attlet, Etilet (to purpose), atla, land), eið.
Answer, V., andsvara; and see ætla. A-* (prefix); sometimes = ór-. Aiþan* (to waste), eyða ; see auða, svar, svara.
Auger (for nauger), nafarr. Abal* (force), afl, afli; see efling. aleyda. See Yðan.
Ansýn*, Onsýn* (appearance), á. Auk, álka. abbess, abbadís. Al- (prefix), al-, all-.
Aun’dt, Awn'dt (fated); see auðna. abbot, ábóti. Alder (tree), elrir, elri, ölr. antichrist, antikristr.
Auskerriet (a scoop), ausker, austAbove; see ofan. Alderman, aldurmaðr, öldurmaðr; antiphon, antifona.
ker. accord, akkorda.
and see aldormaðr in Addenda, Ánweald (sole empire), einvald. Awaltt (cast over on the back), ace, áss.
Aware, Ware, varr.
Away; see afvega, afvegis.
Awe, agi, ógn, ógnan; see óan, Ácwern* (squirrel), íkorni. Ale-bench, ölbekkr.
uggr. Addlet (to earn), öðlask, óðlask. Ale-booth, ölbúð.
appeal; see appella.
Awe, V., ægja, ægja, ógna. Adm* (breath, vapour), eimr ? Ale-house, ölhús.
Awful, ógnarligr, ógurligr, cegiligr. Ádre* (vein), æðr. Alike, á-líka. Appletree, apaldr.
Awkward; see öfigr, öfugr. adventure, æfintýr.
Alkint (of every kind), alls-konar. Ár* (honour), æra ; (favour), eir, Awl, alr. Æcerceorl* (ploughman), akrkarl. All, allr.
Awmt(a measure of wine), áma (3). #cermon* (ploughman), akrmaðr. Allert (alder-tree), ölr. See Alder. Ár* (a messenger), árr,
Awn, ögn. Aefauldt (one-fold), einfaldr. Allhallow-mass, Allra - Heilagra- Arch, adj., argr.
Axe, öx. Êhteland* (landed property), ætt messa ; see messa.
arch- (prefix), erki..
Axle, öxull; see öxl. land.
All-wise, alvíss (Addenda), p. 771. Arderst (ploughings); see arðr. Axle-tree, öxultré, öxull, axull. Ælan* (to kindle), elda. Almighty, almáttigr. arduous, ördigr, örðugr?
Aye (ever), ei, ey, e. Æled* (fire), eldr. alms, almusa, ölmusa.
Aræd* (counsel), ór-ræði; see áfỀr* (brass), eir.
allodial ; see óðal in Addenda, ræði.' Ærendraca* (messenger), eyrend. p.771.
Are, erum, eruð, eru; see vera.
Arettet (to adjudge); see rétta.
Back, bak, bakki (3). Ærn*, Ern* (secret place, &c.), Alpt (a bullfinch); see álpt ? ark, örk.
Backfall, bakfall. arinn, altar, altari.
Árlic* (honourable), ærligr. Bærsynnig* (bare or open sinner), Érwacol* (early awake), árvakr. Alyfan* (to allow), orlofa; see leyfa. Arm, armr ; see ermr.
bersyndugr. Æsceman* (a pirate), askmadr. Alysan* (to free); see órlausn, Armless (said of a coat), ermlauss. Bag, baggi, böggr. Æ£t* (meat), áta.
Baint (straight, direct), beinn. Æthlyp* (an assault), athlaup. Am, em; see vera.
Arredt (scarred), örróttr.
Bairn, barn. Ædan* (to overwhelm), eyda. Ambiht* (messenger); see ambátt. Arrow, ör.
Bairn-laket (child's play), barnÆþel* (noble), adal. Ambihte* (service), embætti. Arse, ars, rass.
leikar, barnaleikr. Æbeling* (prince), eðlingt, öðlingr. amour, afmor (Addenda), p. 771. Art, v. (2 person), ert; see vera. Bait (for fish), beita. Aþræt* (irksomeness), áprætni. ampullet (phial), ömpull.
articulate, V., articulera.
Bait (to feed), beita. Æthweorfan* (to turn to); see An- (in an-swer), and..
Arval-suppert (funeral feast), erfða- Bake, baka. athvarf. anchor, akkeri.
öldr; see erfi.
denda, p. 773.
As, alls, als. [N.B. This is inexact; Bale (of fire), bál. Aft, aptan, aftan ; aptr, aftr. Anda* (malice); see öfund.
the Mid. Eng. als = A.S. eall- Bale (evil), böl. After, aptari, aptarr; eptir, eftir. Andfeng* (reception), andfang. swa.]
Balk (beam), bálkr, bjálki. Afterbirth, eptirburðr. Andlang* (along); see á-lengr. Ash (tree), askr.
Ball, böllr. Aftermost; see eptri, eptstr. Andsacian* (to deny); see andsaka. Ashes, aska.
balsam, balsam. Against, Again ; see gegn. Andweorc* (material); see and Ashwednesday; see öskudagr. Ban, bann. Aghast; see geiski, gyzki, gersta. virki,
Askew, á ská; see ská.
Ban, V., banna, Agnail, aumneglur (rather, anne- Andwlita* (aspect); andlit; cf. Aspen, ösp.
Band, band, benda, bendi, glur).
Bane, bani, ben.
have influenced the form ask). Bank, bakki. Ahleápan* (to leap upon); see angel, engill.
Asunder ; see sundr.
Bannock, bjannak. á-hlaup. Anger, angr. (Cf. A.S. ange, vexa- At, at, að.
Bare, berr. Ahtet (property), ætt.
Att (as sign of infinitive), at, ad. Bare, v. (to make bare), bera ' Aigreent (houseleek); see a grænn Anger, v., angra.
Ater* (poison), eitr.
Barefoot, berfættr. (p. 756).
Angle (to fish); see öngull. (Cf. A þræt * (irksomeness), þreyta. Bareheaded, berhöfði. Aindt (breath), andi, önd.
A.S. angel, a fish-hook). Athwart; see þverr, þverliga. Barett (strife), barátta. Airtt (quarter of the sky), átt? Anglesey, Öngulsey.
Abwean* (to wash off); see afþváttr. Bark (of a tree), börkr. ætt? (The Scottish airt was Angsum* (full of grief), angrsamr, atom, atoma.
Bark, v., berkja, probably borrowed rather from Ankle, ökkla.
Attelt (base–Ormulum); see at- Barley, barlak. See Bear (barley). the Gaelic àird, a cardinal point.] Anláf* (proper name), Oláfr.
Barmt (bosom), barmr, Aitht (oath), eiðr. annal, annáll.
Attercopt (spider); see eitr. baron, barón.