Page images
PDF
EPUB

II. p. 153, alle pa þatt waterr swalh.

In Vol. I. p. 85, we see our common form theirs for. the first time.

* Till egyþerr þeggress herrte.' Fornis like 'ours and yours were to come later. This Norse form took long to reach the South.

The old celc (quisque), as in the South, was now taking an after it; hence comes the Lowland Scotch form iłka, as in I.

15.

And off illc an off alle þa
Comm an god flocc off prestess (each one of all those).

We find also swillc an, such a one.

Orrmin is the first English writer to put what before a substantive without regard to gender, as 'what man?' what woman?' The old hwilc was losing its former meaning in England.

In Vol. I. p. 42, there is a new form, “þu cwennkesst i þi sellf modiznesse.' This of old would have been pe silf; self now began to be thought a noun, something like person.

Nan (nemo) takes a Plural sense, much as if a barbarous Latin word like nemines were to be formed. At Vol. II. page 92 we see, 'i nane depe sinness.'

A is used as an Interjection, much like our ah.

Alls if (in Latin, quasi) replaces the Old English swilc; we find also alls itt weere, as it were. Our withal is now seen.

The Old aweg is now awezy (away).
The Old á (semper) is now agg.
The curious word bidene.(in Dutch, by that) is found

for the first time; it remained in use for 300 years.

It here means 'at once.'

Forpwipp also appears for the first time, but is used only once by Orrmin; the old forrprihht is commonly employed by him.

Hallfingess, a word still in Scotch use, appears in Orrmin instead of the old healfunga.

The Old English Interjection eala now becomes la,

our lo!

Orr (in Latin aut) appears once or twice for the first time, replacing the old oppe.

Orrmin was the first to use rihht instead of swipe (the Latin valde), though he does not do it often; thus, in I. page 217, he talks of leading a life rihht wel wipp Godess hellpe. We still keep the old adverb, though the foreign very has almost driven it out.

The word ân, when used in the sense of solus, takes all before it (hence comes our alone).

We are told that man cannot

Bi bræd all ane libbenn.-II. p. 40.

were

the new forms although, albeit, &c.,

soon to follow.

Orrmin uses, as we do, both awihht and ohht (aught and ought).

The Old English word for the Latin idem was ylc, still kept in Scotland; as Redgauntlet of that Ilk. Instead of this, Orminn, but only once, uses same;

He mihhte makenn cwike menn

þær off þa same staness.-I. page 345.

This root same is good Sanscrit and Gothic; the Norse sams means ejusdem generis. Nothing in English is more curious than that this Scandinavian word should have driven out the older ylc.

Allderrman here still means a Prince, as in Old English times; Orrmin even uses it for Abbot. He talks also of Eorless, earls, ranking them not much lower than kings.

Líc was the Old English word for corpus, though it is now found only in Lichfield and lych-gate. Bodig usually meant the trunk or chest; but Orrmin uses bodiz far oftener than lic, in our sense of the word. In one line he forms a new substantive out of the two, speaking of bodiglich.

He uses chilldre for the Plural of child, and the former still lingers in Lancashire as childer. Our corrupt Plural children came from the South, as also did brethren and kine.

The word drugod is now turned into druhhpe. The word flail, akin to the flegil of the mainland, now first appears in English.

The old gærshoppan now becomes gresshoppe, grasshoppers.

The old croet (currus) now becomes karrte.

The diphthong æ had long been giving way, and it was doubtful whether a or e was to replace it. Orrmin's nazyl instead of nægel has been followed by us rather than the neil of the South.

We now find for the first time such compounds as overking, overlord; words happily revived in our own day.

Our fathers had a rooted objection to beginning their words with the letter p; few such are found in Orrmin, and nearly all of them are Church Latin phrases.

He uses wayzn instead of the old wægen, and we still employ both wain and waggon; both alike are found in English writers before the Norman Conquest.

Weddlac (wedlock) now appears, where of old wiflág would have been used. The former word, before Orrmin's time, meant no more than the Latin pignus.

The Old English woruld stood for sæculum, and nothing more; but it now begins to stand for orbis.'

In Orrmin's werrkedagh, the new form of weorc-dæg, we see the first germ of Shakespere's this work-a-day world.'

Orrmin sometimes casts a letter out of the middle of a word; thus he has both the old wurrþshipe and the new wurrshipe, worship.

The word daffte still keeps its old sense, humilis ; it has been degraded, like silly (beatus).

Adjectives were losing the guttural, with which they formerly ended. We find in Orrmin both erblic and erplig.

Follhsumm (compliant) has not yet the degrading sense of our fulsome ; indeed, the latter is said to be connected with foul. Fresh now replaces the older fersc. The word fus, ' eager,' is here found in its true old

This is now degraded, like many another good word. The worthy Nicodemus, as Orrmin says, was

sense.

1 This word is still rightly pronounced as a dissyllable in Scotland ; so in Lady Nairne's Mitherless Lammie :

*But it wad gae witless the warald to see.'

fus to lernenn ; in our days, a tiresome old woman is fussy.

Nacod now becomes nakedd (nudus).

Orrmin uses sheepish in a sense far removed from ours ; he applies the adjective (I. p. 230) to a man who meekly follows Christ's pattern.

We find þurrhutlike, thoroughly, for the first time. Ungelic is now cut down to unnlic (unlike).

We see æbeliz, our easily, instead of the older eadelice.

For the Latin sunt, we find arrn, as well as beon and sinndenn. The first of these was hardly ever used in the South or West of England; it comes from the Angles, as we saw in the Northumbrian Gospels. Hi wæron now sometimes, as in the Southern Homilies, becomes Þezy wære ; but a more wonderful change is þu wore turned into pu wass, the Norse war (eras); ic sceal becomes I shall. We see the last of the Old English si (in Latin, sit); it survives, somewhat clipped, in our yes, i.e. ge si. Beô is in the Ormulum cut down to be, and beon (esse) to ben. Orrmin uses the old ic mót, þu most, and also a new Scandinavian auxiliary verb, which is employed even now from Caithness to Derbyshire. Such a phrase as I mun do this is first found in his work; the mun is the Scandinavian muna, but mune in the Ormulum implies futurity more than necessity.

Orrmin uses assken (rogare) instead of the Southern acsian, and we have followed him ; the Irish still use axe, since the first English colonists came from Bristol and the South.

· Four years ago I heard an old Derbyshire gamekeeper use the verb in question.

« PreviousContinue »