David Burns noted: "historians seem to dismiss, or not wish to pursue"
the link between Swedish and Anglo-Saxon.

From The Origins of the British, hardback, p 204. Old Scandinavians coming from Skåne, as well as Denmark.
"Didn't the Angles come from Scandinavia ?" Yes, but they were speaking Old Scandinavian, not Old English.
Map, p 232, paperback, is modified.

Gata and Strada

On page 416, hardback, or page 482, softback, of his opus The Origins of the British: a genetic detective story, 2006 and 2007, Stephen Oppenheimer, under the heading How Old is English, throws out this stunning remark. "The evidence against a Dark Ages root of English goes deeper than (an early "Norse" influence). In terms of vocabulary, English is nowhere near any of the West Germanic languages it has traditionally been associated with. It actually roots closer to Scandinavian than to Beowulf, the earliest "Old English" poem and probably written in the elite court of the Swedish Wuffing dynasty of East Anglia. One study suggests that, on this lexical evidence, English forms a fourth Germanic branch dating to before AD 350 and probably after 3,600 BC." [Forster]. Huh ? Come again ? See page 482, paperback. This remark strikes me as a jaw-dropping assertion. What lexical evidence does its originator have in mind, pre-350 AD, and post-3,600 BC ? I'd like to see some literature from, say, 3,500 BC. Moreover, Beowulf is much, much closer to Modern Scandinavian than to Modern English, or Modern German. It is written in Anglo-Saxon, a language which evolved from Old Scandinavian. Varieties of Old English were spoken by Chaucer, Piers Plowman, and the Gawain poet. Why call the language spoken in Britain, pre-Beowulf, pre-350 AD, English of any kind ? The self-evident fact is that Modern English, and also Anglo-Saxon, are both securely based on Old Scandinavian, and not on that profoundly comical and retrograde concept, Old English. One American told me that it was confusing, because, to Americans, it was obvious that Shakespeare was writing in Old English.

But the main aim of this webpage is to tackle a curious statement about the use of "gate" to mean "street", and insights associated. See this excerpt from a noted onomastic authority:

Excerpts, above and right, from Hellquist's Etymologisk Ordbok, 1922 edition. Perhaps he is followed by the Danish Dictionary of Old Norse Prose, 1995. Sadly, I don't have the energy to translate either. Try stråt.

Referring to the passage boxed in red in the upper right-hand extract, I can't help reflecting on Aldgate, Aldersgate, Billingsgate, Bishopsgate, Broadgate, Cripplegate, Highgate, Ludgate, Moorgate, Newgate. Maybe there are other gate place-names in London. Are none of these streets ? Broadgate is definitely a broad street; Bishopsgate a long street.

Simeon's Chronicles of the Angles: Vol III, p.757, notes that the Angles came from Old Angeln, which lies "between the Saxons and the Goths". This would therefore include all Scania, and the town of Ängelholm, as well as Ingelsträde and Ängelbeckstrand, as well as perhaps even as far north as Ängeltofta. Subsequent writers have failed to include Scania as part of Old Angeln.

André Gide once noted that everything worth saying has already been said;
but since no-one was listening, it has to be said again.

"Truth is born into this world only with pangs and tribulations, and every fresh truth is received unwillingly. To expect the world to receive a new truth, or even an old truth, without challenging it, is to look for one of those miracles which do not occur." Alfred Russel Wallace

"There are many mathematicians [read Anglo-Saxonists] who are more or less honest. But almost all of them are conformists. They are more or less honest, but they tolerate those who are not honest."
Grigori Perelman.


essays and papers
commentary       annotation
back to this version: commentary four
back to oppenheimer       back to löddesborg
back to lödöse        on to twenty years on
tower of babel       hollander & gradon
back to language of ancent britain
saxon shore
back to lund med omnejd
back to arngart, björk etc
main index
try ship four

mail here

"Every great advance in natural knowledge has involved the absolute rejection of authority." Thomas Huxley
It is not who is right, but what is right, that is of importance. Thomas Huxley, 1825-1895

For a summary of what's wrong with "peer review", see here. "The mistake, of course, is to have thought that peer review was any more than a crude means of discovering the acceptability — not the validity — of a new finding."

Just remember, in etymology, consonants have little significance, and vowels none at all.

"The truth ... is that to the dilettante the thing is the end, while to the professional as such it is the means; and only he who is directly interested in a thing, and occupies himself with it from love of it, will pursue it with entire seriousness. It is from such as these, and not from wage-earners, that the greatest things have always come."
Arthur Schopenhauer, 1851.

What about the Maglemosians ?


© Charles Harrison-Wallace 2017
all rights reserved

Bishopsgate Street in London published in 1720. Cartographer, Richard Blome; Surveyor, John Stow.
Bishopsgate is not properly called "Bishopsgate Street", since that would mean Bishop's Street Street. Or would it ?

The Trundholm Chariot

"Perhaps made in about 1300 BC"
From The Sun-Gods of Ancient Europe, Miranda Green, Batsford 1991, p 114.