|Very little has been done hitherto to investigate the exact shades of meaning in Old English words.|
Otto Jespersen, Growth and Structure of the English Language, Chapter 3, § 52; 1938.
Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita
mi ritrovai per una selva oscura,
ché la diritta via era smarrita.
Where was Home to an Old Englishman ?
"In my view Anglo-Saxon should be regarded as a distinct language ancestral to modern English rather than as an early form of English ..... If we are to follow linguistic fashion abolishing Anglo-Saxon in favour of Early English to be logical we must now call Latin Early Italian ..... Early English for Anglo-Saxon is contrary to common sense."
Dr J.S.Beard, History Today, December 1998.
"Some people ... think that English poetry begins with the Anglo-Saxons. I don't ..... Anglo-Saxon is a different language, which has to be learnt like any foreign language. Anglo-Saxon poetry ..... is somebody else's poetry."
James Fenton, An Introduction to English Poetry, 2002, p.1.
September, 2016. It is brought home to me, as I proceed along my way, with ever-decreasing speed, that the article by David Burns in the Contemporary Review has not received the prominence which is its due. Herewith an attempted remedy, however modest.
In the pages between 354, above, and 359, below, David Burns lists innumerable parallel place-names, all of which were imported into Britain by the Scandinavian immigrants. This is exactly the same process as that which took place in America, when invaded by British settlers. The affection retained by the Scandinavians for their former homes was relatively greater, of course. The information provided by Burns is, however, effectively ignored or disregarded by present-day self-approving Anglo-Saxonist researchers and commentators. It is a simple fact that the Anglo-Saxon language evolved from Old Scandinavian. Nothing could be more pathetically ridiculous than calling it "Old English". For your amusement, take a look at what Stephen Oppenheimer has to say; or even more hysterical, the fantastic tale invented by Max Dimont.
siþas secgan hu ic
siþas secgan hu ic: sätten säga hur jag
the ways expound how I
anfloga, wearn, (h)wælweg, hyge, gielleð
The line numbers in brackets indicate Gordon's 1960 edition. The Modern Swedish cognate follows.
Mæg ic (1) - Må jag. (notes: 1)
slat (11) - slet. (notes: 3)
scurum (17) - skur. (notes: 5)
gomene (20) - gamman. (notes: 6)
medodrince (22) - mjöddricka. (notes: 6)
hrusan (32) - grus. (notes: 9)
forþon (27, 33, 39, 58, 64, 72, 103, 108) - ändå, ty då, för då. (notes: 10/11)
sorge (42, 54) - omsorg or sörja för. (notes: 12)
hyge (44, 58, 96) - håg. (notes: 13)
wongas (49) - vång. (notes: 14)
sceatas (61, 105) - sköte (skatt). (notes: 17). See also "Empress of Hel".
eft (61) - efter. (notes: 17).
*** *** ***
timeless masterpiece: 1000-800 BC
*** *** ***
Modern Version stanzas 1-7; Anglo-Saxon lines 1-26
MV stanzas 8-14; AS lines 27-52: MV stanzas 15-20; AS lines 53-71
MV stanzas 20-24; AS lines 72-99: MV stanzas 25-30; AS lines 100-125