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View Diary: Origins of English: The Norse Influence (41 comments)

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  •  they not only had different words ... (7+ / 0-)

    ... they had entirely different concepts. For "leg" they used "wheelbarrow" (they were all amputated at birth); they never saw the sky because they kept their eyes shut. It's no wonder they were so easily conquered by the Norse. Please see Monty Python's relevant work for more documentary evidence on life back then.

    My Old Eng dictionary works in only one direction (from Old Eng), so some guesswork is involved. (Also it goes into German, which is why I got it for free.) Sky was "heofan" ("f" in that position was pronounced like a "v"). Rotten was "fúl" (usually written with a macron [bar] above the u, but that's inconvenient here) ('foul'). Crawl was "créopan." I can't find anything for "leg," so i suspect they really didn' t have any. Certainly, they hid them very well in their dictionaries.

    •  No legs figures. "It's just a flesh wound." (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ojibwa, RonK, PrahaPartizan, MT Spaces

      Modern German has leg = Bein, lowland-German leg(s) = Been, possibly from the same root as bone? If so, the old English word might have been similar. My dictionary of Danish says leg = ben, so I wonder where that "leg" word came from anyway.

      Freedom is not just a word. 'Freedom' is a noun.

      by intruder from Old Europe on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 06:39:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  tried those (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ojibwa, PrahaPartizan, MT Spaces

        no luck. But if you google "old english translate" you come up with this: http://www.oldenglishtranslator.co.uk/
        which gives the roots "scanca" and "scía" (the other words in the listing seem to be derivatives), which would be "shank" and "shin" respectively ("sc" in the second one is pronounced like "sh," and the oblique cases for that word have an "n" at the end).

        So I guess they did have legs after all.
        Who would have guessed?

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