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YE OLDE DICTIONARY OF THE OLD ENGLISH LANGUAGE

(give or take a century)

art - are

bequeath (one of my personal favorites) - To give or leave by will; to hand down.

beseech - request, ask.

besought – asked, made request. (past tense of beseech)

betwixt – between.

canst - can.

cometh – comes, or coming.


Submitted by Queen of Terabithia

dearth - (durth) scarcity or scant supply of anything; want or lack.

dost - do, does.

draught or draft – Can mean the act of pulling or drawing loads; a pull or haul; a team of animals for pulling a load; the drawing in of a fish net; the bunch of fish that were drawn in by
the net; but… your typical Rennie will prefer one of these usages: the act of inhaling; that which is inhaled; or, the number one definition for common folk everywhere: the drawing of a
liquid from its receptacle, as of ale from a cask!!!!

durst – Dare; to have the necessary boldness or courage for something.

fere - friend, companion.

fullsome - rich, plentiful.

hath - equivalent of modern has.


Submitted by M.G. of Oneida, Wisconsin

henceforth - from now on.


Submitted by L. Strass

hither - here.

huzzah - Huzza or huzzah is first recorded in 1573. According to a number of writers in the 17th and 18th centuries, it was originally a sailor's cheer or salute. (Old French, huzzer, “to shout
aloud;” German, hussah!) Submitted by John Of www.renaissancefestival.com

mere - An expanse of water; lake; pool.


Submitted by The Lady Mellisa of Pt. Charlotte

midst – Middle, or among. e.g., "in the midst of the storm…

nary - None; absolutely nothing; not even close to anything.


Submitted by Jester Bumbledumb of Drunkonia

The good Jester also included an example of the word's usage:


"Thou dost hast nary an inkling on coveting thine lady."

And for the fullness of your understanding, this modern translation of the above phrase:
"You wouldn't know how to please a babe if you spent 10 years on the set of Oprah!"

naught – Nothing. (Did you know our modern word “not” is actually an abbreviated form of this Olde-English word, which was itself a shortened form of “no whit” or “not a whit”?)

onuppan - above.
Submitted by Callum Ellis Mennie

overmany - a lot.
Submitted by Kaylia White

pece - silverware, fork.


Submitted by Kylaa

prithee - contracted form of "I pray thee", i.e., I ask of you, I beseech thee, etc.
proby - apprentice.
Submitted by Sire Kyle

pudh - horrible.

Rennies - Renaissance fanatics; also people who are addicted to Renaissance Faires, costume, and anything else reminiscent of that era. Alright, this isn’t really an O.E. word at all – it’s a
catchy name, though!

shall or shalt - will

seek - (O.E. secan, to seek) To go in search or quest of; to look or search for.

syllan - sell.

tallt - to stand above others in a snobby way.

tarry - to linger, deliberate, wait, stay, or pause.

thou - you

thee - you

thine - your

thither - there.

thy - your

trow – To think or suppose. e.g., "Wilt thou labor for naught? I trow not!"

whence - From where, e.g., "Whence, comest thou?" would translate to the modern "Where do you come from?"

wax - to grow, to become.

whither - To where, e.g., "Whither thou goest, I shall go." translates in modern English as "Where you go, I will go."

wilt – This one is tricky. It can mean very simply, will; but then it could also mean what a flower does without water, or what I do when asked to cook - it all depends on the context…

wist - knew; past tense of wit, e.g. He wist that his love was coming...

wit – To know, e.g., Canst thou wit what the day shall bring?

wrought - done, made, created; e.g. "...see what God hath wrought..."
Submitted by M.G. of Oneida, Wisconsin

ye - polite form of thou.


Submitted by Laura

yore - years ago.

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