thane

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English[edit]

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Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old English þeġen, þegn, from Proto-Germanic *þegnaz (man, warrior), from Proto-Indo-European *teke-, *give birth; compare Dutch degen, German Degen, Icelandic þegn.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

thane (plural thanes)

  1. (historical) A rank of nobility in pre-Norman England, roughly equivalent to baron.[1]
    • 1845, Johann Martin Lappenberg, Benjamin Thorpe (translator), A History of England under the Anglo-Saxon Kings, 2004, page 317,
      The Anglo-Saxon thanes were in all respects the predecessors of the Norman barons.
      The title of thane seems to have supplanted that of gesith, which appears only in the earner Anglo-Saxon laws, a denomination that may originally have designated the attendants or companions of the king, and whose wergild being triple that of the simple freeman, were, therefore, denominated not only gesithcund men, but six-hynde men.
    • 1910, Robert A. Thompson, The People's History of England, Walter Scott Publishing, New York,
      The little island of Iona became the refuge of the sons and some thanes of Athelfrith, banished by Edwin.
    • 2000, Wulfstan, Robert Boenig (editor and translator), Sermo Lupi ad Anglos, Anglo-Saxon Spirituality: Selected Writings, page 144,
      Although some serfs escape from their lord and turn away from Christendom to the Vikings and after this it happens that the clash of swords becomes common to thane and serf, if the serf utterly kills the thane, he lies unpaid by all of the serf's kin.

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Anagrams[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "thane", entry in 1852, Putnam's Home Cyclopedia: Hand-Book of Literature and the Fine Arts, p594 — The thanes in England were formerly persons of some dignity; there were two orders, the king's thanes, who attended the kings in their courts and held lands immediately of them, and the ordinary thanes, who were lords of manors and who had particular jurisdiction within their limits. [] After the [Norman] Conquest, this title was disused, and baron took its place.