Appendix:Old English Swadesh list

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This is a Swadesh list of words in Old English, compared with that of English.

Presentation[edit]

For further information, including the full final version of the list, read the Wikipedia article: Swadesh list.

American linguist Morris Swadesh believed that languages changed at measurable rates and that these could be determined even for languages without written precursors. Using vocabulary lists, he sought to understand not only change over time but also the relationships of extant languages. To be able to compare languages from different cultures, he based his lists on meanings he presumed would be available in as many cultures as possible. He then used the fraction of agreeing cognates between any two related languages to compute their divergence time by some (still debated) algorithms. Starting in 1950 with 165 meanings, his list grew to 215 in 1952, which was so expansive that many languages lacked native vocabulary for some terms. Subsequently, it was reduced to 207, and reduced much further to 100 meanings in 1955. A reformulated list was published posthumously in 1971.

'No.' English Old English
Ænglisc, Anglisc, Englisc
IPA
pronunciation
1 I ic, iċċ, ih /ik/, /itʃ/, /ix/
2 you (singular) þū /θuː/
3 he /heː/
4 we /weː/
5 you (plural) ġē /jeː/
6 they hīe /hiːy̯/
7 this þēs, þēos, þis /θeːs/, /θeːo̯s/, /θis/
8 that , sēo, þæt /seː/, /seːo̯/, /θæt/
9 here hēr /heːr/
10 there þār, þāra, þǣr, þēr /ˈθɑːrɑ/
11 who hwā /hwɑː/, [ʍɑː]
12 what hwā, hwæt /hwæt/, [ʍæt]
13 where hwǣr /hwæːr/, [ʍæːr]
14 when hwanne, hwænne, hwenne /hwanːe/, [ʍanːe]
15 how /huː/
16 not ne /ne/
17 all eall /ˈæɑ̯lː/
18 many maniġ; feola, fela /ˈmɑnij/, /ˈfeo̯lɑ/, /ˈfelɑ/
19 some sum /sum/
20 few fēaw; lyt /fæːɑ̯w/, /lyːt/
21 other ōþer /ˈoːθer/, [ˈoːðer]
22 one ān /ɑːn/
23 two twēġen, twā, /ˈtweːjen/, /twɑː/, /tuː/
24 three þrīe, þrēo /θriːy̯/, /θreːo̯/
25 four fēower /ˈfeːo̯wer/
26 five fīf /fiːf/
27 big grēat; stōr /græːɑ̯t/, /stoːr/
28 long lang, long /lɑnɡ/, /lonɡ/
29 wide wīd; brād /wiːd/, /brɑːd/
30 thick þicce /θikke/
31 heavy hefiġ /ˈhefij/, [ˈhevij]
32 small smæl /smæl/
33 short sċort, sċeort /ʃort/, /ʃeo̯rt/
34 narrow eng; nearu /enɡ/, /ˈnæɑ̯ru/
35 thin þynn /θynn/
36 woman ides; cwēn; wīfmann /ˈides/, /kweːn/, /ˈwiːvmɑnn/
37 man (adult male) wer; guma /wer/, /ɡumɑ/
38 man (human being) mann /mɑnn/
39 child ċild; bearn; umbor /tʃild/, /bæɑ̯rn/, /ˈumbor/
40 wife wīf /wiːf/
41 husband bunda, bonda, hūsbonda /ˈbundɑ/, /ˈbondɑ/, /ˈhuːsbondɑ/
42 mother mōdor /ˈmoːdor/
43 father fæder /ˈfæder/
44 animal dēor /deːo̯r/
45 fish fisċ /fiʃː/
46 bird fugol /ˈfuɡol/, [ˈfuɣol]
47 dog hund /hund/
48 louse lūs /luːs/
49 snake snaca /ˈsnɑkɑ/
50 worm wyrm /wyrm/
51 tree trēo; bēam /bæːɑ̯m/
52 forest weald; fyrhþ /wæɑ̯ld/, /fyrxθ/
53 stick sticca /ˈstikːɑ/
54 fruit wæstm; blǣd; ofett /ˈwæstm/, /ˈblæːd/, /ˈofetː/
55 seed sǣd /ˈsæːd/
56 leaf blæd; lēaf /blæd/, /læːɑ̯f/
57 root wyrt /wyrt/
58 bark (of a tree) rind /rind/
59 flower blǣd; blōstma /blæːd/, /ˈbloːstmɑ/
60 grass græs, gærs /ɡræs/, /ɡærs/
61 rope rāp; līne; sāl /rɑːp/, /ˈliːne/, /sɑːl/
62 skin hȳd /hyːd/
63 meat flǣsc /flæːʃː/
64 blood blōd /bloːd/
65 bone bān /baːn/
66 fat (noun) fǣtt /fæːtː/
67 egg ǣġ /æːj/
68 horn horn /ˈhorn/
69 tail steort; tæġl /ˈsteo̯rt/, /ˈtæjl/
70 feather feþer /ˈfeθer/, [ˈfeðer]
71 hair hǣr, hēr /heːr/
72 head hēafod; hafola /ˈhæːɑfod/, [ˈhæːɑvod]
73 ear ēare /æːɑre/
74 eye ēage /ˈæːɑ̯ɡe/, [ˈæːɑ̯ɣe]
75 nose nosu /ˈnosu/, [ˈnozu]
76 mouth mūþ /muːθ/
77 tooth tōþ /toːθ/
78 tongue (organ) tunge /ˈtunɡe/, [ˈtuŋɡe]
79 fingernail fingernæġel /ˈfinɡernæjel/, [ˈfiŋɡernæjel]
80 foot fōt /foːt/
81 leg scanca /ˈʃɑnkɑ/, [ˈʃɑŋkɑ]
82 knee cnēo /ˈkneːo̯/
83 hand hand /ˈhɑnd/
84 wing feþera /ˈfeθerɑ/, [ˈfeðerɑ]
85 belly būc /buːk/
86 guts þearm /θæɑ̯rm/
87 neck heals; hnecca /hæɑ̯ls/, /hnekkɑ/
88 back hryċġ; bæc /hrydd͡ʒ/, /bæk/
89 breast brēost /breːo̯st/
90 heart heorte /ˈheːo̯rte/
91 liver lifer /ˈliver/, [ˈlifer]
92 to drink drincan /ˈdrinkɑn/, [ˈdriŋkɑn]
93 to eat etan /ˈetɑn/
94 to bite bītan /ˈbiːtɑn/
95 to suck sūgan; sūcan /ˈsuːɡɑn/, /ˈsuːkɑn/
96 to spit spittan; hrǣċan /ˈspitːɑn/, /ˈhræːt͡ʃɑn/
97 to vomit spīwan /ˈspiːwɑn/
98 to blow blāwan /ˈblɑːwɑn/
99 to breathe ōþian, ēþian /ˈoːθiɑn/, /ˈeːθiɑn/
100 to laugh hliehhan /ˈhliy̯xːɑn/
101 to see sēon /seːo̯n/
102 to hear hīeran /ˈhiːy̯rɑn/
103 to know witan; cnāwan /ˈwitɑn/, /ˈknɑːwɑn/
104 to think þenċan /ˈθent͡ʃɑn/
105 to smell ēþian; stincan /ˈeːðiɑn/, /ˈstinkɑn/
106 to fear andrǣdan /ˈɑndˌræːdɑn/
107 to sleep slǣpan /ˈslæːpɑn/
108 to live libban, lifian /ˈlibːɑn/, /ˈlifiɑn/
109 to die steorfan /ˈsteo̯rfɑn/, [ˈsteo̯rvɑn]
110 to kill cwellan /ˈkwelːɑn/
111 to fight feohtan /ˈfeo̯xtɑn/
112 to hunt huntian /ˈhuntiɑn/
113 to hit hittan; slēan /ˈhitːɑn/, /ˈslæːɑ̯n/
114 to cut snīþan /ˈsniːθɑn/, [ˈsniːðɑn]
115 to split splātan; clēofan /ˈsplɑːtɑn/, /ˈcleːo̯fɑn/
116 to stab snǣsan; stingan; stician /ˈsnæːsɑn/, /ˈstinɡɑn/, /ˈstikiɑn/
117 to scratch sċrepan; clifrian; pliċġan; clāwian /ˈʃrepɑn/, /ˈklifriɑn/, /ˈplidd͡ʒɑn/, /ˈclɑːwiɑn/
118 to dig grafan /ˈɡrɑfɑn/, [ˈɡrɑvɑn]
119 to swim swimman; flēotan /ˈswimːɑn/, /ˈfleːo̯tɑn/
120 to fly flēogan /ˈfleːo̯ɡɑn/, [ˈfleːo̯ɣɑn]
121 to walk gangan; onsteppan /ˈɡɑnɡɑn/, /ˈonstepːɑn/
122 to come cuman /ˈkumɑn/
123 to lie (as in a bed) liċġan /ˈlidd͡ʒɑn/
124 to sit sittan /ˈsitːɑn/
125 to stand standan /ˈstɑndɑn/
126 to turn (intransitive) ċierran; hwierfan /ˈt͡ʃiy̯rːɑn/, /ˈhwiy̯rvɑn/
127 to fall feallan /ˈfæɑ̯lːɑn/
128 to give ġiefan /ˈjiy̯fɑn/, [ˈjiy̯vɑn]
129 to hold healdan /ˈhæɑ̯ldan/
130 to squeeze þringan; cwȳsan /ˈθrinɡɑn/, /ˈkwyːsɑn/
131 to rub gnīdan /ˈɡniːdɑn/
132 to wash wascan /ˈwɑʃːɑn/
133 to wipe wīpian /ˈwiːpiɑn/
134 to pull dragan; pullian /ˈdrɑɡɑn/, /ˈpulːiɑn/
135 to push scūfan; þyddan; hrindan; potian /ˈʃuːfɑn/, /ˈθydːɑn/, /ˈhrindɑn/, /ˈpotiɑn/
136 to throw weorpan /ˈweo̯rpɑn/
137 to tie bindan; tīegan /ˈbindɑn/, /ˈtiːy̯ɡɑn/
138 to sew sīwian, sēowian /ˈsiːwiɑn/, /ˈseːo̯wiɑn/
139 to count tellan /ˈtelːɑn/
140 to say cweþan; seċġan /ˈkweθɑn/, /ˈsedd͡ʒɑn/
141 to sing singan /ˈsinɡɑn/, [ˈsiŋɡɑn]
142 to play lācan; pleġan /ˈlɑːkɑn/, /ˈplejɑn/
143 to float flēotan; flotian; floterian /ˈfleːo̯tɑn/, /ˈflotiɑn/, /ˈfloteriɑn/
144 to flow flōwan /ˈfloːwɑn/
145 to freeze frēosan /ˈfreːo̯sɑn/, [ˈfreːo̯zɑn]
146 to swell swellan /ˈswelːɑn/
147 sun sōl; sunne /soːl/, /ˈsunːe/
148 moon mōna /ˈmoːnɑ/
149 star steorra; tungol /ˈsteo̯rːɑ/, /ˈtunɡol/
150 water wæter /ˈwæter/
151 rain reġn /rejn/
152 river ēa; flōd; strēam /æːɑ̯/, /floːd/, /stræːɑ̯m/
153 lake mere; lacu /ˈmere/, /ˈlɑku/
154 sea /sæː/
155 salt sealt /sæɑ̯lt/
156 stone stān /stɑːn/
157 sand sand /sɑnd/
158 dust dūst; dust /duːst/, /dust/
159 earth eorþe /eo̯rθe/, /eo̯rðe/
160 cloud wolcen /ˈwolken/
161 fog mist /mist/
162 sky rodor; lyft /ˈrodor/, /lyft/
163 wind wind /wind/
164 snow snāw /snɑːw/
165 ice īs /iːs/
166 smoke rēc; smoca /reːk/, /ˈsmokɑ/
167 fire fȳr /fyːr/
168 ash æsc /æʃː/
169 to burn beornan, biernan; bærnan; ǣlan /ˈbeo̯rnɑn/, /ˈbiy̯rnɑn/, /ˈbærnɑn/, /ˈæːlɑn/
170 road weġ; pæþ /wej/, /pæθ/
171 mountain beorg /beo̯rɡ/, [beo̯rɣ]
172 red rēad /ræːɑ̯d/
173 green grēne /ˈɡreːne/
174 yellow ġeolu /ˈjeo̯lu/
175 white hwīt /hwiːt/, [ʍiːt]
176 black sweart; blæc /swæɑ̯rt/, /blæk/
177 night neaht, niht /næɑ̯xt/, /nixt/
178 day dōgor; dæġ /ˈdoːɡor/, /dæj/
179 year ġēar /jæːɑ̯r/
180 warm wearm /wæɑ̯rm/
181 cold ċeald /t͡ʃæɑ̯ld/
182 full full /fulː/
183 new nēowe, nīwe /ˈneːo̯we/, /ˈniːwe/
184 old gamol; eald /ˈɡɑmol/, /æɑ̯ld/
185 good gōd /ɡoːd/
186 bad yfel /ˈyfel/, [ˈyvel]
187 rotten fūl /fuːl/
188 dirty ādeliht; sol /ˈɑːdelixt/, /sol/
189 straight ġerād; *ġereclīċ /jeˈrɑːd/, /jeˈrekliːt͡ʃ/
190 round hwyrflede; seonuwealt /ˈhwyrflede/, /ˈseo̯nuwæɑ̯lt/
191 sharp (as a knife) sċearp /ʃæɑ̯rp/
192 dull (as a knife) dol; dwǣs /dol/, /dwæːs/
193 smooth slīc; slieht; smēþe, smōþ /sliːk/, /sliy̯xt/, /ˈsmeːθe/, /smoːθ/
194 wet wǣt /wæːt/
195 dry sēar; drȳġe /sæːɑ̯r/, /ˈdryːje/
196 correct riht /rixt/
197 near nēah /næːɑ̯x/
198 far wīd; feor /wiːd/, /feo̯r/
199 right reht, riht /rext/, /rixt/
200 left winstre /ˈwinstre/
201 at on; æt /on/, /æt/
202 in in /in/
203 with mid /mid/
204 and and /ɑnd/
205 if ġif /jif/
206 because forþon /forˈθon/
207 name nama /ˈnɑmɑ/
Swadesh lists
Individual languages

Afrikaans – Albanian – tib Amharic – Antillean Creole – Arabic: Standard ArabicEgyptian ArabicMoroccan ArabicPalestinian ArabicTunisian ArabicCypriot Arabic – Armenian – Aromanian – Assamese – Bangala – Bashkir – Basque – Belarusian – Bengali – Breton – Bukitan – Bulgarian – Burmese – Burushaski – Catalan – Chechen – Chinese: CantoneseGanMandarinMin Nan (Amoy)Min DongSichuaneseOld Chinese – Czech – Dalmatian – Danish – Dutch – Egyptian – English: OldMiddle – Esperanto – Estonian – Fiji Hindi – Fijian – Finnish – FrenchOld French – Frisian (West) – Friulian – Galician – Georgian – German – Greek: Modern GreekAncient Greek – Guaraní – Gujarati – Haida – Haitian Creole – Hausa – Hawaiian – Hebrew – Hindi – Hittite – Hmong (White) – Hungarian – Hunsrik – Icelandic – Ido – Ilocano – Indonesian – Interlingue – Irish – Italian – Japanese – Kashubian – Khmer – Konkani – Korean – Kurdish – LatinVulgar Latin – Latvian – Lingala – Lingua Franca Nova – Lingwa de Planeta – Lithuanian – Lojban – Luwian – Macedonian – Malagasy – Malay – Maltese – Marathi – Mauritian Creole – Megleno-Romanian – Mongolian – Neapolitan – Nepali – Ojibwe – Ossetian – Pali – Papiamento – Polish – PortugueseOld Portuguese – Punjabi – Purepecha – Quechua – Romani – Romanian – Russian – Sanskrit – Scottish Gaelic – Serbo-Croatian – Sicilian – Sinhalese – Slovak – Slovene – Somali – Spanish – Sranan – Sundanese – Swahili – Swedish – Tagalog – Tahitian – Tajik – Temiar – Thai – Tocharian B – Tok Pisin – Turkish – Tuvaluan – Ukrainian – Vietnamese – Walloon – Welsh – Zazaki – Zulu

Reconstructed languages

Proto-Balto-Slavic – Proto-Indo-European – Proto-Indo-Iranian – Proto-Slavic

Language families, family branches, and geographic groupings

Afro-Asiatic – Algonquian – Altaic – Austro-Asiatic – Australian – Austronesian – Baltic – Bantu – Celtic – Dené–Yeniseian – Dravidian – Finnic – Formosan – Frisian – Germanic – Hmong-Mien – Hokan – Kho-Bwa – Indo-Aryan – Indo-Iranian – Italian – Mayan – Muskogean – Niger–Congo – Oto-Manguean – Paleosiberian – Penutian – Romance – Sino-Tibetan – Slavic – Siouan – South American – Tai–Kadai – Tibeto-Burman – Tupi–Guarani – Turkic – Uralic – Uto-Aztecan