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Copied from User talk:Bogorm#hale

Could you state your sources for this splitting of etymology of hale? Firstly there is no Old Norse noun meaning health, the Old Norse noun means only omen. Then Vigfússon and hale in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913 explain the Old Norse origin of both the English adj. and noun. If this northern English claim stems from OED, meseems that it would be good if we mention both versions, yours and Webster's. But before that would you clarify from which Old Norse word you claim the descendance of hale#Noun? (I am asking only about the noun and adjective, not the verb) The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 09:33, 3 April 2009 (UTC)

  • You're right, I was apparently getting confused; the source for the noun is Old English and not Old Norse. In fact the OED has citations for both going back to the 11th century. They are both northern forms though, so probably were influenced in some way by whatever forms of early Danish were being spoken nearby. However, they are definitely different words (though ultimately from the same proto-Germanic origin). Ƿidsiþ 19:31, 3 April 2009 (UTC)
    Widsith, you misunderstood me - I am contesting the Old English origin of the adjective. If you are sure that the noun is not derived from the adjective(contrary to hale in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913), then well, but let us focus on the adjective, ok? If you claim Old English origin for it, it would be advisable to provide sources, as I already have for the Old Norse origin. The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 19:55, 3 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Look, hāl is a very common word in OE. From Genesis, ‘Iosep axode hwæðer hira fæder wære hal’; from Beowulf, ‘Higelace wæs sið Beowulfes snude gecyðed, þæt ðær on worðig wigendra hleo, lindgestealla, lifigende cwom, heaðolaces hal to hofe gongan.’ It developed in two ways in modern English. In the south, the vowel changed as expected and it became whole. In the north – probably influenced by the Old Norse dialects spoken round about – it did not change quite so much, and became hale. There is clear evidence in the citation history at the OED that it has been used continuously in English from the earliest times. The ON was probably an influence on the northern forms, but the word already existed. Ƿidsiþ 20:13, 3 April 2009 (UTC)
    I understand your point. Probably it has something to do with the fact that MW admits a partial origin from OE. But as partial as from Old Norse. The other two sources do not mention OE and Vigfússon is an illustrious scholar in the realm of Germanic languages. The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 21:12, 3 April 2009 (UTC)
    It is also vital to mention that the word was spelt heil (hale in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913), which suggests the opposite version. The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 21:15, 3 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Aha, all right I think I see where the confusion is now. The word which was spelt heil is different. That is the word which we have at hail#Etymology 3, and it does indeed come from Old Norse. But it was never spelled hale. In northern Middle English, there were therefore two ‘doublet’ words of the same meaning. The first can be seen in quotes like ‘Al heil and sund’ (from a 13th-century bestiary), or ‘He es bath hail and fere’ (from the turn of the 14th century) – this was from ON, and was later spelt hail (now obsolete). It was pronounced with a diphthong. Alongside that was the word seen in quotes such as, ‘Godess follc all hal & sund Comm [...] to lande’ (from c. 1200), or ‘It kepez þe lymmes of a man hale’ (from Mandeville) – this was from OE and is now spelt hale. It was pronounced with a long central vowel. Both words meant the same thing and only the second survived (and even that's no longer common).
  • The situation is confused slightly by the fact that the second (OE) form was sometimes also spelt hail. The OED says the following: ‘In Scotch from 15th c., long ā was spelt ay, ai; hence, the later Sc. forms hayl, hail, haill, for earlier hale, OE. hál, must be distinguished from original north Eng. HAIL, in same sense, derived from Norse heill.’ I think that gets to the root of the confusion we have been discussing.
  • In conclusion. ON heill > E hail. OE hal > E whole, hale.
  • I don't know what to say about Webster's except that it seems they got it wrong; it's an old source. If you look in modern works (OED 1993, Shorter OED 2002, Ayto's Dictionary of Word Origins from 1990, Etymology Online), they all give OE as the root of hale. Ƿidsiþ 09:27, 4 April 2009 (UTC)
    What you quoted from OED (OE. hál, must be distinguished from original north Eng. HAIL, in same sense, derived from Norse heill) is a direct contradiction to what Guðbrandur Vigfússon explicitly and unambiguously explained in his Icelandic-English dictionary (hale#References) and has severely damaged the authority of this dictionary in mine eyes. You accuse Webster 1913 of suggesting amiss, but if you look again at MW online, it is clear that they præferred to assume a moderate position of partly from OE, partly from ON. Well, after you quoted OED, you may get rid of the Template:rfv-etymology, but I am convinced that both positions need to be repræsented and that OED is not Sacra Scriptura and personally embrace Guðbrandur Vigfússon's claim of Old Norse origin for both hale and heil. The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 09:42, 4 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Vigfússon's dictionary is well over a hundred years old – no matter how brilliant he was, our understanding of word histories has improved vastly since then. The fact is that it has been superceded. However, I'm very happy to include Webster's ideas on the matter (even though the evidence seems very much against them..). Ƿidsiþ 09:46, 4 April 2009 (UTC)
    Well, I do not object against the format you went for, but why did you remove the three references? Some inquisitive users may wish to trace back the etymology and immerse themselves in those authoritative sources and you bereft them of this possibility. The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 09:54, 4 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Perhaps the Talk Page would be a better repository for that. We should probably copy this conversation there as well. Ƿidsiþ 09:57, 4 April 2009 (UTC)