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Middle English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]


From Old English ācweorna, āc-wern, āqueorna (squirrel),[1] from Proto-West Germanic *aikwernō (squirrel).

Displaced by the French borrowing squirel around the 13th century. The word is cognate with Danish egern, Middle Dutch êncoren (modern Dutch eekhoorn, eikhoren, inkhoren), Norwegian ekorn, Old High German eichhorn, eihhorno (modern German Eichhorn), Low German êker-ken, Old Norse íkorni, Old Saxon ēkhorn.[2]


  • IPA(key): /ˈaːkwɛrn(ə)/, /ˈɔːkwɛrn(ə)/


acquerne (plural acquernes)

  1. A squirrel.
  2. The fur of a squirrel.
    • c. 1175?, “II. A Moral Ode. [Jesus College (Oxford) MS I. Arch. I. 29.]”, in Richard Morris, editor, An Old English Miscellany Containing a Bestiary, Kentish Sermons, Proverbs of Alfred, Religious Poems of the Thirteenth Century, [] (Original Series; 49), London: Published for the Early English Text Society, by N[icholas] Trübner & Co., [], published 1872, →OCLC, folio 247, recto, page 70, lines 357–358:
      Þer nys nouþer fou ne grey. ne konyng, ne hermyne. / Ne oter. ne acquerne. Beuveyr ne sablyne.
      There is neither coloured nor grey, nor rabbit, nor stoat, nor otter, nor squirrel, nor beaver, nor sable.



  • >? English: con, conn
  • >? Scots: con


  1. ^ ōc-querne, n.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007, retrieved 5 September 2018.
  2. ^ aquerne, n.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, 1885.