helm

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See also: Helm, hełm, hel'm, and helm'

English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

The noun is derived from Middle English helm, helme (tiller of a ship),[1] from Old English helma (helm, tiller), from Proto-Germanic *helmô (handle; helm, tiller), ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *ḱel- (to cover).[2]

The verb is derived from the noun.[3]

Noun[edit]

helm (plural helms)

  1. (nautical) The tiller (or, in a large ship, the wheel) which is used to control the rudder of a marine vessel; also, the entire steering apparatus of a vessel.
    • 1563 March 30 (Gregorian calendar), John Lambert, “The History of Master Ihon Lābert otherwise Called Nycolson, wyth the Actes and Processe of King Henrye the VIII. and the Byshops agaynst Hym, by whome He was Condempned and Burned at London. Anno. 1538.”, in John Foxe, Actes and Monuments of These Latter and Perillous Dayes, [], London: [] Iohn Day, [], →OCLC, book III, page [599]:
      Ye this is both helme & stern of al together: & that which they contended right sore to impugn, but loue of the truth, wherwith in this poynte I reckened me wel fēsed, wold not suffer me to apply & yeld to their wil, thinking, quod sanctū erat veritatē preferre amicitiæ, that the truth ought to be preferred before al frendship & amitye, & also, Si dextra manus scandalizet deberet prescidi & abijci.
    • 1634, T[homas] H[erbert], “An Itinerarie of Some Yeares Trauaile, through Diuers Parts of Asia and Afrike, with the Description of the Orientall Indies, and Some Iles Adjacent. Especially the Territories of the Now Persian Monarchie: Included betwixt Mesopotamia, Indus, and the Caspian Sea”, in A Relation of Some Yeares Travaile, Begunne Anno 1626. into Afrique and the Greater Asia, [], London: [] William Stansby, and Jacob Bloome, →OCLC, page 5:
      Nor is this vveather rare about the Æquinoctiall; by Mariners termed the Tornadoes: and tis ſo vncertaine, that novv you ſhall haue a quiet breath and gale, and ſuddenly an vnexpected violent guſt, and ſtorme, ſo fierce, that many times the ſhips vvill feele no helme.
    • 1755–1757 (date written), [Thomas] Gray, “Ode VI. The Bard. Pindaric.”, in The Poems of Mr. Gray. [], York, Yorkshire: [] A. Ward; and sold by J[ames] Dodsley, []; and J. Todd, [], published 1775, →OCLC, stanza II.2, page 31:
      Fair laughs the Morn, and ſoft the Zephyr blovvs, / VVhile proudly riding o'er the azure realm / In gallant trim the gilded Veſſel goes; / Youth on the provv, and Pleaſure at the helm; []
  2. (by extension)
    1. (nautical) The use of a helm (sense 1); also, the amount of space through which a helm is turned.
    2. (nautical) The member of a vessel's crew in charge of steering the vessel; a helmsman or helmswoman.
      Synonym: (rare) helmsperson
    3. Something used to control or steer; also (obsolete), a handle of a tool or weapon; a haft, a helve.
  3. (figuratively)
    1. A position of control or leadership.
      the helm of the Commonwealth
      • 1629 January 11 (Gregorian calendar), James Howell, “XXXIII. To the Right Honourable Sir Peter Wichts, Ambassador at Constantinople.”, in Epistolæ Ho-Elianæ. Familiar Letters Domestic and Forren. [], 3rd edition, volume I, London: [] Humphrey Mos[e]ley, [], published 1655, →OCLC, section V, page 211:
        Biſhop [William] Laud of London is alſo povverful in his VVay, for he ſits at the Helm of the Church, and doth more than any of the tvvo Archbiſhops, or all the reſt of his tvvo and tvventy Brethren beſides.
      • 2011 January 11, Jonathan Stevenson, “West Ham 2 – 1 Birmingham”, in BBC Sport[1], archived from the original on 17 April 2021:
        [Avram] Grant will be desperate to finish the job of getting West Ham to their first Wembley cup final in 30 years when they meet Birmingham in the second leg at St Andrews on 26 January; though arguably of more pressing concern is whether he will still be at the helm for Saturday's Premier League encounter with Arsenal.
      • 2023 November 25, Richard Waters, John Thornhill, “Tech's philosophical rift over AI”, in FT Weekend, Big Read, page 6:
        But although Altman is now back at the helm, OpenAI's new board has yet to offer a public explanation of what exactly went wrong, or set out what changes it will make to ensure the company is not derailed from its core mission of making computer intelligence safe for humanity. The world is waiting.
    2. One in the position of controlling or directing; a controller, a director, a guide.
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

helm (third-person singular simple present helms, present participle helming, simple past and past participle helmed) (transitive)

  1. (nautical) To control the helm (noun sense 1) of (a marine vessel); to be in charge of steering (a vessel).
  2. (figuratively) To direct or lead (a project, etc.); to manage (an organization).
    • 1601 (date written), Iohn Marston [i.e., John Marston], What You Will, London: [] G[eorge] Eld, for Thomas Thorppe, published 1607, →OCLC, Act II, signature C3, verso:
      Ile ſtriue to be nor great nor ſmale, / To liue nor die, fate helmeth all, / VVhen I can breath no longer, then, / Heauen take all, there put Amen.
    • c. 1603–1604 (date written), William Shakespeare, “Measure for Measure”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act III, scene ii], page 73, column 2:
      The very ſtreame of his life, and the buſineſſe he hath helmed, muſt vppon a vvarranted neede, giue him a better proclamation.
    • 1884, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Becket, London: Macmillan and Co., →OCLC, Act I, scene iii, page 66:
      But we hold / Thou art forsworn; and no forsworn Archbishop / Shall helm the Church.
    • 2014 December 1, Malcolm Jack, “John Grant with the Royal Northern Sinfonia review – positively spine-tingling”, in Alan Rusbridger, editor, The Guardian[2], London: Guardian News & Media, →ISSN, →OCLC, archived from the original on 31 July 2022:
      "I wanted to change the world, but I could not even change my underwear," sings John Grant at the piano, in a luxuriant baritone croon as thick and healthy as his beard. It’s hard to reconcile the guy who once struggled to so much as put on clean pants back in the bad old days – well-storied, not least through his own songs – with the one warmly and gracefully helming this complex, prestigious production – the penultimate date on a tour of packed concert halls, backed by an orchestra.
    • 2021 January 20, Jill Colvin, “Trump bids farewell to Washington, hints of comeback”, in AP News[3], archived from the original on 7 October 2022:
      But [Donald] Trump retains his iron grip on the Republican base, with the support of millions of loyal voters and allies still helming the Republican National Committee and many state party organizations.
    • 2021 July 26, Lauren Sarner, “Kevin Smith on ‘Masters of the Universe’ and fan backlash”, in New York Post[4]:
      When Mattel initially approached Smith about helming this show, he was surprised.
    • 2023 August 23, Ellie Johnson, “Top prizes on offer at raffle for Railway Benefit Fund”, in RAIL, number 990, page 11:
      Helmed by chef Anton Mosimann, this is one of the most prestigious dining clubs in the world.
Conjugation[edit]
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English helm (helmet; crown of thorns of Jesus; warrior; inn or shop sign) [and other forms],[4] from Old English helm (helmet), from Proto-West Germanic *helm, from Proto-Germanic *helmaz (protective covering), probably from Proto-Indo-European *ḱelmos, from Proto-Indo-European *ḱel- (to cover).[5] Doublet of helmet.

Noun[edit]

helm (plural helms)

  1. (archaic or poetic) A helmet.
  2. (heraldry) Synonym of helmet (the feature above a shield on a coat of arms)
  3. (by extension)
    1. (Northern England) A shelter for cattle or other farm animals; a hemmel, a shed.
    2. (Northern England (Cumberland, Westmorland)) A heavy cloud lying on the brow of a mountain, especially one associated with a storm.
      • 1800 November (date written; published 1806), Samuel Taylor Coleridge, “[Sibylline Leaves.] A Stranger Minstrel. [Written to Mrs. [Mary] Robinson, a Few Weeks before Her Death.]”, in The Poetical and Dramatic Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge [], volume II, London: Macmillan and Co., published 1880, →OCLC, page 159:
        Then ancient Skiddaw, stern and proud, / In sullen majesty replying, / Thus spake from out of his helm of cloud []
    3. (obsolete)
      1. (except Britain, dialectal) The crown or top of something.
      2. (alchemy, chemistry) The upper part or cap of an alembic or retort.
        • 1610 (first performance), Ben[jamin] Jonson, The Alchemist, London: [] Thomas Snodham, for Walter Burre, and are to be sold by Iohn Stepneth, [], published 1612, →OCLC; reprinted Menston, Yorkshire: The Scolar Press, 1970, →OCLC, Act II, scene i:
          The Dragons teeth, Mercurie ſublimate, / That keepes the vvhiteneſſe, hardneſſe and the biting; / And they are gather’d, into Iaſon’s helme, / (Th’Alembeke) and then ſovv’d in Mars his field, / And, thence, ſublim’d ſo often, till they are fix’d.
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

From Middle English helmen, helmi (to provide with a helmet; (figuratively) to cover; to protect),[6] from Old English helmian (to cover), ġehelmian (to cover with a helmet; to crown), from (ġe- (prefix with an intensifying effect, or forming nouns or verbs denoting processes or results) +) helm (helmet) (see further at etymology 2) + -ian (suffix forming verbs from adjectives and nouns).[7]

Verb[edit]

helm (third-person singular simple present helms, present participle helming, simple past and past participle helmed)

  1. (transitive, archaic or poetic) To cover (a head) with a helmet; to provide (someone) with a helmet; to helmet.
    Synonym: behelm
Translations[edit]

Etymology 4[edit]

The noun is possibly:[8]

The verb is either derived from the noun, or is possibly a variant of yelm.[11]

Noun[edit]

helm (countable and uncountable, plural helms)

  1. (countable) A stalk of corn, or (uncountable) stalks of corn collectively (that is, straw), especially when bundled together or laid out straight to be used for thatching roofs.
    Synonyms: (bundle of straw for thatching) thatch, yelm
  2. (uncountable) Alternative form of haulm (the stems of various cultivated plants, left after harvesting the crop, which are used as animal food or litter, or for thatching)
    • 1583, John Foxe, “Notes Omitted of Them that Were Burnt at Bristol”, in Stephen Reed Cattley, editor, The Acts and Monuments of John Foxe: [], new edition, volume VIII, London: R. B. Seeley and W. Burnside; and sold by L. & G. Seeley, [], published 1839, →OCLC, page 737:
      The sheriff, John Griffith, had prepared green wood to burn him; but one master John Pikes, pitying the man, caused divers to go with him to Ridland, half a mile off, who brought good store of helme-sheaves, which indeed made good dispatch with little pain, in comparison to that he should have suffered with the green wood.
  3. (uncountable, obsolete) Synonym of bentgrass (“any of numerous reedy grass species of the genus Agrostis”)
    • 1640, John Parkinson, “Spartum herba sive Inncus. Matt Weed or Mat Rushes.”, in Theatrum Botanicum: The Theater of Plants. Or, An Herball of a Large Extent: [], London: [] Tho[mas] Cotes, →OCLC, page 1200:
      The Italians, and Spaniards, call it Sparto, and the ſecond ſort Albardi, The Dutch Halm. And vve in Engliſh, Helme, and Matvveede, but the people all along the Coaſts of Norfolke and Suffolke, call it Marram, and may be called Sea Ruſhes as vvell.
Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

helm (third-person singular simple present helms, present participle helming, simple past and past participle helmed)

  1. (transitive) To lay out (stalks of corn, or straw) straight to be used for thatching roofs; to yelm.
Translations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ helm(e, n.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  2. ^ Compare “helm, n.2”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, March 2022; “helm1, n.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.
  3. ^ helm, v.2”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, March 2021; “helm1, v.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.
  4. ^ helm, n.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  5. ^ Compare “helm, n.1”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, March 2022; “helm2, n.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.
  6. ^ helmen, v.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  7. ^ helm, v.1”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, March 2021.
  8. ^ helm, n.3”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2020.
  9. ^ halm, n.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  10. ^ Kroonen, Guus (2011) The Proto-Germanic n-stems: A study in diachronic morphophonology, Amsterdam, New York: Rodopi, →ISBN, page 162
  11. ^ helm, v.3”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, September 2018.

Further reading[edit]

Afrikaans[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Dutch helm.

Noun[edit]

helm (plural helms)

  1. helmet

Albanian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Uncertain, possibly a formation in -më.[1][2] Several hypotheses have been proposed:

  1. Akin to Old High German scalmo (plague) (German Schelm).[3][4][5]
  2. Connection with Ancient Greek χάλιμα (khálima)[6] can only be justified as a borrowing from it.[2]
  3. Akin to Sanskrit आल (āla, poison).[2]
  4. Akin to Ancient Greek σκάλμη (skálmē, Thracian knife).[7]

Possibly akin to halbë (scab, scale on the skin), halë (bone), hell (skewer, pike), dialectal helmë (ax edge).[8] These would make the original sense (poisoned) weapon, only later becoming poison.[2]

Noun[edit]

helm m (plural helme)

  1. poison; venom
    Synonym: zeher
  2. something very bad
  3. great sorrow, grief
    Synonyms: hidhërim, pikëllim, hall, nevojë

Adjective[edit]

helm (feminine helme)

  1. very bitter
    Synonym: i hidhur
  2. very sad, sorrowful, grievous
    Synonyms: i hidhëruar, i pikëlluar

Derived terms[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Camarda, Demetrio (1864) Saggio di grammatologia comparata sulla lingua albanese (in Italian), Livorno: Successore di Egisto Vignozzi, page 159
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Demiraj, B. (1997), “helm”, in Albanische Etymologien: Untersuchungen zum albanischen Erbwortschatz [Albanian Etymologies: []] (Leiden Studies in Indo-European; 7) (in German), Amsterdam, Atlanta: Rodopi, page 178
  3. ^ Meyer, G. (1891), “heľm”, in Etymologisches Wörterbuch der albanesischen Sprache [Etymological Dictionary of the Albanian Language] (in German), Strasbourg: Karl J. Trübner, →DOI, page 151
  4. ^ Jokl, Norbert (1917), “II. Albanisch”, in Streitberg, Wilhelm; et al., editor, Slavisch-Litauisch, Albanisch (Die Erforschung der indogermanischen Sprachen; 3) (in German), →DOI, page 142
  5. ^ Pokorny, Julius (1959), “(s)kel-”, in Indogermanisches etymologisches Wörterbuch [Indo-European Etymological Dictionary] (in German), volume 3, Bern, München: Francke Verlag, page 925
  6. ^ La Piana, Marco (1939) Prolegomeni allo studio della linguistica albanese (Studi linguistici albanesi; 1) (in Italian), Palermo, page 94
  7. ^ Jokl, Norbert (1963), “Die Verwandtschaftsverhältnisse des Albanischen zu den übrigen indogermanischen Sprachen”, in Die Sprache (in German), issue 9, page 119
  8. ^ Çabej, E. (1986) Studime gjuhësore (in Albanian), volume I, Prishtinë: Rilindja, page 236f.

Further reading[edit]

  • “helm”, in FGJSSH: Fjalor i gjuhës së sotme shqipe [Dictionary of the modern Albanian language]‎[5] (in Albanian), 1980, page 665ab
  • Orel, Vladimir E. (1998), “helm”, in Albanian Etymological Dictionary, Leiden; Boston; Köln: Brill, →ISBN, page 144f.

Dutch[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ɦɛlm/, [ɦɛɫm], [hɛɫm], [ˈɦɛ.ləm], [ˈhɛ.ləm]
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: helm
  • Rhymes: -ɛlm

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle Dutch helm, from Old Dutch *helm, from Proto-West Germanic *helm, from Proto-Germanic *helmaz. Compare West Frisian helm, Low German Helm, German Helm, Danish hjelm.

Noun[edit]

helm m (plural helmen, diminutive helmpje n)

  1. helmet, protective headwear
  2. (heraldry) helmet above a shield
Derived terms[edit]
Descendants[edit]
  • Afrikaans: helm
  • Papiamentu: hèlmu
  • Virgin Islands Creole: helum

Etymology 2[edit]

Ammophila arenaria

A variant of halm (haulm); compare English haulm, helm.

Noun[edit]

helm f or n (uncountable)

  1. marram, European beachgrass, Ammophila arenaria
    Synonym: helmgras
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

From Middle Dutch *helm, attested in helmstoc. Akin to English helm.

Noun[edit]

helm m (plural helmen, diminutive helmpje n)

  1. A tiller on a vessel's rudder.
  2. The handle on a pounder to crush fibers in a paper mill.
Derived terms[edit]

Indonesian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from Dutch helm.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

hèlm (plural helm-helm, first-person possessive helmku, second-person possessive helmmu, third-person possessive helmnya)

  1. helmet (protective head covering)

Alternative forms[edit]

Further reading[edit]

Ludian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Proto-Finnic *hëlma, borrowed either from Baltic or from Germanic. Cognates include Finnish helma.

Noun[edit]

helm

  1. hem

Middle English[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Old English helm, from Proto-West Germanic *helm, from Proto-Germanic *helmaz.

Alternative forms[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

helm (plural helmes or helmen)

  1. A helmet; a piece of armoured headgear.
    • 1275, Layamon's Brut:
      Luken sweord longe, leiden o þe helmen.
      (They drew their swords and put on their helms.)
      (please add an English translation of this quotation)
    • 1475, An Apology for Lollard Doctrines, Attributed to Wycliffe
      Þe helm of hel and þe swerd of þe Spirit.
      (please add an English translation of this quotation)
  2. (figurative) Any kind of protection or safeguarding.
  3. (figurative, rare) A soldier; a fighting-man.
  4. (rare, biblical) The crown of thorns that Jesus wore.
Related terms[edit]
Descendants[edit]
References[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Noun[edit]

helm

  1. Alternative form of helme

Old English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Proto-West Germanic *helm, from Proto-Germanic *helmaz (helmet), from Proto-Indo-European *ḱel- (to cover, to hide). Compare Old Frisian helm, Old Saxon helm, Old High German helm, Old Norse hjalmr, Gothic 𐌷𐌹𐌻𐌼𐍃 (hilms).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

helm m

  1. helmet
  2. protection, defense
  3. covering, crown
  4. summit, top (of trees)
  5. protector, lord

Declension[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Descendants[edit]

Old High German[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Proto-West Germanic *helm, from Proto-Germanic *helmaz. Compare Old Saxon helm, Old English helm, Old Norse hjalmr, Gothic 𐌷𐌹𐌻𐌼𐍃 (hilms).

Noun[edit]

helm m

  1. helmet

Derived terms[edit]

Descendants[edit]

Welsh[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English helm.

Noun[edit]

helm f (plural helmau, not mutable)

  1. helmet
    Synonym: helmed

Further reading[edit]

  • R. J. Thomas, G. A. Bevan, P. J. Donovan, A. Hawke et al., editors (1950–present), “helm”, in Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru Online (in Welsh), University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh & Celtic Studies