sculan

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Old English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Proto-Germanic *skulaną (to owe). Cognate with Old Frisian skela, Old Saxon skulan, Old High German sculan, Old Norse skulu, Gothic 𐍃𐌺𐌿𐌻𐌰𐌽 (skulan).

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

sċulan

  1. (auxiliary) should
    • c. 992, Ælfric, "Likewise of Saint Peter"
      Wē strange sċulon beran þāra unstrangena byrðenne.
      Strong people like us should bear the burden of the weak.
    • c. 992, Ælfric, "The First Sunday in September"
      Ġif wē gōd underfēngon of Godes handa, hwȳ ne sċulon wē ēac yfel underfōn?
      If we've accepted good things from God's hand, why shouldn't we accept bad things too?
    • The Legend of St. Andrew
      Ġēa hlāford, and hwæt ġif iċ swelcne mann ġemēte? Hwelċe mēde sċeal iċ him behātan?
      Yes lord, and what if I find someone like that? What kind of reward should I promise them?
    • late 9th century, King Alfred's translation of Boethius' The Consolation of Philosophy
      Ne sċeal nān mann sēocne mannan and ġesārgodne swenċan, ac hine man sċeal lǣdan tō þām lǣċe þæt hē his tiliġe.
      No one should harass a miserably sick person, but they should be taken to the doctor so they can be treated.
    • late 10th century, Ælfric, the Old English Hexateuch, Deuteronomy 1:22
      Uton sendan sċēaweras þæt sċēawiġen þæt land and cȳðen ūs on hwelcne weġ wē faran sċulon and tō hwelcum burgum.
      Let's send spies who can survey the land and tell us which way we should go and to what cities.
  2. (auxiliary) must
    • Beowulf, line 455
      Gǣþ ā wyrd swā hēo sċeal.
      Fate goes always as it must.
    • early 11th century, anonymous gloss of Ælfric's Latin Colloquy (c. 995)
      Ǣlċe dæġe iċ sċeal erian fulne æcer oþþe mā.
      Every day I have to plow a full acre or more.
    • c. 897, King Alfred's translation of Pope Gregory's Pastoral Care
      Sēo burg þæs mōdes sċeal swīðe oft ġefrēdan hire fēonda speru.
      The fortress of the mind must very often feel the spears of its enemies.
    • c. 995, Ælfric, Extracts on Grammar in English
      Þæt word willan næfþ nān bebēodendlīċ, for þon þe sē willa sċeal bēon ǣfre frī.
      The word "to want" has no imperative, because the will must always be free.
    • Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Manuscript E, year 605
      Augustīnus cwæþ, "Ġif Wēalas nyllaþ sibbe wiþ ūs, hīe sċulon æt Seaxena handa forweorðan."
      Augustine said, "If the Celts don't want peace with us, they'll have to perish at the hands [lit. "hand"] of the Saxons."
    • late 9th century, King Alfred's translation of Saint Augustine's Soliloquies
      Hū, ne sæġde iċ ǣr þæt sē þe bær līċ ġefrēdan wolde, þæt hē hit sċolde mid barum handum ġefrēdan?
      Didn't I say before that if you want to feel someone's bare body, you have to feel it with your bare hands?
    • c. 996, Ælfric's Lives of Saints
      Þā behēoldon swīðe ġeorne þā ċeapmenn hine, and be him on ġeþance smēadon hwæt manna hē bēon sċolde.
      The businessmen looked at him very closely and tried to figure out what kind of person he must be.
    • late 9th century, translation of Orosius’ History Against the Pagans
      Ne wēne iċ, nū iċ lang spell hæbbe tō seċġenne, þæt iċ hīe on þisse bēċ ġeendian mæġe, ac iċ ōðre onġinnan sċeal.
      Since I have some long stories to tell, I don't think I can finish them in this book, so I'll have to start another one.
  3. to be supposed to do something (used like "supposedly" or "they say...")
    • late 9th century, translation of Bede's Ecclesiastical History
      Þēah þe hē cristen bēon sċolde, nolde hē nāne āre witan þǣre cristenan ǣfæstnesse.
      Though he was supposedly a Christian, he refused to show any respect for the Christian religion.
    • late 9th century, King Alfred's translation of Boethius' The Consolation of Philosophy
      Iċ wāt þæt þū ġehīerdest oft reċċan on ealdum lēasum spellum þætte Iob Sāturnes sunu sċolde bēon þæt hīehste god ofer eall ōðru godu, and hē sċolde bēon þæs heofones sunu and sċolde rīcsian on heofonum, and sċolden gigantas bēon eorðan suna and þā sċolden rīcsian ofer eorðan, and þā sċolden hīe bēon swelċe hīe wǣron ġesweostrenu bearn, for þon þe hē sċolde bēon heofones sunu and hīe eorðan, and þā sċolde þām gigantum ofþynċan þæt hē hæfde heora rīċe, wolden þā tōbrecan þone heofon under him. Þā sċolde hē sendan þunras and līeġete and windas, and tōweorpan eall heora ġeweorc mid, and hīe selfe ofslēan.
      I know you've heard a lot of made-up old stories about how Jupiter, Saturn's son, was supposedly the supreme god over all other gods, and he was supposedly the son of the sky and supposedly ruled in the heavens, and giants supposedly were the sons of the Earth and supposedly ruled over Earth, and they were supposedly like cousins because he was supposed to be from the sky while the giants were from the Earth. Then the giants supposedly got jealous that he had their kingdom and wanted to destroy the sky from under him. Then he supposedly sent thunder and lightning and winds and destroyed all their work and killed the giants.
  4. (transitive) to owe
    • c. 990, Wessex Gospels, Luke 16:5
      Þā þā gafolġieldan ġegaderode wǣron, þā sæġde hē þām forman, "Hū miċel sċealt þū mīnum hlāforde?"
      When the debtors had all been gathered together, he asked the first one, "How much do you owe my master?"
  5. (auxiliary) will (indicating the future)

Conjugation[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Descendants[edit]

  • Middle English: schulen

Old High German[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Proto-Germanic *skulaną (to owe).

Verb[edit]

sculan

  1. to shall
  2. to owe
  3. to ought

Conjugation[edit]

This verb needs an inflection-table template.


Old Saxon[edit]

Verb[edit]

sculan

  1. Alternative spelling of skulan