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Middle English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]


From Old English spǣċ; a form of sprǣċ, from Proto-Germanic *sprēkō. Some forms are influenced by the verb speken.



speche (plural speches or spechen)

  1. speaking, speech
  2. dialogue, discussion, conversation
  3. remark, claim
  4. writing, text
  5. meeting, conference
  6. language, tongue
    • a. 1400, Geoffrey Chaucer, “Book II”, in Troilus and Criseyde (in Middle English), line 22-28:
      Ȝe knowe ek that in fourme of ſpeche is chaunge / With-inne a thousand ȝeer, and wordes tho /That hadden pris now wonder nyce and ſtraunge /Us thenketh hem, and ȝet thei ſpake hem so / And ſpedde as wel in loue as men now do / Ek forto wynnen loue in ſondry ages / In ſondry londes, ſondry ben vſages []
      You also know that the form of language is in flux; / within a thousand years, words / that had currency; really weird and bizarre / they seem to us now, but they still spoke them / and accomplished as much in love as men do now. / As for winning love across ages and / across nations, there are lots of usages []