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From Middle English *yenen, ȝenen, eanen, from Old English *ġeēanian, ēanian (to yean, bring forth young (usually lambs), bring forth as a ewe) (for the prefixed form, compare Old English ġeēan, ġeēane (yeaning, adjective)), from Proto-West Germanic *gaaunōn, *aunōn (to yean, lamb), from *aunōną (to yean, lamb), from Proto-Indo-European *h₂egʷnós (lamb).

Cognate with Scots yean (to yean), Saterland Frisian bejänne (to produce; show signs of calving), West Frisian antsje, eandsje, inje (to yean), Dutch onen (to yean), Swedish öna (to yean, dialectal). Akin also to Latin agnus[1], Ancient Greek ἀμνός (amnós)[2], Old Irish úan (lamb)[1]. See also ean.


yean (third-person singular simple present yeans, present participle yeaning, simple past and past participle yeaned)

  1. (transitive, archaic, of goats or sheep) To give birth to.



  1. 1.0 1.1 “Etymology in Webster's Unabridged Dictionary”, in (please provide the title of the work)[1], accessed 27 October 2008, archived from the original on 2010-06-19
  2. ^ Etymology in Merriam-Webster's Dictionary