old-english

Hwær cwom mearg? Hwær cwom mago?
Hwær cwom maþþumgyfa?
Hwær cwom symbla gesetu?
Hwær sindon seledreamas?
Eala beorht bune!
Eala byrnwiga!
Eala þeodnes þrym!
Hu seo þrag gewat,
genap under nihthelm,
swa heo no wære.
—  “Where is the horse? Where the rider?
Where the giver of treasure?
Where the seats of the feast?
Where are the joys of the hall?
Alas for the bright cup!
Alas for the heroic warrior!
Alas for the splendor of the king!
How they have passed away,
Dark under night-cover,
As if they never were.”
- The Wanderer, An Anglo-Saxon poem of lamentation, which was the inspiration for Tolkien’s Lament of the Rohirrim.

Compilation of Shakespearean Insults

  • “Villain, I️ have done thy mother”
  • “Away you three inch fool”
  • “I’ll beat thee, but I️ would infect my hands”
  • “I️ am sick when I️ do look on thee”
  • “More of your conversation would infect my brain”
  • “Thine face is not worth sunburning”
  • “Thou art unfit for any place but hell”
  • “Thou damned and luxurious mountain goat”
  • “You are as a candle, the better burnt out”
  • “Your brain is as dry as the remainder biscuit after voyage”
  • “Drunkenness is his best virtue”
  • “Thou crusty batch of nature!”
  • “The tartness of his face sours ripe grapes”
  • “Out of my sight! Thou dost infect my eyes”
  • “Thou hast no more brain than I️ have in mine elbows”

Old English and modern German share vocabulary and grammar.

Similar Vocabulary:
People-“Leod”-“Leute”
To question-“Fregnan”-“Fragen”
Prisoner-“Haftling”-“Häftling”
To travel-“Faran”-“Fahren”
Hour-“Stund”-“Stunde”
Army-“Here”-“Heer”
Poor-“Earm”-“Arm”
Foreign-“Fremd”-“Fremd”
Autumn-“Haerfest”-“Herbst”
To take-“Niman”-“Nehmen”
Air-“Lyft/Luft”-“Luft”

It’s interesting to consider what could have happened to the English language if the Norman invasion was unsuccessful. Like, if English had developed without an influx of Old French the grammatical endings on nouns still would have faded and disappeared mostly because that phenomenon was already taking place in Northern England around the 1000s. Would it resemble Dutch or German? How would it incorporate borrowing from other languages? What would English be without or with much less French?