Middle English

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Middle English

Post by Irene » Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:32 pm

I would be grateful for any help concerning the origin and the following changes of the given words from Middle English period:

graunt; riotour; bi3etel; extorcious; ought; appreciable; net; helsom; unlest; bigetel; botesum; commodious; nit-worthe; doggerel; vile; unpreste; clakles; wok; overvein; unnit
.


It would be great to have some reference on the source of information about these words.
I would really appreciate any help.
Sincerely,
Irene

P.S. All the words are supposed to be adjectives.
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Re: Middle English

Post by Erik_Kowal » Wed Jan 23, 2013 2:11 am

The only place on the Web that I found bi3etel was at http://www.archive.org -- specifically, at http://www.archive.org/stream/ueberspra ... g_djvu.txt , which is a scanned-in text that contains, among other things, some parts written in Middle English. However, the scan is absolutely riddled with character translation errors, and bi3etel must be one of them.

So I am curious concerning the context of your query -- partly because bi3etel is clearly not an actual word, and partly because not all of the words in your list are adjectives.

Please could you explain why you are so interested in these words in particular, and how that list came to be compiled?
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Re: Middle English

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:29 pm

riotour appears as a noun in this version of the Pardoner's Tale:
http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Cante ... e_and_Tale

A Concise Dictionary of Middle English ( http://www.gutenberg.org/files/10625/10625-h/dict3.html ) contains:

Riotour, sb. rioter; rioter, glutton, WW; ryotoures, pl., C3.—AF. riotour, OF. riotheir (Ps. 36. 1).
Riotour, adj. luxurious, dissolute, WW.—Cp. Low Lat. riotosus (Ducange).


You can check this reference for other words in your list - but the ongoing English etymology (and possible demise) is not addressed.


Merriam-Webster Online cites OE and ME etyma:

Old, Middle, and Modern English
The etymology usually gives the Middle English and the Old English forms of words in the following style:

1nap . . . intransitive verb . . . [Middle English nappen, from Old English hnappian . . .]
1old . . . adjective [Middle English, from Old English eald . . .]

An etymology in which a word is traced back to Middle English but not to Old English indicates that the word is found in Middle English but not in those texts that have survived from the Old English period:

1slab . . . noun [Middle English slabbe]
1nag . . . noun . . . [Middle English nagge; akin to Dutch negge small horse]

An etymology in which a word is traced back directly to Old English with no intervening mention of Middle English indicates that the word has not survived continuously from Old English times to the present. Rather, it died out after the Old English period and has been revived in modern times:

ge·mot . . . noun [Old English gemt . . .]
thegn . . . . . . noun . . . [Old English . . .]



There are other resources listed at http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/we ... naries&c=x

Anatoly Liberman seems to have come up with a very in-depth overview of English etymology in An Analytic Dictionary of English Etymology.


Apparently, Ȝ was a ME letter pronounced y (consonantal):

Y, at the beginning of words, often represents an older Ȝ, under which letter Y-words may in some cases be found. ...

Yȝe, sb. eye, HD; see Eȝe.

Ȝ (pronounced as y).
Ȝa, adv. yea, S, PP, S2, H; see Ȝea.


(Concise Dictionary of Middle English)
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Re: Middle English

Post by dante » Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:37 pm

graunt; riotour; bi3etel; extorcious; ought; appreciable; net; helsom; unlest; bigetel; botesum; commodious; nit-worthe; doggerel; vile; unpreste; clakles; wok; overvein; unnit.
I recognize only ought, appreciable, commodious, doggerel and vile as English words. I think I can remember coming across "commodious" in Charles Dickens' writing.
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Re: Middle English

Post by zmjezhd » Wed Jan 23, 2013 6:11 pm

Middle English biȜetel 'profitable (bargain)'.
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Re: Middle English

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:11 am

But surely it hasn't evolved into buy-it-all.
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