Chaucer Glossary

eChaucer ¤ Chaucer in the Twenty-First Century

(The one hundred most common words are marked with an asterisk)

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A

  • adoun: down
  • agast(e): afraid; frighten
  • agayn(s): against, toward
  • ago, ago(o)n: gone; ago
  • al: all
  • *al, al be that: although
  • alderbest: best of all
  • *als, also: as, also
  • * an: an; on
  • *anon: at once
  • *artow: art thou, thou art
  • arwe: arrow
  • *as: as, as if, like
  • *atte: at, at the
  • *aventure: chance
  • *axe: ask
  • *ay: always

B

  • *been: are
  • benedicite: bless us!
  • *bet: better
  • *beth: are; (imperative) be
  • bitwixen: between
  • blake: black
  • blyve: quickly, soon
  • *brenne: burn
  • breste, brast: burst
  • bresting: bursting
  • *but, but if: unless

C

  • *can, kan: know, be able
  • *canstow: can you, you can
  • *cas: happening, chance
  • *certes: surely, certainly
  • certeyn: certainly, sure(ly)
  • chees, chese(n): choose, chose chosen
  • cheere, chiere ial expression
  • *clepe(n): call
  • *clerk: scholar
  • conne: learn, can
  • conseil: secret, advice
  • coude: could
  • *coy: quiet

D

  • deel: bit
  • delit: delight, pleasure *
  • deme: judge, suppose
  • devyse: tell (of), describe
  • deye: die
  • dorste: dare, dared
  • dout: doubt
  • dout, out of: beyond doubt
  • drede: doubt; dread, fear

E

  • *ech: each
  • echo(o)n: each one
  • *eek, eke: also
  • elles, ellis: else
  • entente: intent, attention
  • *er, or: before; formerly
  • ese: pleasure
  • *everich: every; every one

F

  • *fay, fey: faith
  • fere, feere: companion
  • fele, feele: many
  • ferre: farther
  • fil: fell, happened
  • flour: flower; flour
  • for: for; because
  • *forthy: therefore
  • foryeve: forgive
  • free: generous, gracious, liberal
  • *fro: from

G

  • game: fun
  • *gan, gonne: began
  • go(on): go
  • goost: soul, spirit
  • gyse: guise, manner, way; plan

H

  • *han: have
  • *hastow: have you, you have
  • heigh: high
  • *hem: them
  • hem lost (or liste): they wanted
  • hende: ready at hand, convenient, handy; pleasant, courteous
  • hente: take, seize, get
  • here: her
  • hewe: hue, color
  • *hight: named, called
  • *him lest (list): he wants
  • *hir(e): her, their

I

  • *ich: I
  • *ilke: same

J

  • jape(s): trick(s); joke(s)

K

  • *kan: know; know how to; can
  • keep(e), kepe: heed
  • *konne: learn; know how to; can
  • konnyng: skill, knowledge
  • *koude: knew; knew how to; could
  • *kynde: nature

L

  • *lasse: less
  • lese: lose
  • lest(e): please, pleases, pleased
  • hem (him) leste, liste (impersonal): it is pleasing
  • they (he) wanted
  • lete: leave, forsake, abandon
  • lette: forbear, desist, hinder
  • *le(e)ve: dear
  • liggen: to lie
  • like, liketh: it please(s)
  • list(e): it pleased, it pleases
  • *lite: little
  • lith: lies
  • lust: pleasure, desire
  • lusty: lusty; joyous; pleasant; vigorous

M

  • maad: made
  • *maistow, maystow: may you, you may
  • *make: mate, husband, make
  • maner(e): kind of, manner
  • maugre: in spite of
  • mede: reward
  • met(te): dream
  • *mo: more
  • mooste: most; greatest
  • *moot(e) (n): may, must, ought to; so (also, ever)
  • moot I: as I hope to
  • *morewe: morrow, morning
  • *mowe: may
  • *muche(l): much, many (a)

N

  • *nam: am not
  • namely: especially, specifically
  • *namo, namoore: no more
  • *nas: was not
  • *nat: not
  • *nathelees: nevertheless
  • *ne: not, nor
  • *nere: were not
  • niste: did not know
  • noght: nought, nothing; not
  • *nolde: would not
  • *nones, nonys: occasion
  • *noon: none, no
  • *noot: know not
  • *nyce: foolish
  • *nys: is not
  • nyste: knew not

O

  • *o, oo, on, oon, that oon: one
  • *of: of; off
  • ones, onis: once
  • outrely: utterly, entirely

P

  • pace: go, proceed
  • *pardee: (lit. "by God"), a common oath; certainly
  • parfit: perfect
  • pleyne: complain, lament; full
  • povre: poor
  • *prime, pryme: 9 A.M.
  • pryvely, prively: secretly

Q

  • quit(te), quyte: requite, repay
  • *quod: said

R

  • *rathe: early, soon
  • *rede: advise; interpret; read
  • reed: counsel; (verb) advise
  • rekke(th): heed(s), ca
  • right: (adverb): just, quite
  • routhe: pity

S

  • saugh, say
  • seigh: saw
  • *seistow: you say
  • seith: says
  • seke: seek
  • *sely: innocent, simple
  • sentence: meaning, opinion, sentiments, subject matter
  • *seyde: said
  • *seye: say
  • *shaltow: you shall
  • shape (reflexive): plan, planned
  • shrewe: scoundrel, wretch
  • *sikerly: certainly, surely, truly
  • *sith: since, then
  • slawe, yslawe: slain
  • sola(a)s: pleasure, entertainment
  • *somdel: somewhat
  • somtyme: once, sometimes
  • so(o)re: bitterly, sorely
  • *sooth, soothfastnes
  • sothe: truth
  • so(o)the, soothly: true, truly
  • spedde him: hastened
  • squier: squire
  • stente, stynte: cease, stop, restrain
  • sperte: started
  • steven: voice
  • suffre: permit, endure
  • sweven, e, -es, -ys: dream(s)
  • *swich: such
  • swynk, swynken: work syke: sick
  • *syn: since

T

  • task: taketh: take
  • *than(ne): then; than
  • thee(n): prosper; so moot I thee: as I hope to prosper
  • ther, ther as: where
  • *thilke: this, that, at that
  • *tho: those;
  • thoght: thought; anxiety
  • thoughte (impersonal): it seemed
  • thurgh: through
  • thynketh (impersonal): it seems
  • til: until, to
  • to: to
  • trewe: true
  • trowe: believe
  • *tweye: two

U

  • *unnethe(s): scarecely

V

  • *verray: true, veritable
  • vileynye: rudeness, shameful speech or deed

W

  • war: aware; be (beth) war(e),
  • a ware yow: beware, take heed
  • wende, -en, -eth: go, pass
  • *wene, -eth: think, suppose
  • werre: war
  • what: what; why
  • wher: where; whether
  • wher as: where
  • which that: which, who
  • *whylom: o once upon a time, formerly
  • *wight: person, thing
  • wist, wiste: known, knew
  • wol: will, would, would like
  • wood: crazy, demented, wild
  • woodnesse: madness
  • woot, woost: know, understand
  • wostow: you know, do you know
  • worthy: distinguished, well to do; in good social standing
  • wroghte: made, did, w
  • wydwe: widow

Y

  • *yaf: gave
  • *ycleped: named
  • ydo: done
  • *ye(n): e
  • *yeve, -en, -est, -eth: give, given
  • yifte: gift
  • *ynogh: e
  • ysene: seen
  • yvel(e): evil, evilly
  • *ywis: y, certainly

Adapted From: http://www.towson.edu/~duncan/glossary.html(Baragona's Chaucer Page, which was adapted from Shoaf and Baugh)

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