Linguistic Relics

Had William not succeeded in Hastings in 1066, life for us today would likely be very different.  The impact on history of the end of the Anglo-Saxon era in England and the rise of the Normans is hard to overstate.  In fact, even some of our most common English words today are carry-overs from the Norman language.

Could you picture yourself being lord of a castle, being catered to, eating cherries by candlelight, perhaps?  Not if the Normans had failed, you couldn’t: castle, cater, cherry, and candle are all derived from Norman words!  Here are just a few of the Norman words that over the years have evolved into English and even French equivalents:

English Norman French
fashion faichon façon
cabbage caboche chou
candle candelle chandelle
castle castel château
cauldron caudron chaudron
causeway caucie chaussée
catch cachier chasser
cater acater acheter
cherry (ies) cherise cerise
mug mogue mug
poor paur pauvre
wait waitier gaitier
war werre guerre
wicket viquet
Published in: on September 15, 2009 at 10:14 pm  Leave a Comment  

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