Volume 70, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0108-8416
  • E-ISSN: 2212-9715
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes


The <manweorcum> transmitted in line 811b of the Old English poem by Cynewulf has been generally regarded as representing an otherwise unattested adjective composite of ‘crime’ and ‘work’. Since is unparalleled and unexpected as a second element in an adjectival compound, an alternative explanation of the manuscript reading is proposed here, scribal alteration of an adjective otherwise attested only in the First Cleopatra Glossary, occurring there in the written form <manwræce>. While this adjective is listed under various headword forms in dictionaries, it is probably to be described as (Anglian ), having the same second element as another adjective in which Old English - has often been misunderstood, ‘impious’. The origin of - is a Germanic verbal adjective in ---- derived from the etymon of Old English ‘drive’; the original meaning of may thus have been ‘perpetrating crime’. <manwrecum>, corresponding to the Anglian form that Cynewulf would have used in 811b, would have been susceptible to alteration to <manweorcum> by a copyist unfamiliar with the word, as comparable instances of scribal transposition of elements suggest.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Behaghel, Otto
    (ed.) 1996Heliand und Genesis. 10th ed. rev. by Burkhard Taeger. Tübingen: Niemeyer.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Bremmer, Rolf H., Jr.
    2009An Introduction to Old Frisian: History, Grammar, Reader, Glossary. Amsterdam: Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/z.147
    https://doi.org/10.1075/z.147 [Google Scholar]
  3. Brown, Michelle P.
    1996The Book of Cerne: Prayer, Patronage and Power in Ninth-Century England. London: British Library.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. 2001 Mercian Manuscripts? The ‘Tiberius’ Group and Its Historical Context. In Michelle P. Brown and Carol A. Farr (eds.), Mercia: An Anglo-Saxon Kingdom in Europe (London: Leicester University Press), 279–91.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Brunner, Karl
    1965Altenglische Grammatik nach der angelsächsischen Grammatik von Eduard Sievers. 3rd ed.Tübingen: Niemeyer. doi: 10.1515/9783110930894
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110930894 [Google Scholar]
  6. BT = Joseph Bosworth and T. N. Toller 1898An Anglo-Saxon Dictionary Based on the Manuscript Collections of the Late Joseph Bosworth. Oxford: Clarendon.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. BT = T. N. Toller 1921An Anglo-Saxon Dictionary Based on the Manuscript Collections of the Late Joseph Bosworth: Supplement. Oxford: Clarendon.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Campbell, Alistair
    1955 Review of R. Vleeskruyer , The Life of St. Chad. Medium Aevum24.52–56.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. 1959Old English Grammar. Oxford: Clarendon.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. 1972An Anglo-Saxon Dictionary Based on the Manuscript Collections of Joseph Bosworth: Enlarged Addenda and Corrigenda. Oxford: Clarendon.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. Campbell, J. J.
    1955 The Harley Glossary and “Saxon Patois”. Philological Quarterly34.71–74.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Carr, Charles T.
    1939Nominal Compounds in Germanic. London: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Clark Hall, J. R.
    1960A Concise Anglo-Saxon Dictionary. 4th ed.with a supplement by Herbert D. Meritt . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Cleasby, Richard , and Gudbrand Vigfusson
    1957An Icelandic-English Dictionary. 2nd ed.rev. by William A. Craigie . Oxford: Clarendon.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Clubb, M. D.
    (ed.) 1925Christ and Satan: An Old English Poem. New Haven: Yale University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Cook, A. S.
    (ed.) 1919The Old English Elene, Phoenix, and Physiologus. New Haven: Yale University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Cooke, Jessica
    1997 Worcester Books and Scholars, and the Making of the Harley Glossary (British Library MS. Harley 3376). Anglia115.441–468. doi: 10.1515/angl.1997.115.4.441
    https://doi.org/10.1515/angl.1997.115.4.441 [Google Scholar]
  18. Cosijn, P. J.
    1896 Anglosaxonica III. Beiträge zur Geschichte der deutschen Sprache und Literatur21.8–26.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Deutsches Wörterbuch, vol.14.2 1960 Ed. L. Sütterlin et al. Leipzig: Hirzel.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Dictionary of Old Norse Prose
    Dictionary of Old Norse Prose. Wordlist. dataonp.hum.ku.dk/wordlist_e.html.Accessed4 June 2014.
  21. DOE = Dictionary of Old English: A to G online 2007 Ed. Angus Cameron , Ashley Crandell Amos , Antonette diPaolo Healey et al. Toronto: Dictionary of Old English Project. www.doe.utoronto.ca/. Accessed4 June 2014.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Faltings, Volkert
    2010Etymologisches Wörterbuch der friesischen Adjektiva. Berlin: Gruyter. doi: 10.1515/9783110231366
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110231366 [Google Scholar]
  23. Finnegan, R. E.
    (ed.) 1977Christ and Satan: A Critical Edition. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. Fritzner, Johan
    1883–1896Ordbog over Det gamle norske Sprog. 2nd ed. 3 vols. Christiana: Den norske Forlagsforening.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. Fulk, R. D.
    2001 Cynewulf: Canon, Dialect, and Date. In Robert E. Bjork (ed.), The Cynewulf Reader (New York: Routledge), 3–21.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. 2004 Old Englishweorc:Where Does It Hurt? South of the Thames. ANQ17.2.6–12.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. 2008 Anglian Dialect Features in Old English Anonymous Homiletic Literature: A Survey, with Preliminary Findings. In Susan M. Fitzmaurice and Donka Minkova (eds.), Studies in the History of the English Language IV: Empirical and Analytical Advances in the Study of English Language Change (Berlin: Mouton De Gruyter), 81–100. doi: 10.1515/9783110211801.81
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110211801.81 [Google Scholar]
  28. Getz, Robert
    2013 Two Scribally Misunderstood Words in Old English Homilies: tiber andfærlet/ferlet . Studia Neophilologica85.187–95. doi: 10.1080/00393274.2013.851920
    https://doi.org/10.1080/00393274.2013.851920 [Google Scholar]
  29. Gradon, P. O. E.
    (ed.) 1977Cynewulf’s ‘Elene’. Rev.ed.Exeter: University of Exeter Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  30. Grattan, J. H. G. , and Charles Singer
    (eds.). 1952Anglo-Saxon Magic and Medicine. London: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  31. Grein, C. W. M.
    1861–1864Sprachschatz der angelsächsischen Dichter. 2vols.Cassel and Göttingen: Wigand.
    [Google Scholar]
  32. 1912Sprachschatz der angelsächsischen Dichter. Ed.rev. by J. J. Köhler with the collaboration of F. Holthausen . Heidelberg: Winter.
    [Google Scholar]
  33. Hallander, Lars-G.
    1966Old English Verbs in -sian: A Semantic and Derivational Study. Stockholm Studies in English 15. Stockholm: Almquist & Wiksell.
    [Google Scholar]
  34. Harting, P. N. U.
    1937 The Text of the Old English Translation of Gregory’s “Dialogues”. Neophilologus22.281–302.
    [Google Scholar]
  35. Hecht, Hans
    (ed.) 1900–1907Bischof Wærferths von Worcester Übersetzung der Dialoge Gregor des Grossen. Leipzig and Hamburg: Wigand.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. Heidermanns, Frank
    1993Etymologisches Wörterbuch der germanischen Primäradjektive. Berlin: Gruyter. doi: 10.1515/9783110871616
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110871616 [Google Scholar]
  37. 1999 Die germanischen Adjektive auf -i-/-ja-und ihr indogermanische Hintergrund. In W. Schindler and J. Untermann (eds.), Grippe, Kamm und Eulenspiegel: Festschrift für Elmar Seebold zum 65. Geburtstag (Berlin: Gruyter), 145–176.
    [Google Scholar]
  38. Helten, W. van.
    1889 Zur Lexicologie und Grammatik des Altostfriesischen. Beiträge zur Geschichte der deutschen Sprache und Literatur14.232–288.
    [Google Scholar]
  39. Hill, Thomas D.
    1970 “Byrht Word” and “Hælendes Heafod”: Christological Allusion in the Old English Christ and Satan . English Language Notes8.6–9.
    [Google Scholar]
  40. Hødnebø, Finn
    1972Ordbog over det gamle norske Sprog af Dr. Johan Fritzner: Rettelser og tillegg. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget.
    [Google Scholar]
  41. Hoffmann, Dietrich and Anne Tjerk Popkema
    2008Altfriesisches Handwörterbuch. Heidelberg: Winter.
    [Google Scholar]
  42. Hogg, Richard M.
    1992A Grammar of Old English. Volume 1: Phonology. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
    [Google Scholar]
  43. Holthausen, F.
    1917 Die altenglischen Beda-Glossen. Archiv für das Studium der neueren Sprachen und Literaturen136.290–292.
    [Google Scholar]
  44. (ed.) 1936Cynewulfs Elene. 4th ed.Heidelberg: Winter.
    [Google Scholar]
  45. 1963Altenglisches etymologisches Wörterbuch. 2nd ed.Heidelberg: Winter.
    [Google Scholar]
  46. Jordan, Richard
    1906Eigentümlichkeiten des anglischen Wortschatzes. Eine wortgeographische Untersuchung mit etymologischen Anmerkungen. Heidelberg: Winter.
    [Google Scholar]
  47. Kastovsky, Dieter
    2002 The “haves” and the “have-nots” in Germanic and English: From bahuvrihi Compounds to Affixal Derivation. In Katja Lenz and Ruth Möhlig (eds.), Of dyuersitie & chaunge of langage: Essays Presented to Manfred Görlach on the Occasion of his 65th Birthday (Heidelberg: Winter), 33–46.
    [Google Scholar]
  48. Kemble, J. M.
    (ed.) 1843–1856The Poetry of the Codex Vercellensis, with an English Translation. 2vols.London: Ælfric Society.
    [Google Scholar]
  49. Kern, H.
    1879 Uit de Friesche Wetten. Taalkundige Bijdragen2.171–209.
    [Google Scholar]
  50. Kittlick, Wolfgang
    1998Die Glossen der Hs. British Library, Cotton Cleopatra A. III: Phonologie, Morphologie, Wortgeographie. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.
    [Google Scholar]
  51. Klaeber, F.
    1904 Zur altenglischen Bedaübersetzung. Anglia27.243–282.
    [Google Scholar]
  52. Kluge, Friedrich
    2002Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache. 24th ed.rev. by Elmar Seebold . Berlin: Gruyter.
    [Google Scholar]
  53. Krapp, G. P.
    (ed.) 1932The Vercelli Book. The Anglo-Saxon Poetic Records 2. New York: Columbia University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  54. Kuhn, Sherman M.
    1948 From Canterbury to Lichfield. Speculum23.591–629. doi: 10.2307/2850444
    https://doi.org/10.2307/2850444 [Google Scholar]
  55. Kurath, Hans , Sherman M. Kuhn , and Robert E. Lewis
    (eds) 1952–2001Middle English Dictionary. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  56. Lehmann, Winfred P.
    1986A Gothic Etymological Dictionary. Leiden: Brill.
    [Google Scholar]
  57. Liebermann, F.
    (ed.) 1903–1916Die Gesetze der Angelsachsen. 3vols.Halle: Niemeyer.
    [Google Scholar]
  58. Lindsay, W. M.
    (ed.) 1921The Corpus Glossary. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  59. Menner, Robert J.
    1949 The Anglian Vocabulary of theBlickling Homilies . In Thomas A. Kirby and Henry B. Woolf (eds.), Philologica: The Malone Anniversary Studies (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press), 56–64.
    [Google Scholar]
  60. Meritt, H. D.
    (ed.) 1945Old English Glosses (A Collection). New York: Modern Language Association of America.
    [Google Scholar]
  61. Miller, Thomas
    (ed.) 1890–1898The Old English Version of Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People. 4vols.Early English Text Society os95–96. London: Trübner.
    [Google Scholar]
  62. Morris, R.
    (ed.) 1874–1880The Blickling Homilies. Early English Text Society os 58, 63, 73. London: Trübner.
    [Google Scholar]
  63. Napier, A. S.
    (ed.) 1883Wulfstan: Sammlung der ihm zugeschriebenen Homilien nebst Untersuchungen über ihre Echtheit. Berlin: Weidmann.
    [Google Scholar]
  64. OED Online. Oxford University Press. www.oed.com.Accessed4 June 2014.
    [Google Scholar]
  65. Page, R. I.
    1973 Anglo-Saxon Scratched Glosses in a Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, Manuscript. In F. Sandgren (ed.), Otium et Negotium: Studies in Onomatology and Library Science presented to Olof von Feilitzen (Stockholm: P. A. Norstedt), 209–215.
    [Google Scholar]
  66. 1982 The Study of Latin Texts in Late Anglo-Saxon England [2]: The Evidence of English Glosses. In Nicholas Brooks (ed.), Latin and the Vernacular Languages in Early Medieval Britain (Leicester: Leicester University Press), 141–165.
    [Google Scholar]
  67. Parkes, M. B.
    1976 The Palaeography of the Parker Manuscript of the Chronicle, Laws and Sedulius, and Historiography at Winchester in the Late Ninth and Tenth Centuries. Anglo-Saxon England5.149–171. doi: 10.1017/S0263675100000831
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0263675100000831 [Google Scholar]
  68. Pheifer, J. D.
    (ed.) 1974Old English Glosses in the Épinal-Erfurt Glossary. Oxford: Clarendon.
    [Google Scholar]
  69. Philippa, M. et al.
    2003–2009Etymologisch Woordenboek van het Nederlands. 4vols.Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  70. Rauer, Christine
    2013The Old English Martyrology: Edition, Translation and Commentary. Cambridge: Brewer.
    [Google Scholar]
  71. Robinson, Fred C.
    1985 Metathesis in the Dictionaries: A Problem for Lexicographers. In Alfred Bammesberger (ed.), Problems of Old English Lexicography (Regensburg: Pustet), 245–265.
    [Google Scholar]
  72. Rusch, Willard James
    1992The Language of the East Midlands and the Development of Standard English: A Study in Diachronic Phonology. New York: Peter Lang.
    [Google Scholar]
  73. Rusche, Philip G.
    1996 The Cleopatra Glossaries: An Edition with Commentary on the Glosses and their Sources. PhD dissertation, Yale University.
  74. Schön, Eduard
    1905Die Bildung des Adjektivs im Altenglischen. Kiel: Cordes.
    [Google Scholar]
  75. Scragg, D. G.
    (ed.) 1992The Vercelli Homilies. Early English Text Society os 300. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  76. Sisam, Celia
    1953 An Early Fragment of the Old English Martyrology . Review of English Studies4.209–220. doi: 10.1093/res/IV.15.209
    https://doi.org/10.1093/res/IV.15.209 [Google Scholar]
  77. Sisam, Kenneth
    1953Studies in the History of Old English Literature. Oxford: Clarendon.
    [Google Scholar]
  78. Skeat, W. W.
    (ed.) 1871–1887The Holy Gospels in Anglo-Saxon, Northumbrian, and Old Mercian Versions. 4vols.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  79. Splett, Jochen
    1993Althochdeutsches Wörterbuch: Analyse der Wortfamilienstrukturen des Althochdeutschen, zugleich Grundlegung einer zukünftigen Strukturgeschichte des deutschen Wortschatzes. 2vols in3parts. Berlin: Gruyter. doi: 10.1515/9783110857917
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110857917 [Google Scholar]
  80. Tiefenbach, Heinrich
    2010Altsächsisches Handwörterbuch. Berlin: Gruyter.
    [Google Scholar]
  81. Voss, Manfred
    1988 Old English Glossaries and Dialectology. In Jacek Fisiak (ed.), Historical Dialectology: Regional and Social, Trends in Linguistics: Studies and Monographs 37 (Berlin: Gruyter), 601–608. doi: 10.1515/9783110848137.601
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110848137.601 [Google Scholar]
  82. Vriend, Hubert Jan de
    (ed.) 1984The Old English Herbarium and Medicina de Quadrupedibus. Early English Text Society os 286. London: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  83. Vries, Jan de.
    1961Altnordisches etymologisches Wörterbuch. Leiden: Brill.
    [Google Scholar]
  84. Waite, Greg
    2013 The Old English Bede and the Glosses in the Tiberius Bede . Parergon30.1–49. doi: 10.1353/pgn.2013.0041
    https://doi.org/10.1353/pgn.2013.0041 [Google Scholar]
  85. Wenisch, Franz
    1979Spezifisch anglisches Wortgut in den nordhumbrischen Interlinearglossierungen des Lukasevangeliums. Heidelberg: Winter.
    [Google Scholar]
  86. Whitelock, Dorothy
    1962 The Old English Bede. Proceedings of the British Academy48.57–90.
    [Google Scholar]
  87. Zupitza, Julius
    (ed.) 1883Cynewulfs Elene. 2nd ed.Berlin: Weidmann.
    [Google Scholar]
  • Article Type: Research Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error