Saturday, 22 April 2017

Stynt Ðy Novelri!

"Stynt ðy clappe! Beoð ðo writerris be wetleas knafen. Ðy langag o engelond diffoulened be, ille usenid bi sclaundrous novelri." (from

"Stunt thy clapper! (1) The writers are witless knaves (2). The language of England is ---befouled (3)--- besmirched (3a), ill used by scandalous (4) innovation (5)." (Translation based on content at above link, using Middle English Dictionary at

1. A "clappe" is a noise. This phrase approximates our own "Shut your mouth!"

2. A reference to the low status of sl*v*s. A knave was a servant; the word also had uses as referenced just previously.

3. I based this on a seeming connection between the Middle English word and the modern English word "foul."

3a. So close. Middle English Dictionary led me to "besmirch" based on the meaning "stain." The Etymology Online Dictionary is really cool.

4. Gratitude to the University of Michigan Library for hosting the Middle English Dictionary on its website.

5. Novelty.

1 comment:

  1. That was actually from a thread reposted on allthingslinguistic which I can now no longer find in its entirety; is the closest I can get. But if you liked that, you'll probably like this video of mine on YouTube: