The role played by the german and scandinavian tribes on english language — страница 9

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English into contact with a different civilization and introducing them to many things, physical as well as spiritual, that they had not known before. The civilization of the invaders was very much like that of the English themselves, if anything somewhat inferior to it. Consequently the Scandinavian elements that entered the English language are such as would make their way into it through the give and take of everyday life. Their character can best be conveyed by a few examples, arranged simply in alphabetical order. Among nouns that came in are axle-tree, band, bank, birth, boon, booth, brink, bull, calf (of leg), crook, dirt, down (feathers), dregs, egg, fellow, freckle, gait, gap, girth, guess, hap, keel, kid, leg, link, loan, mire, race, reindeer, reef (of sail), rift,

root, scab, scales, score, scrap, scat, sister, skill, skin, skirt, sky, slaughter, snare, stack, steak, swain, thrift, tidings, trust, want, window. The list has been made somewhat long in order the better to illustrate the varied and yet simple character of the borrowings. Among adjec­tives we find awkward, flat, iÜ, loose, low, meek, muggy, odd, rot­ten, rugged, scant, seemly, sly, tattered, tight, and weak. There is also a surprising number of common verbs among the borrow­ings, verbs like to bait, bask, batten, call, cast, clip, cow, crave, crawl, die, droop, egg (on), flit, gape, gasp, get, give, glitter, kindle, lift, lug, nag, ransack, raise, rake, rid, rive, scare, scout (an idea), scowl, screech, snub, sprint, take, thrive, thrust. Lists such newcomers and

that not a single Briton was left alive. The evi­dence of the place-names in this region lends support to the statement. But this was probably an exceptional case. In the east and southeast, where the Teutonic conquest was fully accom­plished at a fairly early date, it is probable that there were fewer survivals of. a Celtic population than elsewhere. Large numbers of the defeated fled to the west. Here it is apparent that a con­siderable Celtic-speaking population survived until fairly late times. Some such situation is suggested by a whole cluster of Celtic place-names in the northeastern corner of Dorsetshire.1 It is altogether likely that many Celts were held as slaves by the conquerors and that many of the Teutons married Celtic women. In parts at least of the

island, contact between the two races must have been constant and in some districts intimate for several generations. CHAPTER V Celtic Place-names. When we come, however, to seek the evidence for this contact in the English language investigation yields very meager results. Such evidence as there is survives chiefly in place-names. The kingdom of Kent, for example, owes its name to the Celtic word Canti or Cantion, the meaning of which is unknown, while the two ancient Northumbrian kingdoms of Deira and Bernicia derive their designations from Celtic tribal names. Other districts, especially in the west and southwest, pre­serve in their present-day names traces of their earlier Celtic designations. Devonshire contains in the first element the tribal name Dumnonii, Cornwall

means the 'Cornubian Welsh', and Cumberland is the 'land of the Cymry or Britons'. Moreover, a number of important centers in the Roman period have names in which Celtic elements are embodied. The name London itself, al­though the origin of the word is somewhat uncertain, most likely goes back to a Celtic designation. The first syllable of Winchester, Salisbury, Exeter, Gloucester, Worcester, Lichfield, and a score of other names of cities is traceable to a Celtic source, while the earlier name of Canterbury (Durovernum) and the name fork are originally Celtic. But it is in the names of rivers and hills and places in proximity to these natural features that the greatest number of Celtic names survives. Thus the Thames is a Celtic river name, and various Celtic words for river

or water are pre­served in the names Avon, Exe, Esk, Usk, Dover, and Wye. Celtic words meaning 'hill' are found in place-names like Barr (cf. Welsh bar, 'top, summit'), Bredon (cf. Welsh bre, TıilF), Bryn Mawr (cf. Welsh bryn liill' and mawr 'great'), Creech, Pendle (cf. Welsh pen 'top'), and others. Certain other Celtic elements occur more or less frequently such as cumb (a deep valley) in names like Duncombe, Holcombe, Winchcombe; torr (high rock, peak) in Torr, Torcross, Torhill; pill (a tidal creek) in Pylle, Huntspill; and brace (badger) in Brockholes, Brockhall, etc. Be­sides these purely Celtic elements a few Latin words such as castra, fantana, fossa, portus, and vicus were used in naming places during the Roman occupation of the island and were passed on by the