But, Who were the Anglo Saxons?

They were European migrants from northern Europe.

They settled in English during the 5th and 6th centuries.

They comprised of several Kingdoms.

They later joined into a single realm of politics and they formed England Kingdom (924 – 939).

They maintained political dominance until 1066 when they lost to Normans after their last king got killed in 1066 at the Battle of Hastings.


Right… and their Language?

The different tribes of Anglo Saxon spoke originally the various intelligible mutual language of Germanic. They were similarly referred to as dialects. Upon arriving in England, their languages influenced each other and to some extent, they were unified.Despite that, the written and spoken words were different. The major dialects included Mercian, West Saxon, Kentish, and Northumbrian. After the rising of Wessex Kingdom, which was under the rule of King Alfred, the dialect of West Saxon established dominance.

After which all the written words in English was in the dialect of West Saxon.Really Interesting…please keep going and talk to me about Interactions?The tribes from Germany who arrived from England, before migrating, they had Roman Empire contact. Through the contact, they adapted some few Latin words. After they got to Britain, the names which they borrowed were mostly, the name of places from their neighbors who were Celtic.

But the influence of their art was majorly by their neighbors. Also, Germany written scripts were similar to the once utilized by Celts. This is because they went through missionary teachings from the missionaries who were Celtic.After the Anglo Saxons were Christianized by the missionaries who were Celtic, the Latin language at then turn out to be significant in the church. This had an impact on the ‘Old English’, as many of the words that related to the church were borrowed into the ‘Old English’.

From this, the Anglo Saxons were clearly aware of the Christianization which was carried out by the missionaries who were Celtic. Through this there was a change in their lore and traditions, shifting from their ancestors who were pagan. But there was preservation effort in reserving such knowledge.After the invasions of Vikings on England, other old Norse words were also borrowed, and this was a mutual intelligence with the ‘Old English’. (more of the Viking words were borrowed by people who were taken to the north by the Vikings.

The majority of the words from Norse still exist in the ‘Modern English’.


Right..and When History changes?

After the end of the Hasting Battle, Norman French became the language of governance. It eas closely associate with prestige and power. However, the commoners retained their English.

Despite that, their English was significantly influenced by Norman French. This had an impact on their language orthography, vocabulary, and to an extent their grammar of their English.

This could be evidently noticed during the ‘Middle English’ ere.

Thus, it is considered generally, that the end of ‘Old English’ era of the language ceased approximately in 1100 AD, and this was briefly after the conquest of Norman.


Now a real question : Between French forms and Anglo Saxon, what’s your style?

The Anglo Saxon is also known as Old English. Therefore, when it comes to writing which one would you go for?

Much of modern English was formed from a variety of sources. And part of it also includes the words which were borrowed from French. These words are also common in modern English. One of the features that make modern English dominate, is prevalence. This is through the use of synonym. Unlike any other language, it has managed to preserve some of the words which are either French or Old English but has the exact meaning.

Have you made any consideration of the type of word to use which will have a significant influence on your voice of writing? For example, deciding to choose a word which is sourced from either French or Anglo Saxon origin. Also, the word’s relatives in Latin have a substantial influence.Due to the conquest by the Normans, the language of Anglo Saxion was made to be of lower classes, while French was made to be the first-class language which was associated with prestige and power.

But over time, the French language had an impact on the Anglo Saxon which caused its transformation from Old English to Middle English. This was before the conquest of the Normans in 1100 AD.During the reigning of the Normans in England, they made the Anglo Saxon language a lower class tongue. This was both in the contexts of politics and social status. Thus the majority of the cognates reflected the contrasts in the relation between the two languages.For example, the words in Anglo Saxon which described the domestic animals that were reared for food was used to reflect the duties of the livestock keepers in Anglo Saxons (calf, pig, sheep, cow).

But the words which were sourced from French, gave the description of the food just the way it appeared on their table after preparation by the servants and Farmers who were Anglo Saxon (veal, pork, mutton, meat)When comparing to the French words, the majority of the Anglo Saxon language was mostly spoken in a plain manner. In other words more earthy (this means they were most basic than the equivalent words in French).Some of the examples that clearly illustrates the contrast between the meanings of the two languages are- home referred to as humble while in French is described as magnificent. Also frequent are the “masters” in French and “lords” in Anglo Saxon language.

And don’t forget, many of the Anglo Saxons words were acquired from the Latin missionaries and passed to its descendants before the conquest. These words include introductions to various terms which are religious related, and this was during the Christian spread by the missionaries.

Also, some of the words were acquired during the trade with countries in Europe.

Similarly, the tribes which were Germanic coalesced with Anglo Saxon people in England and adapted Greek and Latin words before arriving in Britain. Despite the abandonment of the French by the Norman aristocracy for Middle English, acquisition of many words by the latter language were from the renaissance influence and also the modern English got enriched through enlightenment in its early stages.

Can you notice from your writing whether you are a French mania or you fancy Anglo Saxon? Or maybe you are bilingual. Whichever you are, how do you present your words?

How do you describe a person, deceptive or misleading? Do you prefer fatherly affection or fatherly bonds?

Below you are provided with other examples of pairings between Anglo Saxon and French:


Brittle – fragile


Freedom – liberty

Weird – strange

Brittle – fragile

Tough – difficult

Lovely – beautiful

House – mansion

Ask – enquire

Hanging – pendant

Smell – odor

Lawyer – attorney

Fall – autumn


Anglo Saxons vs. French : The duel!

Despite the number of words in English they are sourced from, both of the languages are equivalent. The language essentially applied for communications at the basic level are words in Anglo Saxon.Also, lots of people would correlate application of words sourced from the Latin language with extravagant and gushing.

When you compare the expressiveness of each language, you will discover the Anglo Saxon words are more expressive in their meaning when compared to the French language. This is because it states the word as it is. For instance the curse words, in French, despite being curse words, they seem gentle when used on somebody.

But with the Anglo Saxon words, even the lightest of the curse would feel aggressive and annoying. This is because the words have more force compared to a French word with similar meaning. For example, between using the word “feces” when insulting someone and the equivalent words in French “Copulation” which one feels more severe.

Anglo Saxon language is the predecessor of modern English, while Latin is the ancestor of French and its brethren Roman language. Despite that, these two languages do share many words and vocabularies.

Therefore, they have so much in common as well as the differences. For example resume in English and Resume in French.

They are similar in spelling but differ in meaning. The French “resume” refers to a CV while the English “resume” means continuing from where you left.In terms of origin, the two languages are contrasting with the similarity being the instance when the people speaking either of the languages came into contact. And it’s at this point that both of them drew the similar words they share.

The English obtained its words directly from dialects who were Germanic. This is the language that Anglo Saxons, as well as assorted tribes of Teuton, spoke during the 5th and 6th centuries.

The dialects are like the founder of the Old English, but it later underwent transformation into the Middle English in 1066, after the invasion of the Norman. And it’s at this point that the Anglo Saxon came into contact with the Anglo-French.

French was also known as the Norman language and was made the court language of bureaucracy, culture and the rising mobility during their rule.What is intriguing is the fact that the Norman French was partially different when compared to Francien or the Parisian French.

During its foundation, the Norman French was compost of Norse words in plenty. But it was never reserved in the Middle French. During their rule in England, the Norman French was spoken by the aristocrats while the subjects or the rest of the people spoke in Anglo Saxon.

There was also the third group during the Norman Reign, they were the clergy group. With them, they only spoke in Latin. As anyone would predict, the patricians considered Anglo Saxon as a lower class tongue. Anglo Saxon was rather spoken than being written. But when you consider who its practitioners were, it totally makes sense.

After the contact with the Norman French, the languages tangled up in the process, and as a result of marriages and intermarriages of several generations, it advanced into “Middle English”. Later in time, there was a “Black Death” outbreak which wiped Norman French between 1349 and 1350 but the Anglo Saxon prospered into Middle English, then it gained popularity and was made England national language.The tales of Chaucer Canterbury started in the 1380s, revealing a language that is made of loanwords from Norman French and had mild stability, orthography and also goofy. In the same timeline, John Wycliffe, his contemporary produced the first English version of the Bible.

And when you picture the time of production, it was quite daring. Anglo Saxon had just evolved at that time into Middle English and had some prominence on the land in the middle of the late ages. Despite the Norman French conquest, they made the major contribution to the advancement of the Anglo Saxon into the ‘Middle English’.


The French influence on the Anglo Saxon : The start!

After the England invasion in 1066 by the Norman French, it’s not the country only which received the impact but the language also. This formed the turning point of the Anglo Saxon language.

It was more of the dark days to the England people but brighter days on their language. Despite the French language made official at the court, the Anglo Saxon was still utilized by the ordinary people.

As a result of the Anglo Saxon being left out in writing and official duties, French became the dominant language. This led to the change of ‘Old English’ in various ways. And it involved transformation from the Anglo Saxon version which was intricate to a more simpler version, the ‘Middle English’.

But despite the change in Old English, the French also received an impact.The change resulted in over 10, 000 words of French becoming part of the newly formed ‘Middle English’.

This included words that relate to law, government, art, food, literature and many other areas. Over three-quarter of the imported words are still in use in modern English. While most of the word which was sourced either indirectly or even directly now accounts to over a third of the vocabularies which are in use in English.

This means you already know over fifteen thousands of French even before starting the introduction in your French classes.Majority of the words which are utilized alongside English and they are of French origin are found alongside the native words of English.

In some scenario, they are words of Greek or Latin origin but they have the exact meaning. For example, ‘Beef’ from the French wordboeuf, it is referred to as the cow meat in the Anglo Saxon. A king, who is known as cyningby the Anglo Saxon, can also be kingly and roialin French.In other cases, there are some words which were sourced either from Parisian French or Norman French at various times, but they all have the exact meaning. For example, the wordwardenis sourced from the Norman French.

While the guardian with the same meaning as warden is sourced from the Parisian French.As a result of the influence exerted by the French language, part of the pronunciations in English and to an extent the spelling changed. For example, the spellings of ‘c’, sc, and ‘cw’ from the Anglo Saxon, changed to ‘ch’, ‘sh’ and ‘qu’. And for that reason, we get to write the word queen rather than the previous version cwen.

Also, ship and not the previous version scip and last but not least ‘should’ and not the previous version ‘scolde’.


Pronunciation: The key!

A bigger section of the pronunciations in English owes a great deal of favor to French. This is because the Anglo Saxon language did not have a specific sound format to follow when pronouncing certain consonants. For example, the unvoiced sounds such as [θ], [f] and [s] relating to thinand also, [∫] relating to theshin.

Through the influence by the French language the counterparts of their voice were distinguished- the,[v], [z] and [ð] and mirage [ʒ], but also had a contribution to the diphthong- boy[ɔy].

Do you need a help hand?



The spelling and the pronunciation were not the only things affected by the French language, some few structures of French were also adapted.

For example – the placing of adjectives after a noun word, Surgeon general, secretary-general, attorney general and much more.



The expressions of French Words in English: A help!

These form part of the thousands of thousands of words and vocabularies which were adapted by English from the French.

Some of those words gave been taken over by the English language to the extent that they have lost their relation to French. While there are other words which have maintained their original form over the centuries to date.

Below, you are provided with some of the examples of expressions and words that have their origin from French but they are being applied commonly in English.

Agent provocateur (means an agent who is provocative)A provocative individual who tempts individuals who are suspects into committing acts which are unlawful.

aide-mémoire (an aid to your memory)It is anything that acts as help in recording an event. It can be a notebook, a camera or even a recorder.

amour-propre (means to love yourself)It also means to have self-respect.

Brunette (a small female with dark hairs)The first part Brun- means the subject has dark hair. While the suffix –ette means the subject is small but also a female.

Critique (critical review)In French, it is both a noun as well as an adjective. It means a review of something in a critical manner.

Debutante (beginner)It is a noun which refers to a feminine person. Thus in both French and English language, it refers to young female undertaking a formal life beginning into society. The intriguing part of its usage is that it was borrowed from English and not French original.

giclée (spray, squirt)this is a term of French which refers to liquids which are in small amounts. In English meaning, it refers to a certain print inkjet type, while the accent on the vowel ‘e’ is left out.

mise en abyme (setting an abyss)This is an infinite reflection of an image within itself. It is similar to when two mirrors are placed facing each other. You cannot determine the end of it.

pièce de résistance (stamina piece)As per the French, the words refer to the meal main course, or it can also mean, testing the limit of your stomach. In both the two languages it refers to an accomplishment which is outstanding or the end of something either as a meal, project, and others.

vis-à-vis (de) (face to face)In the English language “vis-à-vis” means in relation with or compared to. For the word to makes sense in French, the preposition “de” has to be after the word.


Let’s add words in French with relation to Art..

Art-deco (decorative art)The 1920s & 1930s art format which is characterized by outlines which are bold, zigzag and geometric form.

Avant-garde(before guard)This means innovativeness in the field of art, in the sense that the creation of a masterpiece before everyone else.

belle époque (beautiful era)This was the early years of the 20th century which is referred to as the golden time of art.

roman-fleuve (novel river)This is a multivolume novel which is long and contains several generation histories of a given community or family. In both, the languages saga is utilized more.

film noir (black movie)It literally refers to the cinematography style which is alternating starks of white and black. Also film noir tends to be figuratively dark as well.


And also terms used on food and cooking…

petit four (little oven)It’s a dessert which is small and often a cake.

foie gras (fat liver)this is the liver of a fattened goose, also as a delicacy.

Degustation (tasting)This refers to the actual act of testing. While its meaning in English refers to event tasting, food tasting or even drink tasting

En gratin (with gratings)In the French language, it refers to anything that is grated and then put as food toppings. They may include crumbs of bread or even cheese. In the English language, it means ‘with cheese’ !!!

Two thousand years of linguistic evolution,This is your origin, this is why you must continue to learn…