Old English Wiki

New words were formed in a variety of ways on OE. Below are listed some common suffixes, prefixes, and useful guidelines to being creative with your OE vocabulary in ways that can commonly be understood by other OE speakers.


  • ā-: gives a sense of away (from) our out (of); sometimes does nothing to the meaning of a word
  • ǣġ-: generalizes pronouns: ǣġ-hƿā - anyone
  • be-: often equals a sense of around or about: be-gān - surround; sometimes is a derivative: be-dǣlan - to deprive; sometimes makes intransitive verbs transitive or makes a transitive verb out of an adjective/noun: be-ƿēpan - to bewail
  • ġe-: often gives a sense of togetherness or a group of things: ġe-brōþor - brothers, ġe-fēran - to accompany; often does nothing to the meanings or sense of a word



  • -an: forms either strong verbs or verbs of weak verb classes 1 or 3
  • -ettan: forms class 1 weak verbs from nouns and adjectives: mūþettan - to speak about, to declare (secrets)
  • -ian: forms verbs from class 2
  • -lǣċan: forms class 1 weak verbs from adjectives and nouns: cūþ-lǣċan - to get to know (someone), to make friends with
  • -rian: usually forms a subclass of class 1 weak verbs
  • -sian: forms class 2 weak verbs from nouns and pronouns and usually means "to make like" or "to make": clǣn-sian - to cleanse, to clean


  • -cund: betokens strong neuter nouns which mean an entire kind of thing: hrefne-cund - raven-kind
  • -ling: betokens strong masculine nouns from nouns or adjective which speak about someone or some creature of which the adjective (if it is an adjective from whence the noun is formed) could be said about or which is associated with the noun (if it is a noun from whence the word is formed): ierþ-ling - tender of fields (lit. "earthling")
  • -nis: makes nouns from adjectives or verbs, sometimes from other wordkinds, though.


  • -cund: makes adjectives usually formed from nouns and betokens a sense of being within the same kind as the word from whence it is formed: god-cund - divine ("god-kind")
  • -iġ: is equivalent to Modern English -y: blōd-iġ - bloody
  • -liċ: is equivalent to Modern English -like: god-liċ - divine, god-like

More Noun Forming Strategies[]

More Verb Forming Strategies[]

How to Make an Adverb of an Adjective[]