The Englisc List Website—A Forum for Composition in Old English is a treasure trove of material for people who want to use Old English, not just make their way through Beowulf with a glossary.

While some discussion is conducted in Old English, a lot of it is not; but activity on this list aims primarily to: 1) compose a message or an original text in Old English, 2) translate a modern or medieval text into Old English, 3) participate in ongoing projects devoted to the above, 4) comment on the contributions, 5) offer something new, 6) pose questions about grammar and vocabulary, 7) be tremendously entertaining while remaining relevant, or 8) just lurk and learn.

I particularly like the New Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, whose most recent entry reads:

[Anno MMIV Hreðmonað]
– xix d: Ymb þisne dæg ymb Wala ceastre in Suð-Waziristan provinciam in Pakistane Pakistanes fyrd fohte wið beorgweargum ond Bin Ladenes heafodþegne, ond neah in Afghnistane Americisce fuhton wið Talibaniscum.

(Via the effervescent and irreplaceable ElizaD in Wordorigins.)


  1. geneahhe interesting! it hwettan min hungor fore dat ongytenes. (of course, please correct that!)

  2. Nice one yeah. But why are they calling the Taliban scum?

  3. 🙂 “isc” = “ish” and “-um” is the dative plural ending. So “with Talibaniscum” means “against (more than one) Taliban-ish (person.)”

  4. Uh, I’m pretty sure commonbeauty was joking, in his poker-faced way. But it’s just as well you explained it for those keeping score at home.

  5. Yeah, I reckoned he pro’bly was. But you never know. Even Homer nods. He can’t know everything about art and music *and* dead languages, can he?

  6. Homer is in my case perpetually nodding frantically.
    I know no dead languages.
    But yes, I was joking, the Taliban are definitely not scum. They’re wankers, and there IS a difference.
    Old English: is beautiful, is spooky, is what I would have studied if I could have found the funds to do it in England. Funds. England. Ha ha.
    As it is, I’m stuck with Flemish painting which is sooo much more practical.

  7. Always the eye for the main chance, that’s you 🙂

  8. Joshua Burton passed along this from Kevin Wald (
    Thes sind tha staepstaeru steorrascipes
    Enterprise. His aerende fif geara*:
    Wendan ofer worlda, wundorlica ond niwa;
    Uncuthu cwicnesse ond cynnu secan;
    Faestlice faran hwaer beforan man ne eode.
    *fif geara] MS B has standend

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