An translation of the Old English terms used in the Anglo-Saxon Laws and Customs

After-geld: after-payment.
Aewda: oath-giver, compurgator.
Aldor: cf. ealdor.
Ambiht-smith: smith or carpenter.
Angylde: price fixed by law.
Ath: oath.
Fore-ath:, preliminary oath;
Rim-ath: oath by accused and compurgators together.
Birele: cup-bearer.
Blot: sacrifice or offering to idols.
Boc-land: land held by charter.
Bold-gaetal: lord's estate.
Borh: surety;
Borhbryce: breach of surety.
Bot: compensation.
Bryce: breach, violation.
Brygc, bryc, bric: bridge.
Burh: castle or dwelling.
Bythfytling: fillings of the butts (meaning uncertain).
Can, canne: clearance, averment.
Ceap: bargain.
Ceapgeld: sale's price.
Ceorl: churl, simple freeman.
Cyne: kin.
Cynebot, cynegeld: part of the fine for killing the king which went to the folk as compensation.
Drihtinbeah: lord-ring, lord's compensation.
Drinclean: payment due from tenant to lord for ale.
Ealdor, ealdorman: chief, governor of a province.
Edor: homestead, farmhouse.
Eorl: noble, nobleman.
Esne: serf. cf. theow.
Faehth: feud.
Fah: foe.
Fare: go.
Feaxfang: seizing by the hair.
Feoh, fioh: money, payment.
Feorm, firma, farm: rent in kind paid by tenants.
Flet: house, home.
Flyma: runaway, fugitive.
Flymanfyrmth: harboring a fugitive.
Folcland: common land, held by the folk or nation.
Foresteal: an assault.
Forespeca, forspreca: advocate.
Fosterlean: remuneration for rearing a child.
Frith: peace.
Frumgeld: first payment of wer.
Frumtyhtle: first accusation.
Ful: unconsecrated ground.
Fyrd: army, general levy.
Gaenggang: pregnant (?)
Gafol: rent.
Gafolland: rent-land.
Gemot: meeting, court.
Geneat: a servile tenant.
Gild, guild: club.
Grith: peace, protection.
Hadbot: compensation for injury, to a person in holy orders.
Hamscyld: shoulder-blade (?).
Healsfang: pillory.
Hearm: hue and cry
Heorthfaest: having a fixed dwelling.
Hion: membrane, covering.
Hlafaeta: loaf-eater, servant.
Hlaford: loaf-giver, lord.
Hlafordesgifu: gift to lord, a form of rent.
Hloth: a following, any number of men from eight to thirty-five.
Hold: lord, noble.
Homola: one whose head has been shaved (?)
Hordere: treasurer.
Hynden: an association of ten men (?).
Inborh: security, pledge.
Inland: demesne land, lord's land.
Laadring: guide, avant-courier.
Lad: purgation, exculpation; also, a form of service consisting in supplying the lord with beasts of burden.
Laet: half-free, a class between slaves and freemen.
Lahslit: fine for offences committed by Danes, corresponding to Anglo-Saxon wite.
Landrica, Landhlaford: lord of the soil, landlord.

Landceap, landcop: purchase of land.
Leod: man, people.
Leodgeld, leudgeld, wergeld: fine paid for killing a man.
Liblac, lyblac: witchcraft.
Lyswe, leaswe: injury of some kin (uncertain).
Maegburh: kindred, kin.
Maegbot: compensation paid to family.
Maerra, maere peningas: (money of some kind).
Mancus: thirty pennies.
Manung: district over which reeve has jurisdiction.
Manwyrth, wergeld: cf. Leodgeld.
Methel: council, meeting.
Morgengifu: morning-gift, gift from husband to wife on the morning after marriage.
Morth: murder.
Mund, mundbyrd: protection, guardianship.
Mynster, minster: monastery.
Mynsterham: dwelling house of monastery (?).
Oferhyrnes: contempt; disobedience; also, penalty attached thereto.
Ora: sixteen pennies.
Orwige: outlawed.
Reaflac: robbery.
Reeve, gerefa: official, especially sheriff.
Romfeoh: Peter's Pence.
Sac: right of a lord to private jurisdiction.
Sceat, scaet: four sceats equal one penny
Scip: ship.
Sithcund, gesithcund: belonging to king's followers.
Socn: sanctuary, right of protection.
Stauela: settle, bench.
Stermelda: court officer (uncertain).
Syxhyndeman: one whose wergeld is 600 shillings.
Thegn: knight, nobleman.
Theow: slave.
Thrymsas: three pennies of Mercian money.
Tihtbysig: of bad repute.
Tihtle: accusation.
Furmtihtle: first accusation.
Withertihtle: cross-action.
Tun: villa, dwelling, town.
Twelfhyndeman: one whose wergeld is 1200 shillings.
Twyhyndeman: one whose wergeld is 200 shillings (lowest class of freeman).
Utware: (uncertain, perhaps a form of tenure)
Walreaf: despoiling the dead.
Wealh, wylisc: British, Welsh.
Wed: pledge, security.
Wer, wergild: cf. leodgeld.
Wic: town.
Wita: member of supreme council.
Wite: fine.

Taken from Thatcher edition, via the Medieval Source Book, a collection of public domain and copy-permitted texts.

(Oliver J. Thatcher, ed., The Library of Original Sources (Milwaukee: University Research Extension Co., 1907), Vol. IV: The Early Medieval World,pp. 209-211)

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.