Verbs and Expressions of Calling a Person/Place/Thing in Old and Early Middle English Chronicles and Homilies

How to Cite

Ogura, M. (2023). Verbs and Expressions of Calling a Person/Place/Thing in Old and Early Middle English Chronicles and Homilies. SELIM. Journal of the Spanish Society for Medieval English Language and Literature., 28(1), 57–77.


There were many ways of calling or naming a person, a place, or other things in Old English: se wæs noe gehaten ‘he is called Noah’, Ioppe hatte sum burh ‘a city was called Joppa’, æt þæm beorge þe mon Athlans nemneð ‘at the mountain which they name (precisely, one names) Atlas’, þe Grecas nemnað paralysis. and we cweðað lyftadl ‘which the Greeks call paralysis, and we call palsy’, his nama is iohannes ‘his name is John’, etc. A clear difference in the use of these verbs and expressions of calling is found between chronicles and homilies. Also, when the contents that describe the same object or theme like false god or the deadly sins, lexical variations or flexible uses of verbs can further become obvious. The aim of this study is to exemplify a variety of expressions of calling found in Old and early Middle English texts, especially in chronicles and homilies, which show syntactic and stylistic continuity with some morphological and lexical alterations. Tables are given to show the choice of each verb form used in each text.



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OED = Proffitt, Michael, ed. 1990–in progress. The Oxford English Dictionary, 3rd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Accessed November 11, 2021.


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