Words index  Vivian Cook

Chaucerís words

In the Oxford English Dictionary the person cited for using a word first is Geoffrey Chaucer for 2004 words. Obviously this does not mean that he was the person to introduce a word in English, just that it is found for the first time in his extensive writings between 1374 and 1386. Here are some of these words.

Absence

Accident

Add

Agree

Bagpipe

Bed-head

Blunder to

Border

Box

Chant to

Cholera

Chuck to

Cinnamon

Desk

Digestion

Dishonest

Dung-cart

Effect n

Elixir

Examination

Femininity

Finally

Flute

Funeral

Galaxy

Gaze to

Glow to

Hernia

Horizon

Increase N

Infect to

Ingot

Jolliness

Latitude
martian

Laxative

Milksop

Miscarry to

Nod to

Notify

Obscure

Observe

Outrageous

Peregrine

Perpendicular

Persian

Princess

Resolve v

Rumour

scissors

session

snort v

superstitious

theatre

trench

universe

utility

vacation

veal

village

vitriol

vulgar

wallet

wildness

Of course there are many that did not catch on, such as:

agreeability

besmottered

corrumpable

displeasant

fecund

gastness

horsely

jangleress

necessarious

rete

withinforth

Many of these words reflect the influence in England of French as the main language for some 300 years and  of Latin as the languageof educationand scholarship. However English was also open to other languages. For example here are some of Chaucerís words that come from Arabic: almanac, nadir alkali, borax, tartar, satin, gipon, checkmate, damask.

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