Embs Concise Dictionary

Here you will find definitions of words no longer in use or used improperly now. These definitions are often derived from multiple sources and represent original work in some cases, but not in all. The effort I am putting forth here is to create a concise reference which is sound and correctly researched, but not enormously wordy.

When reading older English texts like that of Wycliffe or while examining the original printing of the King James Bible or any older text you will encounter words, spellings, and abbreviations no longer used. These notes will help you…

The symbol of the thorn “Þ, þ” is an abbreviation for the sound “th” and used in many words. And the “Y” version of the thorn is used as part of abbreviations also. Also the letter sho may appear when appears to be a thorn also but is pronounced differently. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sho_(letter))

[From Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thorn_(letter)]

The letter yogh (Ȝ ȝ; Middle English: yoȝ) was used in Middle English and Older Scots, representing y (/j/) and various velar phonemes. It was derived from the Old English form of the letter g.

[Embs note: the letter “ȝ” can represent a “y” a “g” or a “gh” sound to make a long “i” sound. For example ȝeer is “year” and “ȝe” is “ye” but riȝtful is “rightful.”

A thorn with a stroke on the ascender (Ꝥꝥ) was used in English (see the section on usage).

A thorn with a stroke on the descender also exists (Ꝧꝧ).

The following were abbreviations during Middle and Early Modern English using the letter thorn:

  • Middle English the.svg – (þe) a Middle English abbreviation for the word the
  • Middle English that.svg – (þt) a Middle English abbreviation for the word that
  • Middle English thou.svg – (þu) a rare Middle English abbreviation for the word thou (which was written early on as þu or þou)
  • (ys) an Early Modern English abbreviation for the word this
  • EME ye.svg – (ye) an Early Modern English abbreviation for the word the
  • EME that.svg – (yt) an Early Modern English abbreviation for the word that

Also plurals were usually followed by “is” instead of just “s” like “paþis” was “paths.”

Also the capital letter “I” or “E” when they had an “e” or “ey” or “eye” sound was shown as “Y” like in the word “Ysay” which was “Isaiah” or “Esias.”

The “on” sound was more like “ow” like in the word “own” and was represented by double “oo” like in the name “Joon” which was “John” which could have been pronounced more like “Joan.”

CLEPID – Called or named. From a word that means to cry out.

SONE – son

ÞHANNE – then

COMUNLI – commonly

KYNG – king

FOURÞE – forth

þhat – that

hadde – had

þe – the

lond – land

contree – country

maad – made

profete – prophet

redi – ready

wey – way

prechide – preached

fablis – fables

lesingis – leasings

trueþe – truth

puttide – putteth

mouþ – mouth

mounteyn – mountain

Hem – them like ‘hem as in that abbreviation

Fild – filled, often as in fulfilled as a prophecy is fulfilled

ech – each

valey – valley

erþe – earth

dai – day

dome – doom

þis – this

blisse – bliss

nedeful – needful

ful – full

shrewid – shrewd

þingis – things

pleyn – plain (as in ordinary)

weies – ways

hertis – hearts

bi – by

eelde – elde (or old as in however many years old)



SOPH’ICAL, SOPH’ISM, SOPH’IST, SOPH’ISTER, SOPH’ISTIC, SOPHISTI’ICAL, SOPHIST’ICALLY, SOPHIST’ICATE, SOPHIST’ICATION, SOPHIST’ICATOR, SOPH’ISTRY, SOPH’OMORE, from Greek sophis σοφος meaning wise. It relates to the use of fallacious arguments as found in Greek philosophy to prove a point during argumentation in a deceptive manner. Part of the definition given by Webster is; “a disputant fallaciously subtil; an artful but insidious logcian ; as an atheistical sophister.” And Webster associates the word with “adulterated; not pure ; not genuine.” Sophomores are students in a college or university, in the second year of their enrollment.

Not all the subtil objections of sophisters and rabbies against the gospel, so much prejudiced the reception of it, as the reproach of those crimes with which they aspersed the assemblies of Christians. Rogers.

SOL’ECISM n. from Greek soloixidmos σολοιχιδμος, said to be from Soli, a people of Attica, who being transplanted to Cilicia, lost the purity of their language. It is an impropriety of language or deviation from correct syntax, incongruity of words, lack of consistency. It is often used in politics to mean any improper thing.

Cesar, by dismissing his guards and retaining his power, committed a dangerous solecism in politics. Middleton.

VERILY – TRUTHFULLY or Certainly or most assuredly,  fr0m Latin veritas meaning truth.

BEGOTTEN – To be gotten of as in fathered by in a manner directly that allows for a natural right of inheritance .

HATH – Has

DOTH – does, pronounced duth or doth with a long O like dothe would be. Example: He doth brag too oft.

DOETH – Does do, pronounced do-eth. Example: He doeth a good work.

Forsook – past tense of forsaken, to abandon or leave, part from or give up on or cease. Example: I left and forsook them all.

Shambles – a mess, a word used to describe a marketplace due to the chaos of the venue. Examples: The room was left in shambles. We purchased items at the shambles.

Quoth – Quoting. Pronounced: Quoe-th like both. Example: Quoth the Raven, Nevermore.

Surcease – Sure cease or a definite ending

Implore – to ask sincerely

Bust – a sculpture including the upper chest and head. Also to break or break down as in to stop working.