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English Wordbook/B

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Staff B of the English Wordbook.

Basic abbreviations:

  • OE=Old English
  • NHG=New High German
  • Du.=Dutch

For a full list of etymological and other abbreviations used in these wordlists, see: Offshortenings.


A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z



Chancery English Class Anglish/English
Attested Unattested
babble n clatter, drivel -
baby n bairn, newborn, suckling, chit -
bacchanal n - beership (<OE ġebeorscipe)
bacil n - rodling, rodmoss
bacon n spick back meat, back ham
bacteria n - splitmoss, stafflings
badger n brock -
badminton n - featherball (cf. NHG Federball)
baggage n belongings bundlepack
baguette n French loaf stickbread
bail out vb pack out, peel off, pull out, run along -
bailiff n sheriff, steward shire reeve
balaclava n - head-sock, woolhat
balance n/vb

steady; match, make up for, even up; weigh; settle, work out, reckon, tally

composure: strength of mind or will

tue (<OE Tiw ~ god of justice)

evenweight, likeweight

device: meter (OE metan)

bald adj bare, peeled, stripped; naked; bright-line, straightforward -
baleen n whalebone -
ballad n jingle, folk song strollsong
ballet n - fairtumb, toe-tumb
ballistics n - shootlore, guncraft
balloon n/vb bladder; snowball, spread, swell, wax loftball (cf. NHG Luftballon)
baloney n twaddle -
baluster n - holdershaft
banana n - moonbairn, moonapple, moonpod
bandage n/vb bind, swaddle, swathe, wreathe -
bandit n crook, outlaw, robber gunman
banish vb cast out, kick out, run off, throw out, turf out, ban (<OE bannan) fleme (<OE aflieman)
banister n - handsill
bank n - of a body of water: stath (<OE stæþ) pl: stathu (<OE stæðu)
banknote n greenback -
bankrupt adj broke, spent, in the red, on your upperes -
banner n jack, streamer fan
banquet n feed, spread guestmeal
baptise/baptize n/vb christen; seat

clepe (arch.), fullwight (<OE fulwiht), dyp (<OE dypan), fullwighten (<OE ġefulwihtnian)

bar n

rod; benchmark, yardstick

counter: taproom, watering whole

-
bar vb ban, forbid, freeze out, shut out; shut off, wall off -
barb n prick beardling
barbarian n/adj heathen; rough, wild; ruthless fremd
n: woss (cf. OE herewosa, Du. woest)
barbarous adj heartless reethy (<OE reðig "savage")
barbeque n - stickwork
bargain vb cheapen, haggle -
barge n scow, lighter, flatboat, narrow boat longboat
barometer n weatherglass -
baron(ess) n - freelord(lady), athel(-ing/-in), thane
barracks n - wyehut
barracuda n - toothfish
barrage n wall rithblock
barrel n coop, tub, drum, tun, keg, firkin, vat; boatload, fistful, good deal -
barrelmaker n cooper -
barren adj bare, bony, dead, empty, waste child: bairnless
barricade n bar, block, bulwark -
barrier n - block
barter n/vb - wrixletrade
base n bedrock, bottom, footing, footing, ground, groundwork, keystone, root, underpinning, warp and woof; bridgehead, foothold; heart, seat; foot, rock bottom

hernstone (OE hyrn 'corner')

headquarters: headfourths

physics: lyestuff

base vb ground, hang, rest bestaddel
base adj low, mean -
baseball n - hardball (in analogy to softball)
baseless adj groundless ordless
basement n - underground
basil n - mistle (<OE mistel)
basis n bedrock, bottom, footing, footing, ground, groundwork, keystone, root, underpinning hernstone
basket n

cawl, windel (<OE)

basketball n - cawlball
bass n wicker fish-basket: 

haske (ME)

lows; lowsinger
basin n bowl, sink; bed, trough -
bastard n/adj n: bye-blow, lovechild, whoreson, mong
adj: misbegotten, unfathered, underbred

dogling (cf. OE docincel), mongling (replacing French suffix -rel with English suffix -ling)

calligraphic script, adj:  twimade

batik n/vb - dotting, waxdying, waxdye
batrachian n/adj - tailless (calque of Gk. anura)
battalion n throng, crowd sheltrum (cf. OE scildtruma)
batter vb beat, strike, cudgel -
battery n - beater, streamblock, thorblock
sparkhouse
battery bear n moon bear -
battle n

hurly-burly, clash

gouth (OE gūð), stride (cf. OE stridan, Du. strijd), bede (cf. OE beadu)
battlefield n - wyefield, gouthfield, bedefield, clashfield
battleship n - dreadnaught, fightship
Bavarian adj - Buorish
bay n inlay, bight; cove (sheltered) -
bayonet n goad buss-stinger (cf. Ic. byssustingur)
beach volley n - beach block (cf. Ic. blak)
beak n bill, neb -
beat n smite

slecg(<OE slecgettan)

slee (<OE slēan)

beau n swain, ladfriend, fop -
beautiful adj comely, fayre, good-looking, handsome, sightly; nifty, sterling, sheen wlitty (<OE wlitig)
beauty n comeliness, fayrehood, fayreness, handsomeness, looks, loveliness, prettyness, sightliness; eyeful, knockout; bee's knees, standout wlittiness

sheenhood (cf. NHG schönheit)

feager (<OE fæger)

because conj

as, as long as, being as (how), being that, for, inasmuch as, now, seeing, whereas

owing to because of

forwhy because, forof because of

afteras (cf. Sw. “eftersom”)

bedaub vb besmear -
beef n cowflesh, cowmeat rothermeat, rotherflesh (compare Du. rundvlees NHG Rindfleisch)
behavior n bearing, ways uptreading
beige n - yellowgray, yellowbrown
Belarus n - Ruswhite, (cf. NGH Weißrussland)
belfry n - bergfrith
Belgium n - Belgland
belladonna n - deadly nightshade, dwale
bellicose adj brawly wyelusting
belligerent adj - wye dreeing
benefactor n - well-doer (<OE wel-doend)
benefit n wellfare; windfall, godsend foredeal (cf. Sc. fordel, Fr. foardiel), fremme (<OE fremu) pl: fremma (<OE frema)

public: folkrede (<OE folcrǽd)

benefit vb

helpe

theen, frem (<OE fremian)

benevolent n kind-hearted, good -
benign adj harmless -
berate vb upbraid threap
beret n - flathat
besiege vb beleaguer; harrow, beset, rack ymbsit (<OE ymbsittan), beleger
bestiality vb - dierlust, wightlust
betray vb backstab, sellout, two-time; bespeak, give away; lead on bewray, forrede (<OE forrǽdan, cf. Dan. forræderi, Swed. förräderi, Du. verraad, NGH Verrat)
betrayer n deep throat, fink, nark, rat, whistleblower; backstabber, two-timer forreder (<OE forrǽda)
beverage n drink, quencher -
bi- pref two- twi-
biannual adj - halfyearly
bias n/adv leaning, one-sidedness; athwart adv roodways adv
Bible n Holy Book Cristbook when refering to Christianity
bibulous adj spongy, thirsty; drunken soaksome
bicameral adj two-roomed two-halled, twistalled, twostalled, twifack, twifackly
bicycle n two-wheeler farewheel (cf. NHG. Fahrrad)
bidet n saddlebath -
bidirectional adj two-way twiway
biënnial(ly) adj/adv - halfyearly
biker n - wheeler
bilateral adj two-sided -
bile bear n moon bear -
bill n reckoning, lawing -
billabong n oxbow -
billion (109) nm - thrisand
binoculars n field glasses

farlooker, farsights (calque of N.Pers. دوربین - dur "far" + bin "sight")

twiëyen (calque)

, living quick-
biochemistry n lifeblendlore -
biochemical adj lifeblendish -
biography n - lifetale, lifesdraught, lifewrit
biology n - lifelore
bipedal adj two-legged -
birthplace n - birthstead, kenningstow (<OE cenningstōw)
biscuit n cookie twobake, cakeling
bisect vb cleave, halve halfcut, rend, twicut
bisexual n - twiluster
bittern n - havelbleat (<OE hæfelblæte)
bitumen n blacktop -
bivalve n clam -
bizarre adj weird, offbeat, far-out, outlandish -
blackpowder n - blackdust
Blairite n - Blairer
blame vb/n wite, guilt, chide threap(ing)
blasphemy n swearing hosp (<ME)
godsmear, holyshending
blatant adj glaring -
blemish vb mar andmark (cf. Ic. and-marki)
blemish n mar, flaw, fleck -
blemishless adj clean, fair, flawless, fleckless furb
blizzard n - snowstorm (calque)
blond (Germanic) adj fair, flaxen,golden-brown, light, snowy -
blouse n keel -
bludgeon vb club, cudgel -
blue n/adj - hew(en) (<OE hæwen)

light: bleahew(en) (<OE blæhæwen)

beautifully: wellhequen (<OE welhecwen)

n: blee (<OE blēo)

blue titmouse n - hikemouse (<OE hīkemāse)
bodyguard n - holdand (<OE healdend)
boffin n - witlorer
bog n mire -
bogus adj wrong, fake -
boil vb foam, seethe, sizzle: simmer -
boilersuit n overalls -
bomb n blow sky-high blaster
bonanza n windfall, stroke of luck wealth or
bondage n yolk, thraldom haft (<OE hæft, cf. NHG Haft)
bonnet n hood, brimless hat -
boomerang n - andglider
boondocks n nowhere, sticks backwater, sleepy hollow
bordello n whorehouse, brothel -
border n brim, hem, ring mire (<OE mære)
boss n foreman, head, leader -
botany n - wortlore, grasslore
bottle n flask -
bouillon n brew, dishwater -
boulevard n broadway, bullwark -
boulevardier n - townfrealser
boundary n end, line; brim, frame, hem, ring mire (<OE mære)
boundary tree n - meartrew (<OE gemærtrēo)
bountiful adj bighearted, openhanded estful, givle
bouquet n - bloomset
bourbon n - Kentucky lifewater
bourgeois n hidebound, highborn highbred, highburger
boutique n -

wear shop, clothing shop, clothes shop

bovine adj cowlike neatly (<OE nēat + ly), rotherlike
bowel n gut -
bra n breastshirt, breastholder, boobsling -
bracelet n wristband, armband, bee trind, wristling
braggart n boaster, show-off, blower -
braille n - The Blind's rune
branch n

bough, limb; feeder
sub: twig, offshoot

-
brassiere n - armward
brave adj bold, doughty, fearless, gutsy, manful, stalworth thriste (<OE þrīste, cf. NHG dreist)

ellen

bravo! interj well done! -
brawl n flite, free-for-all -
bray n heehaw -
Brazil n - Rudwood
breach of peace n - grithbruck (<ME griðbruche) pl: grithbrucken, frithbreach
breakable n brittle brickle
break into pieces vb - knyss (<OE cnyssan)
brevë adj short -
brewery n brewhouse brewern
bribe vb buy off -
brief adj short, small, little
brief n writ
'brief' vb say, speak, tell, bid, write
briefs n - legless undershorts
brilliance n brightness lixing (<OE līxung)
brilliant adj shining -
brisk adj swift, frisky ferk
broccoli n - sproutcole
brochure n flyer, handout leafel
browser n web crawler -
bruise n lill -
brunch n - morgenmete, brekkie
brunette adj black, dark, swarthy -
brutal adj tough; heartless -
bryophyte n moss -
buccaneer n freebooter seareaver
bucket n pail, boatload (amount) stoop, amber (<OE amber), chuffle (<OE cýfl)
buckle n clasp -
buckle vb fasten, clasp -
budget n nest egg; pool, stock -
buffalo n wild ox -
buffer n ward, shelter lanestow
buffet n - foodboard
buffoon n clown -
bullet n slug, bolt, lead, ball streal (<OE strǣl), thother (<OE Þōðer, "ball")
bulletin n - newtidings
bullion n ingots -
bulldozer n - mickle shovel
bully n - browbeater, strongarmer
bully vb manhandle, mess over (slang); browbeat, strong-arm -
bun n puff -
bunch n lot -
bungalow n - flackdwelling (flack = level)
bungler n - addlebrain, addlehead
buoy n - beacon, floatmark; lifeward
bureau n board, setup, shop revehouse, ambight
bureaucracy n - boardom, reevedom (state)
beadledom (church)
burgeon vb bud, bloom, blossom -
burglar n stealer, thief, housebreaker housebreacher
burglary n housebreaking, theft -
burgle vb steal, plunder, thieve housebreach
burlesque adj - funnish (Italian burla "trick, fun" + -esque < PIE *-iskos > PG *-iskaz > OE -isc > NE -ish)
bus n - folkwain
bust n chest, breast -
butcher n - fleshmonger
butler n steward flasker, mugbearer
button n - nop/nap (<OE cnæp)
buzzard n - mousehawk (<OE mushafoc)
bypass n skirt, shunt; overlook; shortcut, sidestep -
by-past adj bygone -
byte n - eightcleft

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