Staff N 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.


Chancery English Class Anglish/English
Attested Unattested
nadir n depths, bottom, trough -
naive adj craftless; self-taught liefsome (<OE geleafsum) 
nano-technology n smart dust kernel wield
narcolepsy n sleepsickness -
narcotic n/adj


benumbing, deadening

narrate vb yarn, tell kithe (<OE cýðan), foretell
narration n telling
narrative n tale, yarn kithing, backtale, foretelling (cf. Du. vertellen)
nasal adj nosely -
nasal bone n - nosely bone
natatorium n swimming pool, pool sundhall ("sund" from OE, meaning "ability to swim, act of swimming"),
nation n folk, stock theed/thede (<OE þeod), leedship (<OE léodscipe, from lede), theid, landleed, kinrike (<OE), folk, folkstead (<OE), folkship (<OE) folcscipe)
nationalism n flag-waving haletheeding, ethelhood, theedholdness (<OE theodenhold)
native n towner, townie erd-folk, arlander (OE or 'origin'), lander (<OE), landman (<OE), landfolk (<OE,[natives])
native adj homely, built in, inborn, inbred, ownborn homelike, home-ish, erd-folkish, arland, true-born, true-grown
natural adj

clay, self

grouping: feather, ilk, kind

kindly (<OE cyndelic)

quithenly (<OE cwiðenlic)

lundish (cf. ME lund; ON lund)

natural logarithm n - infold (for e); inroot (for ln) (synthesised from meaning)
natural selection n drain of life -
nature n clay, self; wilderness; lik, kind; being, soul; world lund, lind (<ME lund from Old Norse lundr); umworld (cf. NHG Umwelt)
naturism n - barelife
naturists n barefolk -
nausea n sickness, loathing the shifts (calque), snoffy
nauseous n sickening, loathsome latsome (<OE)
navigate vb guide, sail, steer, helm lode
navy adj/n fleet, shipfyrd fleethood
Neanderthal n - Newmandale (calque of Gk nea + Gk andra + NHG thal)
nebula n - starcloud, heavenly cloud
necessary adj needful, needed

daven (<OE dafen), needsakely (cf. Du. noodzakelijk )   

necessitate vb need, behoove (att'd in impersonal sense) -
necessity n need thearf (<OE)
necklace n -neckband meen
necro- pref dead-, death- lich-
necrology n - gravelore, deadlore, lichlore
necromancy n witchcraft lichcalling, deathcalling, lichcraft
necrophage n - licheater, deadeater
necrophagy n - licheating, deadeating
necrophilia n - lichlust, deadlust
nectar n - honeyor, heaven's broth
negate vb gainsay unsay, withersay, undo, forno (cf. NHG verneinen)
negative adj naysaying, untoward mathematics: undernaught

unsay, naysome, undeed

neglect n seediness -
neglect vb forget, overlook, slight, slur over mar, foryeme (<OE forgyman), overgum (<OE ofergumian)
negligent vb heedless, reckless -
negotiate vb moot, chaffer, haggle formeal (<OE formǽlan)

forhandle (calque)

negro n/adj black, swart, swarthy blackman, blackskin
neocortex n - brain bark
Neolithic n - New Stone Eld
neon n - newstuff
neophyte n greenhorn, incomer, settler, newcomer callower
nepenthe n - unmourner
nephew n neve sibson
nerve n mettle, boldness, doughtiness, guts, fastness, fearlessness, firmness, pith, pluck, steadiness, steel, heart, will,sinew concrete n: ader (<OE ædre)
nervous(ness) adj / n edgy, keyed-up, high strung

-sinewsome, sinewly

n: edginess, sinewlith, sinewsomeness

neurose n - sinewsweet
neurotransmitter n - sinew sender
neutral adj unsided, sideless, middlish, in-between naughtly
neutrality n unsidedness,  fair-mindedness, evenhandedness naughtliness


neutrino n neitherling
neutron n - neitherbit, evenmote
newspaper n tiding(s)
nice adj kind -
niche n nook -
niece n nift neven (<OE nefene, cf. vixen)
Niflheim n Mistworld Nevilworld
nihilism n - wearning (<OE wiernan 'deny, reject')
Níðhöggr n - Nithehewer
nitrogen n - loftmote
Nizhny Novgorod n Nether Newton
Nil satis nisi optimum pvb Nothing but the best is good enough
nobility n atheldom (cf. Du. adeldom)
noble n/adj highbred; best kind: gilt-edged athel (<ME aethel, <OE æþele)
nocturnal adj nightly, night-time, night-life -


n - nightstound (<ME stound)
nocturne n - night-swey
noise n din, clattering low (<OE hlowan 'low, bellow, roar')
noisy adj loud dinsome
nolens volens adv willy-nilly -
nominative (case) n - beckoningly, whofall (cf. NHG Werfall), namefall (cf. Ic. nefnifall)
nominate vb call; name clepe
non- pref un-, -less, not -
non obstante n -notwithstanding rightening
non-existent adj beingless -
nonsense n rubbish, twaddle, humbug, gammon unwit
noon (through Latin) n midday -
noose n - hangknot
norm n rightline -
normal adj right mean
nostalgia n - yesterlove, yoresickness
notable adj bright, outstanding, star breme (<OE breme)
notch n/vb slit, groove, kerf (n.), carve (vb.) -
notary public n - logbookande (cf. Ic. lögbókandi)
note n - log (Norse lág)
note, of (famous) adj - namecouth (<OE namcuþ)
notice vb heed (take heed)

heed: beaughten (NHG. beachten)

from be- + aught + -en (see aught)

remark: Bemark (NHG. Bemerken) 


noticeable adj striking yemebere, heedsome
noting vb heeding yeming
noun n nameword -
nourish vb feed, fodder -
novel n talebook -
novelty n newness, newth -
November n - Fogmonth, Bloodmonth
novice n newling, beginner, fledgeling, newcomer, freshman, greenhorn callower
nubile adj wedworthy -wedsome
nuclear reactor n - kerneloven (cf. Ic. kjarnaofn)
nuclear weapon n - kernelweapon
nucleon n - pithmote
nucleus n kernel -
nugget n - lumpling

nugling (nug (of unknown origin) + ling)

nuisance n hindering, besetter, harrier, hounder, gadfly -
nullify vb naughten, override -
number n rime, scoring tale (<OE talu, cf. NHG zahl, Du. tal, Dan. tal)
rimetale (<OE rimtæl)
number vb mark rim, tell (up)
numerator n - teller (calque)
numerological adj - rimlore-, rimlorish
numerous adj many -
nurse vb care; breastfeed, suckle -
nurse n carer, caregiver berg-maid, ward sister

child-foster (<OE cildfóstre) sicksister (Nw. sykesøster)

nursery n - kindergrove,

childeryard (NHG kindergarten) 

nurture vb breed, rear, foster, bring up -
nutritious adj feeding, healthful, wholesome -

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