Winsome
Posted: 21 March 2018 12:52 PM   [ Ignore ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3118
Joined  2007-01-30

I would have guessed the win- element was related to win. It is but not to the common win, rather to an obsolete win meaning joy, pleasure, delight. OED has the details:

winsome, adj.

Etymology: Old English wynsum = Old Saxon wunsam , Old High German wunnisam (Middle High German wun(ne)sam ), < wyn(n win n.2 + -sum -some suffix1. Sense 3 came into the literary language from northern dialects

win, n.2

.Etymology: Old English wyn(n , corresponding to Old Saxon wunnia , Old High German wunnja , wunna strong feminine, wunnî < and wunno weak masculine (Middle High German wünne , wunne , German wonne ); < Germanic wun- , found also in Old English gewun , wunian (see wont n.1), wýscan ( < *wunskjan ) to wish v., and related to wen- (see ween n., ween v.) and wine n.2, friend.

As for the common win that comes from Old English winnan, to win, to obtain. BTW lovely word mentioned in that etymology, witherwin, which OED defines as “an enemy, adversary; spec. the Adversary, the Devil”.

Ah well, you win some, you lose some.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 22 March 2018 12:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1250
Joined  2007-03-01

The OED also notes its relationship to the OE noun wine meaning ‘friend’, which crops up as the second element in so many Anglo-Saxon personal names - Edwin, Baldwin, Godwin, Oswin, et cetera are all ‘friends’.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 22 March 2018 05:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4663
Joined  2007-01-29

BTW lovely word mentioned in that etymology, witherwin, which OED defines as “an enemy, adversary; spec. the Adversary, the Devil”.

It is lovely, isn’t it?  From Cursor Mundi:

Here sal we lend in lijf lastand,
Til ante-crist be comen in land
To fight a-gain þat witherwin,
wid signes of vr lauerd drightin.
In ierusalem we sal be slain,
þe thrid dai ris vp again,
Bifor þat witherwin sua prud
we sal stei vp thoru þe clude.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 23 March 2018 09:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3118
Joined  2007-01-30

Those lines just demand to be read aloud. Thanks, lh, I’ve never dipped in to Cursor Mundi.  I get the gist of the extract but drightin is tricky. Signs of our rightful lord? (I’m flailing here!)

[ Edited: 23 March 2018 09:20 AM by aldiboronti ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 23 March 2018 01:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  6585
Joined  2007-01-03

Drihten is literally lord, but here I would read it as “with signs of our lord Christ.” In Old English, dryhten could refer to God or to a temporal ruler, much like the present-day lord, but by the Middle English period its use was restricted to God.

Profile
 
 
   
 
 
‹‹ on the fritz      Pseudonymisation ››