5 thoughts on “corþer

  1. What good words you pick! Is it possible this is formed from the Latin stem corpor-, based on mistaking the p for a thorn? The word seems somewhat alone, and we have ModG Korper. I’ve also wondered if the odd fengel could result from mistaking (thorn) thengel. Anything to such suspicions, or are they just a wrong turn?

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  2. It’s curious, isn’t it. I’m afraid I don’t know the answer to either. Have you looked at a facsimile of the Beowulf manuscript which has both words fengel and þengel in it to see how different the letters are? As for corþer, Holthausen says it’s from Old High German “kortar”, but that word itself is of unknown origin.

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  3. Thanks for the tips. I’ll have to look at the online MS.

    Maybe corther and kortar both derive from Latin cohort-, which gives us court. Wallace-Hadrill or Thompson placed the Roman influence on Germanic kingship very early.

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