Anglish:False Friends

From The Anglish Wiki

This is a list of words which may have different meanings in Anglish than in normal Modern English.

The List[edit]


Means "poor" in all senses. Its likeness to the word for the bodily limb is a coincidence, as is its likeness to "arm" that means "weapon", is from French, and is the source of the "arm" in "firearm".


Means "remedy". It is still found in the phrase "to boot". The modern word (referring to footwear) appears to have come from French.


Means "choice", or a "means", a way to do something. It is related to the word "choose" and is apparently a Scandinavian borrowing.


Means "part". This is the old meaning of the word, and some trace of it can be found in phrases like "a great deal" and "deal out the cards".


Means "animal". This is the old meaning of the word before it was narrowed down to just one kind of animal. This kind of animal is called a "hart" in Anglish.


Means "judgement", as in "doomsday", the day of judgement. This is the old meaning of the word and is related to the verb "deem", in which the original meaning of "doom" is far more apparent.


This word can refer to Germans and any other mainland West Germanic speakers. This is an older meaning which can still be seen in the term "Pennsylvania Dutch", "Dutch angle" and the American nickname "Dutch" for a German.


Means "catch" as a verb. The ordinary word fang is a noun and had the broader meaning of "instrument for catching".


Means "firm, secure". This is the word's older meaning, and it is still found in words like "steadfast", "fasten", and "fast friends".


Means "head-hair". It is still found in the surname "Fairfax", which means "fair-haired", and the name of the horse "Shadowfax" from The Lord of the Rings, meaning "grey-haired". The modern word "fax" is of unlike origin, as it is short for "facsimile" (a Latin formation).


Means "original, primal". It has no connection to "form" meaning "external appearance"; instead, it is akin to the adjectives "former" and "foremost".


Means "gather, glean", and since it rhymes with please, it is pronounced differently from the ordinary word lease (which is from French).


Means "human". This old meaning is still seen in terms like mankind and businessman.


Means "common", "shared". This is the old meaning of the word.


Means "root" (like a carrot's or a parsnip's). It has no relation to "more" used as an adjective and an adverb.


Means "use" and "usage". The modern word "note" is an Old French borrowing.


Means "honor". The "ore" with the usual, metallic meaning is unrelated.


This word can mean "second" (as in "after first"). This is an old meaning of the word, as in, "First, other, third."


The noun counterpart of the verb "say". Thus, it means "what is said" and is commonly found in the phrase "old saw" (wherein "saw" means "saying, proverb"). The word "saga" is a learned borrowing of its Old Norse cognate. The modern word "saw" referring to the tool is unrelated.


This word can mean "shortsword", "dagger", "knife", and "Saxon". The modern word sax (shortening of saxophone) is distantly akin to this sax, since it is named after Adolphe Sax, whose last name is a variant of Sachs (meaning man of Saxony). An unstressed variant of sax appears in place names like Wessex and Essex.


If you are sick, you may feel sicker tomorrow. However, that is unrelated to another sicker. This word, which is an adjective, was an early Anglo-Saxon borrowing (like Monk or Tile). Secure is a doublet of this but this came much later and from French. In some older sayings from New English this word is used, such as "Take the sicker path" and essentially means safe or dependable.


This word may look and sound like "subtle" (which is from French), but it is unrelated. Suttle means "obvious" and it has been revived from Middle English sutel.


This word can mean "woman". This old meaning is still seen in the words midwife and goodwife. The word woman itself is a shortening of wife-man, where wife means female and man means human (see the entry for Man). The male equivalent to wife was often "were", known today in the word "were-wolf" (man-wolf), similar to the word wife, in that it could mean both "a man" and "a married man". Read: "a wife" / "a were" / "a man" vs. "my wife" / "my were" / "my man".


This word can mean "fury", "madness", "anger" as a noun, and "mad" as an adjective. This meaning is akin to the first segment of Wednesday, as that day is named after a "wooden god".