Friday, 25 August 2017

Bug hunting

A small person I know likes to go hunting for bugs in the garden. How would she fare back in Anglo-Saxon times?

Here's a short Old English bug list. I've given the definite articles so you can point at things and say "the bee!" or "the earthworm"

se bitela - the beetle [say bee-tell-a]

seo beo - the bee [say-oh bay-oh]

se eorðmata  - the earthworm [say ey-orth-mat-a]

se fléa - the flea [say flay-a]

seo nihtbuttorfléoge - probably a moth; literally a 'night butterfly' [say-oh niXt-butt-or-flay-oh-guh]

se tordwifel - the dung beetle [say tord-wiff-ul]

se wibba - the beetle or crawling thing [say wibb-uh]

se wyrm  - Dragon!!! Panic!!! Flee!!! Hide! [say weerm]

I omitted some of the more gruesome ones like 'tooth-worm' and 'intestinal worm'. You might find those on an Anglo-Saxon bug hunt, but they were too manky for a bit of lunchtime fun.

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