Old English/Interjections

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Interjections are words used to express an emotion. The most common Old English interjections were:

  • Ēa - oh
  • Ēalā - lo, oh (also said when seeing someone - like an acknowledgement)
  • Hwæt - what!
  • Lā (frequently used in combination with other words or interjections - see "ēalā" above) - lo
  • Wā - woe!, misery!
  • Wel, wel - well, well

Oh particular interest is the interjection "lā", which could be used in the middle of a sentence to emphasize almost anything being said, including statements, questions, requests, and commands. For example:

  • Cum lā! - Come on!
  • Ġief mē þā bōc lā - Please give me the book
  • Saga lā þætte þū þenċest - Do say what you're thinking
  • Hwæt lā is þæt? - Whatever is that?
  • He is lā wel grēat - He is indeed tall

They didn't really have exact equivalents for short words for "please" and "sorry" in Old English, but "lā" could at a pinch be used in a request for "please" (see above). Also, one could use the interjection "wālā" or "wālāwā" to express sorrow or regret - approximately equivalent of "sorry".

Last modified on 20 June 2013, at 22:57