Niw Englisch/Grammar/Nouns

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Masculine Nouns

Masculine regular nouns
singular plural
Nominative Staan Stane
Genitive Stanes Stane
Dative Stane Stanen
Accusative Staan Stane

Most masculine nouns follow this declension, what was once called the ā-stem. Some nouns that in Old English had ā in the stem now double it in the singular to indicate a long vowel. The dative 'e' ending is optional but recommended in formal writing. The genitive and plural are distinguished by context.


  • Stane sind rund and roh. Stones are round and rough.
  • Þie Stane Farbe is græȝ. The stone's color is gray.
  • Ic klæne mid þen ƕeiten Klaðen. I clean with the white cloths.

Note: words ending in -þ change it to -ð before inflectional endings. This means the voiceless þ becomes the voiced ð, reflected in spelling to keep it a bit more phonetic.

Common words of this kind:

  • Æl eel
  • Beag bracelet, ring
  • Beam tree
  • Buuk stomach
  • Bræþ odor
  • Ȝærd yard
  • Haam home
  • Hæft prisoner, captive
  • Kamb comb
  • Kwalm death
  • Muuþ mouth
  • Staan stone
  • Stol stool
  • Storm storm
  • Stream stream
  • Weȝ way

Masculine nouns with two syllables shorten the genitive ending, but never the plural endings. The weak inner syllable gets shortened instead if it's 'er', 'en', or 'el':

Masculine regular nouns
singular plural
Nominative Hefen Hefne
Genitive Hefens Hefne
Dative Hefene Hefnen
Accusative Hefen Hefne

Like this are:

  • Æker acre
  • Engel angel
  • Fugel bird
  • Hefen heaven
  • Kradel cradle
  • Þuner thunder


  • On Hefens Wolken sitteþ þe Engel on heaven's cloud sits the angel.
  • Þie Fugle sind in þem Roder the birds are in the sky.
  • Mid Englen kann Godd us helpen With angels God can help us.
Masculine weak nouns
singular plural
Nominative Gare Garen
Genitive Garen Garen
Dative Garen Garen
Accusative Garen Garen

Like Garen corner are any weak masculine noun, which end in 'en' in all cases but the nominative singular. A few, such as (Name, Wille), have the genitive in ens.

Masculine noun with umlaut
singular plural
Nominative Toþ Tœðe
Genitive Toðes Tœðe
Dative Toþ Tœðen
Accusative Toþ Tœðe

Like Toþ tooth are:

  • Fot (Fœte) foot
  • Mann (Mænne) human; not commonly used to mean 'male human'
  • Weifmann (Weifmænne) woman (literally 'female human'); (not the common word, which is Frowe). The masculine Werrmann is 'male human' and both Werrmann and Weifmann are somewhat technical terms. The common Werr and Weif are better used.

A few masculine nouns vowel change from the singular to the plural (æ to a):

Masculine vowel changing nouns
singular plural
Nominative Dæȝ Dage
Genitive Dæȝes Dage
Dative Dæȝe Dagen
Accusative Dæȝ Dage

Like Dæȝ day are:

  • Ƕæl whale
  • Mæȝ relative, kinsman
  • Pæþ path
  • Stæff staff (plural: Stafe)


  • Þe Ende aller Dage the end of all days
  • Usre Paðe sind klaar our paths are clear

Since Dæȝ ends in ȝ, that ȝ becomes g before the plural endings, pronounced like German 'ach.'

Feminine Nouns

Feminine noun with en ending
singular plural
Nominative Fare Faren
Genitive Fare Faren
Dative Fare Faren
Accusative Fare Faren

This type of feminine noun carries forward what was called the pure ō-stems. The endings of the singular (u, e) all weakened to e, and likewise the plural. Needing a way to distinguish singular from plural, like German, the plural passed into the weak declension. Abstract nouns ending in -ung are part of this declension. Also, abstract nouns that once ended in ī (strengu, strenge) formed by umlaut of the adjective are now part of this declension.


  • Fare journey, trip
  • Farbe color
  • Stunde hour
  • Rihtung direction
  • Strenge strength
  • Enge narrowness
Feminine noun with umlaut
singular plural
Nominative Bok Bœke
Genitive Bok Bœke
Dative Bok Bœken
Accusative Bok Bœke

Like Bok are:

  • Ak (Æke) oak
  • Brok (Brœke) trousers, pants
  • Burg (Byrge) city
  • Ku (Kye) cow
  • Dung (Dynge) prison
  • Furh (Fyrhe) furrow
  • Gaat (Gæte) goat
  • Goos (Gœse) Goose
  • Grut (Gryte) coarse meal, groats; pl grits
  • Luus (Lyse) louse; pl lice
  • Melk (Milke) milk
  • Muus (Myse) mouse
  • Naht (Næhte) night
  • Nutte (Nytte) nut
  • Studde (Stydde) pillar, column
  • Stuððe (Styððe) pillar, column
  • Sulh (Sylhe) plow
  • Turf (Tyrfe) turf
  • Þruh (Þryhe) trough
  • Wloh (Wlœhe) fringe

In these nouns, the h is pronounced like German ach in the singular, and like ich in the umlauted plurals.

Feminine noun with doubling
singular plural
Nominative Swiftnes Swiftnesse
Genitive Swiftnes Swiftnesse
Dative Swiftnes Swiftnessen
Accusative Swiftnes Swiftnesse

Nouns like Swiftnes or Byrðen double the last consonant, then add the e endings. Feminine nouns ending in nes and en are like this.


  • Byrðen, Byrðenne burden
  • Swiftnes, Swiftnesse swiftness
  • Þrines, Þrinesse trinity
  • Fyxen, Fyxenne vixen

Neuter Nouns

Neuter noun with er ending
singular plural
Nominative Speld Spelder
Genitive Speldes Spelder
Dative Spelde Speldern
Accusative Speld Spelder

Like Speld torch, flashlight are:

  • Æȝ egg
  • Bread bread
  • Cild child
  • Hæl health; salvation
  • Hilt hilt
  • Lamb lamb
  • Læn loan
  • Sweng blow, hit
Weak neuter nouns
singular plural
Nominative Eaȝe Eaȝen
Genitive Eaȝen Eaȝen
Dative Eaȝen Eaȝen
Accusative Eaȝe Eaȝen

Like Eaȝe ear are:

  • Eare ear
  • Wange cheek
Neuter noun with umlaut
singular plural
Nominative Scrud Scryde
Genitive Scrudes Scryde
Dative Scrude Scryden
Accusative Scrud Scryde

Only Scryd garment, (single) article of clothing is like this.

Family Nouns

  • Father: Fader (-s/Fæder)
  • Mother: Moder (-/Mœder)
  • Brother: Broðer (-s/Brœðer)
  • Sister: Swester (-/Swestern)
  • Son: Sonn (-es/Sœnne)
  • Daughter: Dohter (-/Dœhter)
  • Brothers: Gebrœðer (may not be actually related, or indicating 'brothers' who don't have the same parents but are related as cousins)
  • Sisters: Geswester (may not be actually related, or indicating 'sisters' who don't have the same parents but are related as cousins)
  • Uncle (maternal): Eam (-es/-e)
  • Uncle (paternal): Fæder (-s/-e)
  • Aunt (maternal): Modrige (-/-n)
  • Aunt (paternal): Faðe (-/-n)
  • Niece: Nift (-/-e);
  • Nephew: Nefe (-n/-n); more specifically:
    • Brother's son: Broðersonn (-s/-sœnne)
    • Sister's son: Swestersonn (-s/-sœnne)
    • Uncle and Nephew: Suhterfædern (pl)
  • Grandfather: Aldfaðer (-s/-fæder)
  • Grandmother: Aldmoder (-/-mœder)
  • Grandson: Sonnssonn (-s/-sœnne)
  • Granddaughter: Dohtersonn (-s/-sœnne); Nefne (-/-n) (originally meant 'niece')
  • Parent: Ældre (-/-n)
  • Grandparent: Aldældre
  • Cousin: þe Geswegre (-n/-n), þie Geswegre (-/-n)
    • Male Cousins: Suhterge (-n/-n)
  • In-Laws:
    • Father-in-law: Sweer (-es/-e)
    • Mother-in-law: Sweȝer (-/-n)
    • Son-in-Law: Aðum (-s/-e); a daughter's husband or a sister's husband
    • Daughter-in-Law: Snore (-/-n)
    • Brother-in-Law: Taker (-s/-n)
    • Sister-in-Law: Broðerweif (-es/-)
  • Relative
    • Male Relative: Mæȝ (-es/Mage)
    • Female Relative: Mage (-/-n)
    • Paternal Relation: Fædrunge (-n/-n); Fædrenkynn (-es/-e)
    • Maternal Relation: Mœdrenkynn (-es/-e)