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Old English

  1. (linguistics, historical) The ancestor language of Modern English, also called Anglo-Saxon, spoken in most of Britain from about 400 to 1100.
  2. (nonstandard, technically incorrect) Archaic English (Early Modern English) or Middle English speech or writing, or an imitation of this: old English.
    • 2008, Stephen J. Harris, Bryon Lee Grigsby, Misconceptions About the Middle Ages, page 177:
      Those who claim that they've been reading Shakespeare in Old English betray their ignorance: they haven't.
      Before long, we will have our own self-created, barely-edited, working dictionary of the Old English Language! If you like Shakespeare (or if you spent much time in Sunday School hearing from a King James Bible) this should be simple enough for you!
      Though Shakespeare’s texts are four hundred years old, the stories they tell are still as exciting and relevant as they were to Shakespeare’s audience. When you pick up of one of the texts, though, you may groan and complain that they are too hard and need translating from Old English into Modern English.


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Old English edition of Wiktionary