Old EnglishEdit

Old English numbers (edit)
 ←  1 2 3  → 
    Cardinal: twēġen
    Ordinal: ōþer
    Adverbial: tweowa
    Multiplier: twifeald


From Proto-West Germanic *twai-: cognate with Old Saxon and Old Dutch twēne, Old High German zwēne, whence archaic German zween, compare German zwei.




  1. two
    • late 10th century, Ælfric, Preface to Genesis[1]:
      God ġesċōp ūs twā ēagan and twā ēaran, twā nosþȳrlu and twēġen weoloras, twā handa and twēġen fēt.
      God gave us two eyes and two ears, two nostrils and two lips, two hands and two feet.

Usage notesEdit

  • The masculine form twēġen was almost never used in complex numerals. Hence "twenty-two people" is twā and twēntiġ manna, not *twēġen and twēntiġ, and "the twenty-second person" is se twā and twēntigoþa mann, even though mann ("person") is a masculine noun.
  • In poetry, neuter nouns were usually used with . However, in prose, they often occurred with twā instead, especially in Late West Saxon prose, where was almost completely absent.



  • English: twain