Middle EnglishEdit

Etymology 1Edit

From Old English hwanne, hwænne, hwenne, hwonne, from Proto-Germanic *hwannē (when), from Proto-Indo-European *kʷís (who, what, which).

Alternative formsEdit


  • IPA(key): /ˈʍan(ə)/, /ˈʍɛn(ə)/



  1. when



  1. when
    • 1390, John Gower, Confessio Amantis[1]:
      Bot often for defalte of bondes Al sodeinliche, er it be wist, A Tonne, whanne his lye arist, Tobrekth and renneth al aboute, Which elles scholde noght gon oute []
      (please add an English translation of this quote)
    • c. 1400, Geoffrey Chaucer, “General Prologue”, in The Canterbury Tales, lines 1–3:
      Whan that Aprill, with his shoures soote, / The droghte of March hath perced to the roote / And bathed every veyne in swich licour []
      When that April, with its sweet showers / Has pierced March's drought to the root / And bathed every vein in such fluid []
    • 1407, The Testimony of William Thorpe, pages 40–41:
      Maister Ion Aston taughte and wroot acordingli and ful bisili, where and whanne and to whom he myghte, and he vsid it himsilf, I gesse, right perfyghtli vnto his lyues eende.
      Master John Aston taught and wrote accordingly and really busily, where, when, and to whoever he wanted, and he used it himself, I take it, very well until the end of his life.


  • English: when
  • Scots: whan
  • Yola: fan


Etymology 2Edit



  1. Alternative form of wonnen: simple past plural of winnen