Languages: Anglo-Saxon – The History of English (1/10)


The English language begins with the phrase
‘Up Yours Caesar!’ as the Romans leave Britain
and a lot of Germanic tribes start flooding in, tribes such as the Angles and the Saxons
– who together gave us the term Anglo-Saxon, and
the Jutes – who didn’t. The Romans left some very straight roads behind,
but not much of their Latin language. The Anglo-Saxon vocab was much more useful
as it was mainly words for simple everyday things like ‘house’, ‘woman’, ‘loaf’
and ‘werewolf’. Four of our days of the week – Tuesday, Wednesday,
Thursday and Friday were named in honour of Anglo-Saxon gods, but they didn’t
bother with Saturday, Sunday and Monday as they had all gone off for a long weekend.
While they were away, Christian missionaries stole in bringing with them leaflets about
jumble sales and more Latin.
Christianity was a hit with the locals and made them much happier to take on funky new
words like ‘martyr’, ‘bishop’ and ‘font’.
Along came the Vikings, with their action-man words like ‘drag’, ‘ransack’, ‘thrust’
and ‘die’, and a love of pickled herring. They may have
raped and pillaged but there were also into ‘give’ and ‘take’ – two of around
2000 words that they gave English, as well as the phrase
‘watch out for that man with the enormous axe.’

Comments 100

  • I've never heard any american say roundabout, traffic circle, or billfold in my entire life.

  • Have you read any current historical or archaeological or scientific books, journals or texts recently? Your 'facts' about the origins of the English are hopelessly outdated and incorrect. It's a scientifically proven FACT that approx 95% of all British people (not including 20th century immigrants) have the same genetic origin. It makes me want to puke when I read antiquated and inaccurate rubbish like your statement. You don't work for the BBC do you?

  • Ah fuck, another hopeless straggler in the endless race of education. DO NOT attempt to tell me that I am wrong when I know that I am right.

  • Yawn…..

  • Idk, thats how it seems when you come to England. I was in Germany, Estonia, Russia, Netherlands and England. England seems to be a southern country

  • For the most part t1t296 is actually correct. Walter Bodmer's team published 2 papers last year which show substantial Anglo-Saxon replacement in southern, eastern and central England. This was even more so than his preliminary results released in 2007. There were distinct genetic clusters in the north (Vikings?) and the southwestern parts were unalike as well.

  • Oh my fucking hell, can one not watch a single youtube video without having to watch virgins making irrelevant comments left right and centre??!??! Fucking hell

  • Those aren't my results, they are Bodmers and his teams. I1 is the y-haplotype most strongly associated with Germanic populations, and it originated in Denmark or North Germany about 5000 years ago or so. Ultimately we descend from haplogroup I so we are technically more indigenous than the populations on the Celtic Fringe.

  • Hmm Walter Bodmer a naturalised German. I guess you can find any pattern you like in any data sets if that's what you set out to find. I think the wildly differing results make any definitive answer impossible which is why my opinions are based on a broad range of sources not least archaeology which doesn't bear out the 'old' tradition of invasion .

  • There were around 30 researchers linked with the paper, and to my knowledge Bodmer is the only one born in Germany. The older genetic studies were based on "bikini" haplotypes which are not reliable when trying to map population structure. POBI project used thousands of SNP's, and will also be using whole genome testing for further analysis. This does prove the English are genetically distinct from the other populations of Britain.

  • As far as archaeology goes, the pendulum has begun to swing the other direction. Migrations are being more widely accepted again based on the latest evidence, including ancient DNA. In Britain there probably was a population decline at the fall of the Roman empire, and Germanic settlers proved to be better at farming. They bred more as a result. I think when all factors are considered an invasion is the best explanation.

  • My understanding of these results are that they are still statistical extrapolations of small sample groups. The competing 'western' and 'eastern' populations are based on preconceived representations of 'native' and 'non native'. There is also the suggestion of a larger female contribution over male from the east. Do we now have to imagine 'germanic' warrior women forcing themselves on hapless male Britons??

  • Must be a very fast swinging pendulum! No one I know, nor any text based data I have still subscribes to the invasion model. It simply doesn't work on many levels. I think you and I must live in mirror universes, yours being the evil one of course! Do you have a goatee or work for the BBC?

  • From the British standpoint, the Revolutionary War was a civil war.

  • It was widely accepted up until just a few years ago that R1b arrived in Europe around the time of the Ice Age and most represented native Europeans. However more recent research points to a Neolithic origin, which coincides with the introduction of farming into Europe. IE languages too? In any case, it seems haplogroup I has been in Europe much longer than R1b, that was the point I was making.

  • I suppose that is a "flaw" with all genetic studies, they have to derive a proxy from living populations. Maybe with the progress of ancient DNA research they will have a better idea of the early genetic makeup. I took the larger female contributions to suggest that AS women had also settled in large numbers, aside from just the males. This coincides with the findings at West Heslerton.

  • I think you took my words a little out of context. I never said the Celts weren't intelligent, the culture was dominant in much of western Europe of course. In Britain at the time Rome fell, the AS may have proven to be better at farming than the people living there in this time period. It is one possible theory in how they became the dominant group there.

  • Do I detect an ad hominem attack? 🙂 Haio Zimmermann, Heinrich Härke, Janet Montgomery, Susan Hughes are some who have interesting papers to read. West Heslerton I thought was a good one in particular. People appear to have moved into an area once inhabited by Britons which was later deserted. It suggests that waves of immigrants from the continent settled over a 150 year period or so. A sort of "chain migration".

  • What words did the Angles and Saxons use for "give" and "take" before the Vikings introduced those words to our vocab?

  • Give was "giefan" and take was "niman" (which could also mean give).

  • No I am not attempting to dismiss your views by attacking you personally, I merely jest with regard to the 'mirror universe' quote. Alas I consider the corpus of material that I have at my disposal to be as valid as any reference you can make. This informs how I understand the events of this period while recognising how the paucity of information makes nothing absolute.

  • I sympathize with the "nationalistic" views many have, but I do not think the anti-migration views can be taken seriously. To me people like Pryor and Powelsland come across as a bunch of cranks. And then you have charlatans like Oppenheimer whose theories have largely been dismissed within the rapidly progressing genetics field. All of the facts may never be known, but I think we shouldn't give in to being too dogmatic on English origins.

  • 'The Britons and the Saxons are the same people wearing different clothes'. I am sure that I have paraphrased Pryor a little but that IS what I believe. And Oppenheimer is a charlatan why? because he didn't put his work to peer review before publishing. You don't get anywhere by saying anything controversial in British academic circles, just look at Alice Roberts, sorry DR. Roberts.

  • shame you didn't understand my comments. Thomas Paine has always been a hero of mine. I would have supported America in the war of independence & the French revolution. I don't like narrow minded racists, which you are. EOD, fool.

  • Oppenheimer made up his own clades using "bikini" haplotypes, refusing to explain his methodology, writing a history for these clades and inviting readers to test to see which one of his clans they belong to at $489. I got a 37 marker y chromosome test from FTDNA for less than half that much. The science has progressed so much since that time, I'm not sure if he even offers his test anymore? What did Roberts do that was controversial?

  • She didn't do anything that's my point. Smiley blandishments and toe the line history programmes. Still, I always enjoyed watching her at work!

  • I have watched that show Time Team before, which seemed to be politically correct at times. Helen Geake struck me as being really liberal at times. I would just roll my eyes.

  • celts live on island NOT IN EUROPE CONTINENT !!!!!!they are not europeans or whites -but gingers !

  • anglo saxon was mainly in the south.the north was viking.celtic

  • Actually the celts were mostly in the south and anglo-saxon and vikings were in the north as dna tests have proven.

  • The first were the scandinavians/germanics hence their hair was fair due to the climate which the celts weren't….idiot!

  • no mate.only yesterday on britains secret treasures,it stated that there was a dividing line between south england and wales and the north,by agreement of the saxon king,and the viking king,,,,,theres even a place two minutes from me called dane bank..lol

  • Celts are great. Germanic's are your brrothers.

  • what was the phrase said at 13 seconds.?

  • The phrase says "The English language begins with the phrase 'up yours Caesar'"

  • this is how they should teach it in school.

  • Saved UK in WW1? the UK was not under any danger during WW1, and you were just replacing the russians.

    You came into WW2 after the nazi advance was halted so not so sure about you saving the brits there.

    And why are you saying that the UK is cleaning the LOO in iraq? The UK was forced into Iraq by your beloved president Bush, did you find many weapons of mass destruction there?

    And you need the Brits to prove your ORIGIN -.-

    To end it all The french saved your ass in the independence war

  • Doesn't matter, Muslims are our real enemy, And allways have been.

  • im taking latin in highschool

  • I still want to move to the U.K when i grow up (work in Norway, live outside of it, Norwegian secret to living like a millionaire)

  • "grow up" might not be the right word, but you get what i mean.

  • How is it actually to learn Norwegian as a "grown up"? Is it okey or really hard?

  • latin gives you greater critical thinking skills than other languages. it also sets you up to learn the romance languages easier. plus you can translate the works of virgil, horus, catulus, cicero and other latin authors

  • I have learned Latin at the age of 60 therefore it should not be any problem. Here is the method I invented to learn the language while doing something else. Read some text in Norwegian that you like and record yourself. Than listen to the recording while you are doing some menial job. Don't worry if you don't understand anything. Make sure it is your voice and you will not get bored with it. Latter translate each phrase and have it recorded in both languages. Continue listening. Good luck.

  • 0:37

    Tuesday- Tiw,Anglo-Saxon god of war and law

    Wednesday- Woden,Anglo-Saxon chief god and father of Thunor

    Thursday- Thunor,Anglo-Saxon god of thunder and son of Woden

    Friday- Frigg,Anglo-Saxon goddess of love and wife to Woden

    that should explain a lot.. 😀

  • The jews are your real enemy, Goy

  • The Anglo-Saxons – is cruelty, the desire for domination over all. All the major wars arranged Anglo-Saxons. The man at the Anglo-Saxons – a resource. The conscience of the Anglo-Saxons the lives of millions of people. In the Anglo-Saxons have no faith. Throughout its history the Anglo-Saxons invaded and navyazvali their will on other nations. According to statistics from the British invaded in 90% of countries. Russia – it is the last hope for man and the world.

  • ENGLISH LANGUAGE IS THE WORLD COMMUNICATION LANGUAGE

  • Shit to England? if you're gonna even attempt to use the English language, atleast have the decency to use it properly. Stupid muslim bitch. Eat bacon, it's delicious!

  • You must be so proud. What language are you speaking? You're speaking English, like many people in the world do. Do not insult me with my own language please, it makes me cringe at your stupidity. Thanks.

  • The English have more of an identity than the American however, I disagree with your stance about the world wars. The U.S broke up the stalemate during WWI and helped greatly with the war in the pacific during WWII. Don't forget the many American foster homes for British children to keep them safe from the German bombings.

  • Boys and Girls Please – All this over a short history video really !

  • That is not typical Americans… Not all of us make the mistake of thinking we are superior to everyone on the planet.

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  • My ansasters are anglo saxon…is that bad?

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  • lol up urs ceaser

  • No. Why would it be?

  • Whites please make childrens

  • I don't understand your point. Americans still have an identity regardless of where their ancestors came from.

  • He probably some sort of Zoroastrian/Persian nationalist.

  • Anglo-Saxons and Vikings are cool

  • You say, writing in English, on devices made possible by English people and their descendants.

  • Ironically a hell of a lot of Americans are of German descent too, so why are they so proud of attacking their own kinsmen!?

  • "and arguably unique" This is nonsense. English has a lot of french loanwords because in 1066 William the Conqueror invaded England and replaced the entire hierarchy with french nobles. For generations the kings and nobles never bothered to learn english.
    Latin was throughout the middle ages the language of religion and science in the whole of western europe. All languages took a lot of loanwords from that. My own language, dutch, has an abundance of loanwords from french, latin and english

  • Every country has stupid people, don't stereotype.

  • Ahh. My British history teacher would love this.

  • Stupid

  • crap

  • This is very helpful post. I should have said" educational video I need ". The  Ancient Korea Gaya kingdom(42-562AD) was defeated  by neighbor countries around 400 AD.  Roman left England 410AD(Not precise) . I saw England kingdom might be Korea GaYa and Xila lineage. I strongly believe that Tang dynasty(618-907AD) and England kingdoms(Current  kingdom) have had some connections. Then, English people might have  records and artifacts of Gaya/Xila  kingdoms. Always I observed the their features and have thought they resemble of my father sides( Gaya Kim and the Choi).  Please speak up and tell us the truths.  I am sure England empire is mixed with Tang Dynasty (Lee Clan) and Gaya/Xila Clan.  Roman/Christian soldiers went to Gaya with Lee general who became the root of  Tang dynasty and erased and distorted Gaya/Xila history and world history. They did that because we were Hindu culture /Buddhism  religious people. If we can find the clues around 400 AD to 618AD of the activities of England, Lee general( Tang clan) and Roman/ Christian soldiers. They took herbal manuscript to sell medicine and infect the whole world with drugs.  They stole ours with Roman/ Goguryeo. They put Asians as less than them. Not true at all. You left your children behind….

  • hank you for uploading this video it's interesting

  • These videos became English homework for me…

  • Englisc – The ethnic term for the collaboration of Anglo, Saxon and Jutish. 2 brothers from the Jutish sector, Hengist and Horsa, were the first to arrive with a small army to help a struggling Brythonnic/Waelisc/Welsh king who in return gave them land. They then called the rest of the Englisc or known at the time as Angelcynn (English kin). You missed out some important info :).

  • correction – give is actually a germanic word and not given by the vikings. taka is the old norse for take and take comes from taka. Give however does not come from old norse gefa but BOTH derive from the protogermanic gebh.

  • Juts were actually Goths and Goths were not Germanic people, but Gete Romanian ancestors. That is why all the lands conquered by Goths speak a language much closer to Romanian than Latin. English words like gallop, commander, copy, crime, creation, battalion, real, zone and many more do not exist in Latin, but they are Romanian words with roots in Romanian language. The English language is much older than it is believed. Only records written in Germanic were found in England, because Barbarians (Goths were Barbarians and Barbarians were a nation) had writing prohibited. The fragments of the bible translated by Ulfilas in fifth century is a very clear form of old English.        

  • A witty, if sarcastic, look at the history and evolution of the English language.

  • Is Clive Anderson narrating this? It sounds a lot like him.

  • THE IRISH ARE FROM MARS…CAUSE THEY HAVE RED HAIR…IRON OXIDE AND ERRRRRRRTHANG!!

  • I just found out both from my mother's side, and my father's side come from the Anglo Saxons.

  • Cof, cof..! (coughing fit)..
    Mona (Moon god) for Monday, and Sunne (Sun goddess) for Sunday.. 😉
    The only actually "taken" was Saturday for Saturnus..

  • My last name is Northumbrian for 'One who counts', later referring more generally to 'any governing official' (the "riff" from "sheriff comes from the same element.)

    In addition, my last name was, apparently, well-establish by its first attestation in 873 A.D. It now has "-son", on account of Viking expansion and occupation of the area from the 9th to 11th centuries.

    The best part is I found all of that out from a sample of a book of Name Origins on google that just so happened to have my last name 😛

  • Christianity was a hit for the locals. Right. Convert or die?

  • How can I have access to the texts used as reference for these videos?
    Or how can I cite it in an academic work I'm doing?

  • Vikings never had horns helment

  • Sup, Mrs. Jenkins's class

  • My last name is Ballard a very old Anglo-Saxon last name

  • Wrong idiot , the name of the days was not named after Saxson gods but after Viking Gods

  • Saxon word means a Bird's name in Turkish , Saxon or Saxan Birds look like small Crows with black and white colors and they are know with high intelligence , they look like Cows guiders …

  • Fuckin' faux modern (20th century) English view of English.
    Was that the pointless get Armstrong? What a cnut.

  • anglo=an (maybe first name)glo (gri.gari.ari.al=god from kal.gal=sword)
    saxon=saek (means color.sachs.scytian.saka) son (desendsnt)….

  • What does a 'margac(t)e' mean?

  • 0:28 lol annus

  • Shame it has the 'up yours' statement, otherwise I could have used this for my primary aged students.

  • check your sources!!!! MARTYR!! it is a GREEK word……

  • 🤔

  • There's a slower version with full transcript for English Language learners here; https://www.ic-english.com/history-of-english.html

  • Appalling and nonsensical.. Apart from the words the history is all wrong.

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