Useful phrases in Old English

A collection of useful phrases in Old English, the version of English that was spoken in England from about the 5th to the 11th century.

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See these phrases in any combination of two languages in the Phrase Finder. If you can provide recordings, corrections or additional translations, please contact me.

Key to abbreviations: frm = formal, inf = informal, sg = singular (said to one person), pl = plural (said to more than one person).

English Ænglisc (Old English)
Welcome Welcumen
Hello (General greeting) Wes hāl (sg)
Wesaþ hāle (pl)
Wesaþ hāla (pl/f)
How are you? Hú meaht þú?
Hu eart þú?
Reply to 'How are you?' Ic mæg wel
Ic mæg tela
Wel, þancung, and þú?
Long time no see Lang fierst ne beseah
Lang tīd ne beseah
What's your name? Hwæt hātest þū?
My name is ... Ic hāte ...
Where are you from? Hwanan cymst þū?
Hwiðer eart þū fram?
I'm from ... Ic cume of ...
Pleased to meet you Mé lícaþ þé tó métanne (sg)
Mé lícaþ éow tó métanne (pl)
Good morning
(Morning greeting)
Gōdne mergen
Good evening
(Evening greeting)
Gōdne ǣfen
Good night Gōde nihte
(Parting phrases)
Far gesund (sg)
Faraþ gesunde (pl)
Faraþ gesunda (pl/f)
Wes Hāl (sg)
Wesaþ hāle (pl)
Wesaþ hāla (pl/f) Wes þū hāl
God þē mid sīe ("God be with you")
Good luck! Gōd wyrd
Gōde wyrde
Cheers! Good Health!
(Toasts used when drinking)
Gōd hælo!
Have a nice day Hafa gōdne dæg! (sg)
Habbaþ gōdne dæg (pl)
Bon appetit /
Have a nice meal
Gōd metesōcn
Bon voyage /
Have a good journey
Gōd fōr
I understand Ic æt undergiete
I don't understand Ic þæt ne undergiete
Yes Gea; Giese
No Nese
Maybe Gewene
I know Ic wāt
I don't know Ic nāt
Please speak more slowly Ic bidde þe mara slawlice to sprecanne
Please say that again Ic bidde þē þæt to eftgianne
Please write it down Ic bidde þē hit to āwrītanne
Do you speak Old English? Sprece þū Englisc?
Sprecest þū Englisc?
Yes, a little
(reply to 'Do you speak ...?')
Gea, fea
Gea, lytel
Speak to me in Old English Sprec tō mē on Englice
How do you say ... in Old English? Hū sægest þū ... in Ænglisc?
Excuse me Forgiefe mec
How much is this? Hū miccle þās is?
Hwæt ys se cēap þisses?
Sorry Sārig
Please Bidde
Ic bidde þe
Ic bidde eow
Thank you Ic þancie þē
Reply to thank you Welcumen
Where's the toilet / bathroom? Hwǣr is þæt gangern?
Hwǣr is se gangstōl?
This gentleman will pay for everything Se wer sceal ealum gieldan
Se hlāford sceal ealum gieldan
This lady will pay for everything Sēo hlǣfdīge sceal ealum gieldan
Would you like to dance with me? Wilt þū mid mē sealtian?
I miss you Ic langie þē (sg)
Ic langie ēow (pl)
I love you Ic lufie þē
Get well soon Bēo gesund hraðe
Go away! Aweggā!
Gā onweg!
Leave me alone! Forlǣte mec!
Help! Helpe!
Fire! Fȳr!
Stop! Ōþstand!
Call the police! Cīg þǣm weardum!
Christmas greetings Blīþe Crīstes mæsse
Blīþe Gēol
New Year greetings Glæd Nīwe Gēar
Gesǣlig Nīwe Gēar
Easter greetings Gesǣlig Eastordæg
Birthday greetings Gesǣlig Gebyrddæg
One language is never enough Ān geþēode is nǣfre genōg
Ān Spræc is nǣfre genōg
My hovercraft is full of eels Mīn wandrian-scyf ful ǣlen is
Mīn lyfthærnflota is ful ǣla


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