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The Canterbury Tales
Geoffery Chaucer

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Middle English Glossary1

Note: The 100 most common words are marked by an asterisk.

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Glossary courtesy Gerard NeCastro, University of Maine at Machias.
  • adoun: down
  • agast(e): afraid; frighten
  • agayn(s): against, toward
  • ago, ago(o)n: gone; ago
  • al: all
  • *al, al be that: although
  • alderbest: best of all
  • *als, also: as, also
  • * an: an; on
  • *anon: at once
  • *artow: art thou, thou art
  • arwe: arrow
  • *as: as, as if, like
  • *atte: at, at the
  • *aventure: chance
  • *axe: ask
  • *ay: always
  • *been: are
  • benedicite: bless us!
  • *bet: better
  • *beth: are; (imperative) be
  • bitwixen: between
  • blake: black
  • blyve: quickly, soon
  • *brenne: burn
  • breste, brast: burst
  • bresting: bursting
  • *but, but if: unless

1 Reprinted from Gerard NeCastro's eChaucer, which includes the following attribution: "Adapted from (Baragona's Chaucer Page), which was adapted from Shoaf and Baugh."

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