Staff O of the English Wordbook.

Basic abbreviations:

  • OE = Old English
  • ME = Middle English
  • PG = Or-theedish
  • SC = Scots
  • SW = Swedish
  • Dan. = Danish
  • ON = Old Norse
  • OS = Old Saxon
  • NHG = New Hightheech
  • IC = Icelandish
  • H.IC = High Icelandish
  • Du. = Netherlandish
  • Fris. = Freesish

For a full list of etymological and other abbreviations used in these wordlists, see: Offshortenings.


Chancery English Class Anglish/English
Attested Unattested
oasis n - win (cf. Ic. vin)
obedient adj hearsome, law-abiding bowel (<OE beogol), buxom, eathmood (<OE eaþmod)
obedience n hearsomeness buxomness, youngerdom, hearness, thegning
obelisk n needle, shaft stonerock (<OE stanrocc)
obese adj full, podgy, overweight fatsoughty (cf. NHG fettsüchtig)
obey vb heed, fulfill, follow, bow, give in, give way, meet -
obfuscate vb becloud, muddy -
obituary n - Roufrithsoned Engliſh: byodening (cf. "by-" + "yode" +"-en" + "-ing")
object n ware, thing, mark, body, goal, end
objection n gripe, againsay gaintale
objectionable adj - frainworthy
objective n/adj goal, target; fair-minded, open-minded unsided
objectivity n open-mindedness, evenhandedness unsidedness
obligate vb bind, make -
obligation n must, binding, making needyness/neediness (<OE néadignes), mustdeed
obligatory adj bound, binded must, must-do, mustdo, mustdeed, needy
obliged adj bound writhen (<OE gewriþen)
obliging adj willing-hearted
oblique adj slanting, sideways -
obliquely adv aslant athwart
oblivion n forgetfulness, unawareness forgottenhood
oblivious adj clueless, careless, heedless, unwitted -
obrium n shame -
obscene adj foul, lewd, shameless -
obscure vb darken, bedim, befog, overmist, overshadow thester
obscure adj thester, dim, unlit, swart, overmisted, shady unswotel, dighel (<OE deagol, cf. SW. dölja/IC. dylja; spelling derived from ME diȝel of same meaning)
obsequious adj cringing, beggarly, bootlicking, brownnosing, fawning, groveling, sniveling, spineless -
observant adj awake, open-eyed yeming
observe vb follow, goose-step; eye, behold, catch, mark, look at, witness; mind, watch, keep an eye on, bewatch

yeme (<OE gieman), umwlat (<OE ymbwlātian)

Beaughten (<NHG. beachten, beobachten) see aught

observer n witness, onlooker, beholder -
obsess vb grip -
obsessive compulsive disorder n - brainlock
obsidian n - ravenflint (cf. Ic. hrafntinna)

rownglass (cf. Du. lavaglas)

obsolete adj outworn, rust, timeworn out of brook
forold (cf. Dn. forældet/NHG. veraltet)
obstacle n foreset, block, hurdle -
obstinate adj headstrong, willful, steadfast -
obstetrics n - birthhelp (cf. NHG geburtshilfe)
obstruct vb block, fetter, hamstring, shackle, hold up forslow, forset (<OE forsettan)
obstruction n hindering, hinderness, hitch -
obtain vb get, reap, win, net, come by, draw, land  fang, beget
obvious adj straightforward bare-nebbed, swotel, openknowledgeful (cf. NHG offenkundig)
obviously adv sheerly markedly

opensightly (cf. NHG offensichtlich)

occasion n time; opening sele (<OE sæl), meal
occasional adj here and far between -
occasionally adv here and there, now and then -
occidental n/adj western -
occipital bone n - skullend, backskull
occupied adj busy, tied-up beseted (cf. Du bezet, NHG besetzt)
occupy vb - beset (cf. Du bezetten, NHG besetzten)
occur vb befall, happen, come about sheen (<OE sceon)


occurrence n befall, happening sheening (<OE ġescēon, cf. NHG Geschehen), belimp (<OE belimp)
ocean n mere highsea, fivelway (<OE fifelwæġ), whaleway (<OE hwælweġ, "sea")

haff (<OE heaf "sea, ocean")

highsea, worldwater, the blue moor, the floatway, sailroad, the bree, the brine, the foam

octagon n - eightside
October n - Winterfulth, Winterfulthmonth, Winterfullmoonmonth (<OE)
octopus n - armfish, eightfoot (calque from Greek), inkfish (calque from German)
ode n song
Odin n Weden, Woden
odds n

likelihood; at odds: out of step

odour n smell, stench duft
oenophilia n - winelust
oesophagus n - kiteway
offend vb smite, upset, gall, wound, anger grill, shend

beloath (cf. NHG beleidigen)

offensive adj loath, loathsome -
offer (Germanic) vb/n n: bid

vb: shore, agive, bequeath

n: shore
offering (Germanic) n gift, handout shoring
office n - ambight (calque), needright, note (<OE notu), shire, week (<OE wice)
officer n beadle, sheriff ambighter, ambight (<OE ambeht), shireman
official n/adj. steward, sheriff, reeve; acknowledged -
-oid sfx - -hew (<OW -hīwe)
oil n/vb slick, wax, fat lime, fattybree, smearstuff (German:Schmierstoff)
ointment n salve -
okay adj all right -
old fashioned adj stick-in-the-mud, old time, old world, old line -
Old Testament n - Old Bond, Lawsetness (OE ǽgesetnes)
oleaginous adj fatty limy
olfactory adj smell -
-ology sfx -lore -
omen n boding, foreshadowing, token, warning, straw in the wind, writing on the wall foretoken
ominous adj doomy, ill-boding, black-boding, threatening, bodeful -
omit vb leave out, drop outlet (cf. NHG auslassen; pron. out-LET)

waylet (cf. Du. weglaten)

omnipotent adj almighty -
omniscient adj all-knowing,

alwitty (from "The Prick of Conscience")

onomatopoeia n - hearword,

clang-aping (calque of NHG. Schallnachahmung) wordmaking (calque of the greek onoma "word, name" + poiein "compose, make,"),

loudwork (calque of NHG. Lautmalerei), loudedighting

onion n - ramson, chipe (<OE cípe) ramps (<OE hramsa)
opera n - singplay
operate vb work, run

medical: scythe, snithe

bedrive (cf. NHG betreiben)

operation n - medical: scything, snithing

military/police: undertaking

opinion n thought, think-so, what one thinks, the way one sees things wen (<OE), atlum (<ON ætlum), meaning (cf. NHG Meinung), onsight (cf. NHG Ansicht)
opossum n - whitedeer (cf. Powhatan aposoum)
opponent n witherling withstander, witherman
opportune adj timely, well-timed haply (<OE gehæplice)
opportunity n opening -
oppose vb be against, withstand; fight, go against, againstand, buck again-go, hild, sake
opposite n - gainmatch, witherdeal, gaindeal (cf. NHG gegenteil), withersake, witherthing
opposite adj withering overright (Dorset), athwart (with object), fornent (Northern)
opposition n withstander gainstanders, witherers
oppressed adj downtrodden -
oppress vb tread down aheavy (<OE āhefigan), athrutch (<OE āthryccan), offthrutch (<OE ofþryccan), fortheen (<OE forþēon), smite (<OE ġesmætean), thrysm (<OE ġeþrysmian), hollow (<OE hōlian), oversim (<OE ofersȳman), sweer (<OE swæran, weigh down)
oppression n -

nithe, thrutchness (<OE þrycnes)

optimise (optimize) vb smoothen, better winfullen, winfulledge
optimism n yaysaying - hopethinking, sunny braining
optimist n yaysayer brightsider, hopethinker, sunny-brainer.
optimistic adj brightsided, hopethinking, sunny-brained, yaysaying.
optimum adj best -
optional adj can be waled, corely
oracle n - godspeaker (<OE godspræce)
oral adj uttered; unwritten, spoken mouthly
orange adj - fall, yellowred (<OE geoluhread)
orange n - eastern apple, midricapple (cf. Du. sinaasappel; appelsien; NHG Apfelsine)
orangutan n - rutherwere


oratory n outswettling, beadhouse
orbit vb/n go around spor, pathbow, fallbow, eferfall
orca n killer whale swordwhale (<NHG Schwertwal)
orchard n - nutgrove, nutyard, ovetgrove, ovetyard
(for disambiguation with "wortyard")
orchestra n - swaygathering, gleeband
orchid n - ballockwort (<ME beallocwirt)
ordain vb foreset; foresay; doom; call tee (<OE teon)
order n


command: behest

group: board, brotherhood, fellowship

char: breed, feather, ilk, kind

fettle, kilter

fading (<OE fadian) 

command: befeal (<ME befelen, OE befēolan, cf. NHG Befehl)

order vb bespeak, bid, behest

arrange: tidy, set up

bebid (<OE bebod), behight (<OE behatan)

command: befeal (<OE befēolan, cf. Du bevelen, NHG. befehlen),

for delivery: bestell (cf. NHG/Du. bestellen)

arrange: fade

orderly adj smooth, well-run, shipshape, trim, spotless, tidy -
ordination n - hoding (<OE hádung)
organ n book; means, tool

biology: innard, wetware

workern (calque)
organization n board, brotherhood, fellowship, body shiplaying (cf Ic. skipuleggja)
organize vb tidy (up); make up stight, shiplay
oriental adj eastern -
orientation n - akinting
orifice n hole, mouth, opening -
origin n root, wellspring, beginning, birth, stem, upspring, ere- point: ord, orspring, onstanding (cf. NHG Entstehung)

cause: frume (<OE fruma)

original adj ere-, erst, first, new, fresh ordly, orspringly (<NHG. ursprünglich) (see or- ), firstmost
original n ere-, firstling -
originally adv at first, ere- orspringly (<NHG. ursprünglich)
originate vb stem, arise, come from, ere- andstand (cf. NHG entstehen)

upspring (Eng.)

ornament n dizen, bedecking

freatwing (<OE frætwung), gleng/gling (<OE gleng)

moon-shaped: live (<OE hlīfa)

ornament vb bedeck, deck, trim, bedizen -
ornamentation n setoff, trim -
ornithology n - birdlore
orphan n - sunderling, lonechild, lonegrower, elderless
orthodox adj mainstream; by-the-book liefful (<OE léafful), bookly
orthodoxy n lorespell -
orthography n rightspelling (< G Rechtschreibung)
osprey n seahawk -
ossicle n - earbone
osteology n - bonelore
osteoporosis n - bone brittling, bonebrittleness
ostrich n - strutter (<OE stryta)
outcry n uproar -
outdated n outworn, rusty tided out
outmanoeuvre vb outsmart, outshine, outwit -
outperform vb outdo, outshine -
oval n - eggshape
overbalance vb slip, tumble, lose your footing; upset, keel over
overcharge vb overload, overweigh -
overdue adj overowed, overripe(ned)
overemphasize vb overplay, overshow, overstrain -
overpower vb forset -
overtax vb overburden, forset -
ovum n - eggling
oxidize v rust, sour
oxygen n breath of life chemistry:

sourstuff, breathloft

oxymoron n - sharpdull (calque)
oyster n clam -
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