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Alexander Howard
1350949.  Fri Jun 19, 2020 6:56 pm Reply with quote

Ye culd hae a hail series on yon bonny land, so ye culd.

Scotland is recorded by that name in old English literature: King Alfred for example in his translation / adaptation of Paulus Orosius describes the broad geography of Europe gives a poetic description that Scotland is an island surrounded by the ocean and nearer the sunset than any other land. Earlier the book says Scotland lies to the west of Spain - a classical Roman interpretation of geography.

Fifty years later or so the name had got shifted to the other side of the sea.

1350960.  Sat Jun 20, 2020 4:07 am Reply with quote

You forgot to mention that the word "Scotland" derives from the ancient latin "Scotia" meaning "servants of the English"...


Alexander Howard
1351016.  Sat Jun 20, 2020 12:07 pm Reply with quote

The earliest use of the name "Engla land" (England) in writing that we know of is from the English translation of Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People: it is used in reference to Abercorn (in West Lothian).

The Chronicle in 1091 records that King Malcolm (the one in Macbeth) led his army "out of Scotland into Lothian in England".

1351068.  Sun Jun 21, 2020 1:08 pm Reply with quote

As I understood it, the English referred to their area of control as Angelcynn, Cynn meaning kind (in modern English Kin).

When the Danish came and conquered both South and North, they imported a number of words and phrases which stuck with us, and one of the was Land, which could be translated as Country.

As for England in it's current spelling, the earliest mention I see is in "The dictionary of syr Thomas Eliot knyght" from 1538 when he describes Albion as the ancient name of England.

Alexander Howard
1351078.  Sun Jun 21, 2020 3:26 pm Reply with quote

You're right that in Anglo-Saxon texts phrases like "Angelcynn" appear, but that means "English people", not the country. It was a "people-centred language" (as the wokeists say these days) in that a text is more likely to say someone was going 'amongst the Mercians' rather than 'in Mercia'. (It is less so in later texts.)

"Land" is a Common Germanic word, used in all Germanic languages and found in even the earliest English texts. England as such does not seem to be named until King Alfred's time (I'd be pleased to be proven wrong though).

1351083.  Sun Jun 21, 2020 7:03 pm Reply with quote

The name England came from Angle-land, I thought, from the days of the Saxons and Angles.

1351096.  Mon Jun 22, 2020 5:44 am Reply with quote

You have to remember that Alfred, and several kings after him were not titled "King of England". And while some would argue that ∆thelstan (Alfred's grandson) was the first true King of England, his title was "King of the English, and it was his nephew, Edgar, who first appears to hold the title of "King of England".

It seems to have taken the English (and other British peoples) at least a century to take on the concept of a land itself having identity, rather than just the people.

The reason I mentioned the Danish rather than other Germanic languages is because the early use of describing the land, not just the people, seems to have come from the Danish who raided Britain at the time, it doesn't seem to have been used by the English to describe their land until a century later.

Alexander Howard
1358000.  Tue Sep 08, 2020 6:05 pm Reply with quote

The Scots language throve until the union of the crowns; though its speakers called it 'Ynglisch', or various spellings. The language of the untamed tribes in the Highlands was called 'Irish'. The Scots language is independently derived from Northumbrian Old English (while standard English is from Mercian). It was spoken throughout Lowland Scotland and Orkney an Shetland, and in Ulster - Ulster Scots is a political hot topic.

There is a Scots language Wikipedia: but it is so bad that actual students of Scots have been left frustrated - it seems to be largely cod-Scots; English written in odd spellings

In August 2020 it was discovered why sco.wikipedia is so bad: up to half of the articles were written by an American schoolboy who does not know the language but for several years obsessively contributed. Others took his standards as the ones to follow. Then the wee lad grew up and this summer he confessed all in a fulsome apology.


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