v. (wk.)

Gaw infin. karp; pres. 3 sg. carppez; Pe infin. carpe, past 3 sg. carped; Cl pres. 3 sg. carpes, carpez; Erk infin. carpe; WA infin. carpe, pres. 2 sg. carpis, pres. 3 sg. carpis, carps, pres. pl. carpis, past sg. carpid, pp. carped

'to speak, say, converse'

(Modern English carp)


cp. OIcel karpa ‘to brag, boast’. The ulterior etymology of this word is obscure. The difference in sense between the ME and ON may  be the result of bleaching (although it has also been suggested that more specific sense is a later Scandinavian development: see MED), and the possiblility of influence from Lat capere 'to pluck, gather', fig. 'to carp at, villify' cannot be ruled out, but seems unlikely (see further OED and DMLBS s.v.).

PGmc Ancestor

Proposed ON Etymon (OIcel representative)

karpa 'to brag, boast'
(ONP karpa (CV))

Other Scandinavian Reflexes

Icel karpa, Sw dial karpa

OE Cognate

Phonological and morphological markers

absence of palatalization of */k/

Summary category



From c1250; fairly widespread, but especially N and E, and in alliterative texts of all dial; MnE Sc. and Lan.

Occurrences in the Gersum Corpus

Gaw 263, 360, 377 etc.; Pe 381, 752, 949; Cl 74, 1591; Erk 317; WA 8, 100, 108 etc.


MED carpen (v.) , OED carp (v.1) , HTOED , EDD carp (v.2), Dance carp (a)(v.), Bj. 141n.3, 215, CV karpa (v.), de Vries karp, Mag. karpa