WA grayne, pl. graynes
‘arm or valley of the sea; blade (of axe)/spike?’ (Modern English grain)
Proposed ON Etymon (OIcel representative)
grein 'branch, division'
(ONP grein (2) (sb.))
Other Scandinavian Reflexes
Far grein, Icel grein, Norw grein, Dan grēn, OSw grēn, Sw gren
Phonological and morphological markers
ON /ei/ < PGmc */ai/
[ON fricative /ð/ < PGmc */ð/] (may not be applicable)
[ON consonant cluster assimilation] (may not be applicable)
14c and 15c ME attestations in various senses do not show clear dial bias, though its occurrence as a name-element is distinctly N (see EPNE).
Occurrences in the Gersum Corpus
Gaw 211; WA 2451, 3375
The precise part of the Green Knight’s axe being described in Gaw is debated and thus OED, GDS (211n), TGD (211n) prefer ‘(forked) blade’, against ‘spike (at the back of the axe)’ (TG, MED, Brett 1915: 190–1, Yerkes 1975, McGillivray 211n), whereas Wright 1906: 212-13 envisages the ‘thick part of the head of the axe’ and PS (210–15n) suggest ‘the socket which held the blade (and spike)’ (see further Vant 211n). Skeat WA identifies the D manuscript variant <granes> at WA 3375 as an instance of the n. grain, glossing 'granules(?)'.