‘bewildering, leading one astray’ (Modern English wilsome)


wylle + OE -sum; cp. also OIcel villusamr, ‘erroneous, false’ (see ONP for unique occurrence).

PGmc Ancestor


Proposed ON Etymon (OIcel representative)

villr ‘wild; bewildered, erring, astray’
(ONP villusamr (adj.))

Other Scandinavian Reflexes

Far villur, Icel villur, Norw vill, ODan willær, wild(ær), Dan vild, OSw vildær, Sw vill, vild

OE Cognate

wilde 'wild, untamed, uncontrolled' 

Phonological and morphological markers

ON consonant cluster assimilation

Summary category



Mainly N and E in ME, but also (a1387) Trev. Higd.(StJ-C H.1) 7.95; modern (obsol.) Sc.

Occurrences in the Gersum Corpus

Gaw 689

OED (sense 1) glosses ‘Leading astray as through wild and desolate regions; hence, desert, lonely and wild; dreary’ (and see Wright 1935: 349-50 and further PSn).


MED wilsom (adj.1) , OED wilsome (adj.1) , HTOED , EDD wilsome (adj.), Dance wylsum, Bj. 170