Gaw store; WA sture

‘mighty; strong, severe; large’ (Modern English stour, stoor)


ME stor, via late OE stōr, is usually interpreted as borrowing from ON (cp. OIcel stórr ‘big, great’) on the grounds of its late attestation, but it could alternatively be seen as cognate with it (cp. further OFris stōr ‘big, important’, OHG, OS stôri ‘famous’)  

PGmc Ancestor


Proposed ON Etymon (OIcel representative)

stórr ‘big, great’
(ONP stórr (adj.))

Other Scandinavian Reflexes

Far stórur, Icel stór, Norw stor, Dan stor, Sw stor

OE Cognate

?stōr 'strong, great'

Phonological and morphological markers

Summary category



First recorded in late OE (ChronE s.a. 1085; see Peters 98, SPS 325), and thereafter fairly widespread in ME, albeit esp. frequent in N and alliterative texts (inc. LB) (though on confusion with an ME stūr cognate with MLG stūr ‘rough, wild’ (etc.), see OED).  EPNE regards the word as rare in place-names, both ‘in Scandinavia and the Danelaw’, and cites only Storeton, Chs. Recorded in various MnE dial, esp. Sc.

Occurrences in the Gersum Corpus

Gaw 1291, 1923; WA 745*, 1367, 1534 etc.

On the sense at Gaw 1291, see PSn. TPD WA emend store ben at WA 1702 to to store-baned, following the D reading sture-baned.


MED stōr(e (adj.) , OED stour, stoor (adj. and n.2) , EDD stour (adj. and adv.2) , HTOED , HTOED , Dance stor, Bj. 221, SPS 121, 325, de Vries stórr, Mag. stór, Bj-L stor, Heid stōra-, Orel *stōraz, Kroonen *stōra- ~ *stura-, AEW stōr (2), EPNE stórr (1)