Gaw pl. costes, costez; Cl pl. costeʒ
‘nature, quality; terms; manners, ways, disposition; condition, plight’ (Modern English cost)
*kust-iz or *kust-uz
Proposed ON Etymon (OIcel representative)
kostr ‘condition, choice, opportunity (etc.)’
(ONP kostr (1) (sb.))
Other Scandinavian Reflexes
Far kostur, Icel kostur, Norw kost, ODan kost, Dan kost, OSw koster
cyst 'free-will, choice'; cp. costian ‘to prove, test, try; tempt’
Phonological and morphological markers
Several occurrences in later OE texts (see Peters 89, Pons-Sanz 2007: esp. 163–164, 208–209, 240 and SPS 108–9, 286). Widespread in early ME, but by the later period mainly N and E and alliterative (inc. PP), with a few exceptions (esp. in the phrase nedes cost).
Occurrences in the Gersum Corpus
Gaw 546, 750, 944, etc.; Cl 1024, 1478
Gaw 750 costes is interpreted by OED (only) as a derivative of OFr cost (s.v. cost n.2, sense 3, ‘expenditure of time, labour’); on the sense here see further Emerson 1922: 374, Wright 1935: 169.