Gaw same; WA samme

'together' (Modern English samen, sam)


OE had the adverbial compounds æt-samne, tō-samne ‘together’ (cp. OFris to-saminen, OS at-samna, to-samne, OHG zi-samene, MDu te-samen), and so a native *saman minus prefix is very plausible, and some authorities are content to account for ME samen in this way (thus OED, TGD, GDS). However, the attestation of an OE somen only in late Nhb might speak in favour of some input from ON (suggested by e.g. MED), cp. OIcel saman ‘together’, at least in the development of a prefixless variant (cp. also Go samana, OFris samin, semin, OS and OHG saman, MDu samen), or even an ON origin (so AEW and McGee 344–5), given the distribution of the ME word.

PGmc Ancestor


Proposed ON Etymon (OIcel representative)

 saman ‘together’
(ONP saman (adv.))

Other Scandinavian Reflexes

Far saman, Icel saman, Norw saman, ODan samæn, Dan sammen, Sw saman, samman

OE Cognate

cp. æt-samne, tō-samne ‘together’

Phonological and morphological markers

Summary category



Characteristically N and E and alliterative (inc. W.Pal., PP) in ME (found only in the Titus manuscript of the AB Group texts, for AB somet).

Occurrences in the Gersum Corpus

Gaw 50, 363, 673, etc.; Pe 518; Cl 400, 468, 645 etc.; Pat 46; WA 162, 175, 1550 etc.

Two of three instances of the spelling <same> in Gaw occur in rhyme (363, 1318)


MED sā̆men (adv.1) , sām(e (adv.) , OED samen (adv.) , sam (adv.) , HTOED , HTOED , Dance samen, Bj. 219, de Vries sama, Mag. saman, Bj-L samme, Orel *samanē, AEW samen