Gaw ernd, erande; Pat arende, arnde

‘business, mission, errand’ (Modern English errand)


Usually derived straightforwardly from OE ǣrende ‘message; mission, errand, business’ (thus GDS, OED, MED), apparently directly cognate with OS ārundi, OHG ārende, ārunti and suggesting a PGmc *ērundja-. The possibility of input from the ON form (from the PGmc variant *arundja-), represented by OIcel ørendi ‘errand, message, business, mission; message, speech; strophe’ (and its variants erendi, eyrendi) has been suggested (so TGD, Nagano 1966: 56), possibly in light of its distribution (McGee 570).

PGmc Ancestor

*ērundja- or *arundja-

Proposed ON Etymon (OIcel representative)

ørendi, erendi, eyrendi ‘errand, message, business, mission; message, speech; strophe’
(ONP ørendi (1) (sb.))

Other Scandinavian Reflexes

Far ørindi, Icel erindi, erendi, Norw ærend, Dan ærende, Sw ärende

OE Cognate

ǣrende ‘message; mission, errand, business’

Phonological and morphological markers

Summary category



Fairly widespread (esp. in the 13c.), though MED’s citations give the impression of relatively frequent occurrence in N, E and alliterative texts in later ME (and see further McGee 477, 570 on patterns of occurrence in manuscripts of SJ and Cursor, where it is preferred in northern copies).

Occurrences in the Gersum Corpus

Gaw 257, 559, 809, etc.; Pat 52, 72, 202


MED ērend(e (n.) , OED errand , HTOED , Dance ernde, de Vries ørendi (1), Mag. erindi, Bammesberger 66, Kroonen *arundja-, AEW ǣrende, DOE ǣrende