v. (past)


(Modern English grye)


(1) This ME v. (securely attested only in Gaw) is identified by EDD with its gry (v., sb.) ‘to have slight fit of the ague’ (a comparison also made by Wright 1906: 213, GDS, MED), the etymology of which is very unclear, but usually taken to be related to PDE grue (thus OED, MED, TGD). PDE grue, ME grūen seems to be cognate with a set of Gmc verbs representing a PGmc *grūw-, viz. OHG (in)grūēn (Ger grauen), MLG grūwen, gro(u)wen, MDu gruwen, gruen, gerouwen, Fris grouje, grouwe ‘to dread’, and in the continental Scand languages Norw gruva, OSw grūva sik (Sw gruva sig), ODan gruve, grye (Dan grue) (see further grwe). Although comparisons have been made with various Scandinavian forms in commentaries on Gaw (GDS, Kullnick 19, Morris) and Emerson (1922: 408) derives the ME word directly from ON, it is questionable whether such a v. existed in VAN; the continental Scandinavian words are usually explained as later loans from LG (so Torp, Tamm, Hellquist, Nielsen, Lloyd and Lühr) and none of them is a precise match for the vocalism of ME gryed (or PDE dial gry), which — if derived on PGmc *grū- at all — would require an i-mutated variant of the root in /y:/. (2) Kullnick (19) also compares OE gryre ‘state of being terrified: fear, terror, dread; the action or quality of causing dread: terribleness’. While the vocalism of OE gryre (with which cp. OS gruri) is superficially attractive, and its meaning is also close, it is otherwise more remote in form from ME gryed and it is more usually regard as unrelated.

PGmc Ancestor

(1) *grū-

Proposed ON Etymon (OIcel representative)

(ONP )

Other Scandinavian Reflexes

(1) Norw gruva, OSw grūva sik (Sw gruva sig), ODan gruve, grye (Dan grue)

OE Cognate

Phonological and morphological markers

Summary category



Apart from Gaw, MED cites only Audelay Poems (Dc 302) 116/161 (in a Stf. dial; LALME LP 189), and this may not be a genuine form (‘gryd [?read: cryd]’); EDD records its gry from 'n.Cy. Lan.' only.

Occurrences in the Gersum Corpus

Gaw 2370

On the sense at Gaw 2370 see Wright 1935: 173.


MED grīen (v.) , OED grye (v.) , HTOED , EDD gry (v. and sb.), Dance gryed; (1) Torp NnEO gruv (1), Falk-Torp grue (vb.), Hellquist gruva sig, Tamm gruva sig, Nielsen grue (II), Lloyd and Lühr grūēn, Kluge-Seebold grauen, OED grue (v.1) , MED grūen (v.) , EDD grue (v.1, sb.1 and adj.1); (2) Bammesberger 130, Kroonen *gnuznōjan-, AEW gryre, DOE gryre, MED grure (n. and adj.) , OED grure (n.)