v. (pres. 3 sg.)

(1) Cl past pl. dungen

(1) (*dyngez) ‘smites’; (2) (dymnez) ‘condemns’

(Modern English (1) ding; (2) damn)


The derivation of the v. at Gaw 2105 (‘Þat he ne dyngez hym to deþe with dynt of his honde’) depends on whether or not this emendation of MS <dȳneʒ> (with a suspension mark above the <y>) is accepted:  (1) If we read <dynnez>, the nearest ME v. is MED’s dinen v.1 (< OE dynian ‘to resound’), but none of its attested meanings will work here and most editions (from Madden and Morris) therefore emend to *<dyngez>, i.e. ME dingen ‘to beat, scourge; defeat; deal blow, beat upon; knock, beat, strike to make noise, thump; rush, dash’. See further dungen (v.). (2) Vant argues instead that instead that the MS abbreviation may be expanded to <dymneʒ> (glossed 'does condemn'), which he argues is a variant of demnez, and thus an instance of ME dampnen (variants incl. damnen, demmen), in MED’s sense (2a), ‘to condemn to death’, < OFr dam(p)ner, ML dam(p)nāre. The meaning of this v. fits but, very problematically, it is never otherwise attested with an -i- in its root syllable.

PGmc Ancestor

(1) *dang(w)jan- or *dengwan-

Proposed ON Etymon (OIcel representative)

(1) dengja ‘to hammer (metal), forge; urge/press, ask persistently’ 
(ONP (1a) dengja (vb.))

Other Scandinavian Reflexes

(1) Far deingja, Icel dengja, Norw dengja, Dan dænge, OSw dængia, Sw dial däng(j)a

OE Cognate

(1) dencgan ‘to beat’ 

Phonological and morphological markers

Summary category



(1) ME dingen is first attested in (c1300) Havelok (LdMisc 108) and c1300 Body & S.(5) (LdMisc 108); most of MED’s citations are N/EM, with exceptions (inc. PP, c1380 Firumb.(1) (Ashm 33)).  (2) ME dampnen is first known in Orrm, and widespread from the early 14c.

Occurrences in the Gersum Corpus

Gaw 2105

MS <dȳneʒ> (with a suspension mark above the <y>) looks as though it is meant to represent <dynnez>, but it is very difficult to make sense of such a form in context.


(1) MED dingen (v.) , OED ding (v.1) ; OED dinge (n.1) ; OED dinge (v.1) , HTOED , Dance dyngez, Bj. 207–8, de Vries dengja, Mag. dengja, Bj-L. denge, Orel *ðanʒwjanan; *ðengwanan, Kroonen *dangjan-; *dingwan-, DOE dyngan, dengan; dynige; (2) MED dampnen (v.) , OED damn (v.) , HTOED , AND dampner, FEW damnare