(Modern English )


Formed on lawe (n.) (Gordon and Onions 1933: 172 (see further on spelling), EVG, followed by McGee).

PGmc Ancestor


Proposed ON Etymon (OIcel representative)

lǫg (pl.) ‘law; law community, law-district’
(ONP lag (sb.))

Other Scandinavian Reflexes

Far lóg, Icel lög, Norw log, Dan lov, Sw lag

OE Cognate

cp. orlæg ‘fate’, gelagu ‘extent, surface (of sea)’, oferlagu ‘cloak’, ealdorlegu, feorhlegu ‘course of one’s life, death’

Phonological and morphological markers

Summary category



MED and OED have a handful of mostly 13c. attestations from Trin.Hom. and Orrm. onwards. See also lawe (n.).

Occurrences in the Gersum Corpus

Pe 565

Osgood’s emendation to *l[awe]ly and Goll’s to *l[e]uyly ‘permissable’ have not been taken up by subsequent editors (see Vant 565n and etymological discussion).


MED lauelīche (adv.)[ http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/m/mec/med-idx?type=id&id=MED24823&egs=all&egdisplay=open], OED lawly (adj. and adv.)[ http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/106435?redirectedFrom=lawly&], HTOED , Dance lawe, Bj. 249, SPS 84–6, 307–14, de Vries lǫg, Mag. lög, Orel *laʒan, AEW læg; lagu (3)