Cl kyst, pl. kystes; Pat pl. kysttes; WA kist, pl. kistis, kystez


(Modern English )


The lack of palatalization suggests ME kyst (in contrast to ME chest(e), PDE chest < OE cyst, cist 'chest') was borrowed from ON kista 'chest'; the source of both is Lat cista < Greek κίστη 'box, chest'.

PGmc Ancestor

Proposed ON Etymon (OIcel representative)

kista 'chest'
(ONP kista (sb.))

Other Scandinavian Reflexes

Far kista, Icel kista, Norw kista, kiste, Dan kiste, Sw kista

OE Cognate

cyst, cist 'chest'

Phonological and morphological markers

absence of palatalization of */k/

Summary category



Forms with spellings indicating absence of palatalization are characteristically N/NM in ME (MED, OED) and MnE, although EDD also has more widespread citations.

Occurrences in the Gersum Corpus

Pe 271; Cl 346, 449 464 etc.; Pat 159; WA 1043, 3148, 4357

Used repeatedly to refer to the Ark in Cl.


MED chest(e (n.) , OED kist (n.1) , HTOED , EDD kist (sb. and v.1), Bj. 143, de Vries kista, Mag. kista