Cl syte; WA syte

'grief, sorrow, evil'

(Modern English )


This root does not appear to have been native to OE, and the vocalism of this n. is always explained by derivation from ON. Although an early form in /y:/ is not attested, modern cognates (Norw syt) testify to its existence and cp. also OIcel sýta 'to afflict, grieve' (derived by Bj. from < *suhtian) and the variant sút 'grief, sorrow, affliction' (the original nom. sg. of which OED speculates was *sýt) next to OIcel. sótt '(physical) affliction', with which cp. Goth saúhts 'sickness, disease', OE suht 'illness' (the single occurrence of which is usually explained as influence from OS (Bj., AEW)), OFris secht, OS, OHG suht (< PGmc *suxtiz).

PGmc Ancestor


Proposed ON Etymon (OIcel representative)

(ONP )

Other Scandinavian Reflexes

Norw syt

OE Cognate

cp. OE suht 'illness'

Phonological and morphological markers

ON loss of */x/ medially

Summary category



Chiefly NE and N/EM.

Occurrences in the Gersum Corpus

Pe 663; Cl 566, 1257; Pat 5, 517; WA 182, 546


MED sit(e (n.1) , OED site (n.1) , HTOED , EDD site (sb.1), Bj. 175