'ninth' (Modern English ninth)


The usual form of the adj. formed from the cardinal numeral + suffix in OE was nigoða (etc.) (from *-nþ- > OE -þ- by the nasal-spirant law), but there also exist a number of variant forms, incl. spellings in <-nd-> in late OE and ME indicating derivation from a variant suffix *-nð- as in (or potentially via) ON (cp. niundi; cp. also Go niunda, OFris nigunda, OS nigundo, OHG niunto etc.). ME <-nt-> forms may be explained by analogy with fift and sixt (where the -t must be the result of dissimilation of two fricatives in sequence) (so OED3). Alternatively, it is possible that ME -nt- forms in areas which show common final devoicing of stops (as in the Gaw-MS dialect; see GDS §49, and Jordan-Crook §200) could also descend from -nd- forms.

PGmc Ancestor

*newunðō- or *newunþō-

Proposed ON Etymon (OIcel representative)

niundi 'ninth'
(ONP niundi (num. ord.))

Other Scandinavian Reflexes

Norw niande, Dan niende, Sw nionde

OE Cognate

nigoða 'ninth', cp. late (non-WS) nigenda

Phonological and morphological markers

Summary category



MED and OED otherwise cite this spelling from c1450 Spec.Chr.(2) (Hrl 6580) (which LALME identifies as NE Leics.). Spellings in <nd> are more common and widespread.

Occurrences in the Gersum Corpus

Pe 1012


MED nīnthe (num.) , OED ninth (adj., n. and adv.) , HTOED , de Vries niundi, Mag. niund, Orel *newunðōn ~ *newunþōn-