adj., adv.

(2) Cl seerly (GollCl), Pat serelych

(1) 'filthy, base'; (2) 'severally, individually' (Modern English )


MS <soerly> has been identified with two different etyma, depending on how the form is interpreted and the context at Cl 117 ('and ay a segge soerly semed by her wedeʒ') is construed: (1) Menner suggests derivation from ON, cp. the relatively uncommon OIcel adj. saurligr 'unclean', formed on the n. saurr 'mud, dirt' (cp. sorʒe (n.) and sour (adj.)), which has no Gmc cognates and Kroonen explains as an ablaut variant of the root of the sour adj. *sūr- 'sour' (cp. OE, MGL, OHG sūr, ON súrr). Seebold (1984) suggests an original meaning 'feucht', preserved in Slavic languages. (2) see serly (adv.).

PGmc Ancestor

(1) *saur-; (2) *sē-z

Proposed ON Etymon (OIcel representative)

(1) saurligr (adj.) 'unclean'; (2) sér 3 pers. sg. reflex. pron. (dat.), adv.; serliga (adv.) 'apart, particularly'
(ONP (1) saurligr (adj.); (2) sik (pron. pers. refl.); serliga (adv.))

Other Scandinavian Reflexes

(1) Far seyrur, Icel saur, Norw saur, ODan sør, OSw sör-, Sw dial sör; (2) Far sær, Icel sér, Norw sêr, Dan sær, i sær, runic Sw saʀ, Sw i sär

OE Cognate

Phonological and morphological markers

[ON reflexive pers. pronominal dative sg. -r < PGmc *-z] (may not be applicable)

Summary category



(1) This would be a hapax legomenon, but see also sorʒe (n.) and sour (adj.); (2) see serly (adv.).

Occurrences in the Gersum Corpus

(1) Cl 117; (2) Cl 117; Pat 193

The MS reading <soerly> is defended by Menner (followed by Moorman and McGee) and identified with the ON etymon saurligr (see etymological discussion (1)). Menner (117n) argues that this gives a better reading: the contrasting the state of the men sitting below with those above, though note this depends on a contested reading of line 119 (cp. GollCl119n, AW and Anderson 119n with Menner 117n and Vant 119n). Vantuono accepts the manuscript spelling, but considers it a variant of seerly (see further serly (adv.) and etymological discussion (2)). Anderson (see further 117n) considers emendation necessary, but prefer to follow Morris in emending instead to soberly 'dignified' < OFr sobre.


(1) de Vries saurr, Mag. saur, Heid. *sūra-; (2) see serly (adv.).