(Modern English egging)


Vbl. n. formed within English on the v. eggen, always derived from ON, cp. OIcel eggja 'sharpen; egg on, goad, incite' (< PGmc *agjōjan-, cp. OE (ge)ecgan 'sharpen', OFris eggia 'drive, fence', MLG eggen 'sharpen', a wk. v. formed on the common Gmc n. *agjō 'edge, sword', cp. Burg *agja, OE ecg, OFr egg, ig, OS eggia, MHG ecke) both because the sense is unattested in PCOE and because of the apparent absence of palatalization (see further SPS 55, Dance 2003: 85 n. 54).

PGmc Ancestor


Proposed ON Etymon (OIcel representative)

OIcel eggja 'sharpen; egg on, goad, incite'
(ONP )

Other Scandinavian Reflexes

Far eggja, Icel eggja, Norw eggja, Dan ægge, Sw ägge

OE Cognate

(ge)ecgan 'to sharpen'

Phonological and morphological markers

[absence of palatalization of */ɡ/] (possibly diagnostic)

Summary category




The v. is first attested as OE (ge)eggian 'egg on, incite' in the glosses to the Lindisfarne Gospels, though the spelling here is perh. ambiguous; the velar pronunciation for the medial cluster is first clearly recorded in Orrm (SPS 55). The vbl. n. is widespread from early ME (see MED).

Occurrences in the Gersum Corpus

Cl 241


MED egging (ger.1) , MED eggen (v.1) , OED egging (n.1) , egg (v.1) , HTOED , Bj. 157, 236, de Vries eggja, Mag. egg (1), Orel *aʒjōjanan , Kroonen *agjō, DOE geeggian, ecgan, AEW eggian, ecgan