'cake' (Modern English cake)


Always derived (after Bj.) from ON, cp. OIcel kaka 'cake' (< PGmc *kakōn). No OE cognate survives, although cēcel 'little cake' (cp. MED kẹ̄chel (n.)) < PGmc *kōk-, found elsewhere in WGmc, is related by Ablaut: with diminutive suffix, cp. also OS kāsi-kōkilīn 'whole cheese', and without cp. OHG kuohho, MLG kōke and MDu coeke.

PGmc Ancestor


Proposed ON Etymon (OIcel representative)

kaka 'cake'
(ONP kaka (sb.))

Other Scandinavian Reflexes

Far kaka, Icel kaka, Norw kaka, kake, Dan kage, Sw kaka

OE Cognate

cp. cēcel 'little cake'

Phonological and morphological markers

Summary category



MED's earliest attestations come from c1225 Wor.Bod.Gloss. (Hat 115) and c1225(?c1200) HMaid. (Bod 34), as well as surnames, and citations from a wide range of texts follow in the 14c. onwards.

Occurrences in the Gersum Corpus

Cl 625, 635


MED cāke (n.) , OED cake (n.) , HTOED , Bj. 244, de Vries kaka, Mag. kaka, Orel *kakōn, Kroonen *kōkan-, DOE cēcel, AEW cycel