(Modern English stern)


Usually derived from ON *steorn, cp. OIcel stjórn 'helm, steering'. The only evidence elsewhere in Gmc for an abstract formation on the root *steur- (as in the nouns (of various gender) represented by OE stēor 'steering, direction, guidance', OFris stiure, MLG stiure, stūre, OHG stiura, OIcel stýri, which originated as sb. adjectives, as in Go us-stiuriba 'dissolutely') with fem. -nō is OFris stiārne. An unattested OE *stēorn thus remains a possibility.

PGmc Ancestor


Proposed ON Etymon (OIcel representative)

stjórn 'helm, steering'
(ONP stjórn (sb.))

Other Scandinavian Reflexes

Far stjórn, Icel stjórn, Norw stjorn, OSw stiorn-

OE Cognate

cp. stēor 'steering, direction, guidance'

Phonological and morphological markers

Summary category



MED has citations from a variety of texts starting with c1300 Horn (LdMisc 108).

Occurrences in the Gersum Corpus

Pat 149


MED stern(e (n.2) , OED stern (n.3) , HTOED , de Vries stjórn, Orel *steurnō, Kroonen *steurjan-, AEW stéor