v. (past pl.)

(1) 'shovelled'; (2) 'made' (Modern English (1) mucked; (2) made)


The possibility of ON derivation here depends on whether or not an emended reading of the word at Erk 43, in which 'mony a mery mason was made þer to wyrke' (39) and 'mony grubber in grete' (41) 'makkyde and mynyde' the older building at St Paul's in preparation for the 'New Werke' (38), is accepted: (1) Savage (also MED and OED3) followed GollErk in emending MS <makkyd> to mukkyde, and thus identifying it with the ME v. mukken, either formed on mokke (n.) or derived directly from the ON wk. v. formed on it, represented by OIcel muka 'to shovel'. In this instance there may be better reason to derive it directly from the ON v., as the sense in Erk aligns more closely with OIcel muka than the more usual sense of the v. in ME 'to spread manure; clean'. (2) Peterson, however, argues that the MS reading also gives a satisfactory sense in context if it refers to the masons making the new stonework (Peterson 43n) rather than the grubbers who mynyde. He thus identifies it with ME maken, continuing OE macian 'to make, do act' (similarly Morse (1975) glosses 'made' and Burrow and Turville-Petre (1992) gloss 'make; build'). The main potential objection to this identification, as Peterson anticipates, is that similar usages of maken are usually transitive. He compares the intransitive use of the v. in connection with poetry (OED3's sense 4 (b)), but this usage appears specific and constrained. Thus while (2) has the advantage of explaining the MS text without emendation, the possibility of (1) should be maintained as it arguably gives a better reading (whether the residue of the stone is being cleared out, or shovelled).

PGmc Ancestor

(1) *mukōn-; (2) makōjan-

Proposed ON Etymon (OIcel representative)

(1) moka 'to shovel'
(ONP moka (vb.))

Other Scandinavian Reflexes

(1) Icel moka, Norw moka, Dan muge, Sw måka, mocka, Sw dial muka

OE Cognate

Phonological and morphological markers

Summary category



(1) MED and OED's citatations of the v. all come from N and E texts, but note a1413 Chaucer TC (Mrg M 817). The instance in Erk is the only example of MED's sense (c), OED sense (4) 'to dig in the ground'. (2) Very common and widespread in ME, but elsewhere transitive with similar senses.

Occurrences in the Gersum Corpus

Erk 43

Peterson (43n) argues against Gollancz's emendation, maintaining the MS reading <makkyde> and citing parallels to the intransitive use 'made'. Burrow and Turville-Petre (1992) also print maykkd without comment.


MED mukken (v.) , OED3 muck (v.1) , de Vries moka, Mag moka; (2) MED maken (v.1) , OED , Orel *makōjanan, Kroonen *maka-, AEW macian