'rocky cliff'

(Modern English clint)


Always derived from the ON n. represented by OIcel klettr 'cliff (in the landscape), cliff-face, crag, bluff, escarpment' (with vowel lowered to /e/ following assimilation of the nasal consonant; cp. Dan klint). This root is not found in English, but it is attested elsewhere in WGmc in MDu klint 'cliff, steep beach'. Its occurrence as a recurring element in place-names from the N and E of England points towards an ON etymon as does the apparent occurrence of the assimilated OWN form in e.g. Cleatop (West Riding, Yorkshire).

PGmc Ancestor


Proposed ON Etymon (OIcel representative)

klettr 'cliff (in the landscape), cliff-face, crag, bluff, escarpment'
(ONP klettr (sb.))

Other Scandinavian Reflexes

Far klettur, Icel klettur, Norw klett, Dan klint, OSw klinter, Sw klint, Sw dial klätt

OE Cognate

Phonological and morphological markers

Summary category



MED's only citations from textual sources come from N ME texts: WA and a1400(a1325) Cursor (Vsp A.3). It occurs more frequently as a place-name element, most commonly, but not exclusively, in the N and E of England (see MED, EPNE). 

Occurrences in the Gersum Corpus

WA 4830


MED clint (n.) , OED clint (n.) , HTOED , EDD clint (sb.1), Bj. 215, de Vries klettr, Mag. klettur, Nielsen klint, EPNE klint