v. (pres. 3 sg.)

'start in alarm' (Modern English )


Always derived from ON, cp. styggja, styggva 'make shy, run, frighten away', with reflexive form styggjask, styggvask 'become shy, start, shun, abhor'. No cognates for this v. survive, but cp. the adj. styggr on which it might have been formed, showing the same change ON /ggj/ < /gj/ (Orel alone cites a cognate, MDu stugge 'stubborn, stiff, unfriendly'). Both the adj. and v. have attested variants with /v/ in the root, which Mag. suggests shows a blending with skygg- forms (e.g. Norw skygg 'scared') from *skugwia- etc.

PGmc Ancestor


Proposed ON Etymon (OIcel representative)

styggja, styggva 'make shy, run, frighten away'; cp. (reflexive) styggjask, styggvask 'become shy, start, shun, abhor'
(ONP styggja, styggva (vb.))

Other Scandinavian Reflexes

Far styggja, Icel styggja, Norw styggja, ODan stygges, Sw styggas

OE Cognate

Phonological and morphological markers

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

Summary category



MED's only other citation comes from a 15c. EM text.

Occurrences in the Gersum Corpus

WA 5301


MED stiggen (v.) , OED stig (v.) , HTOED , Bj. 35, de Vries stygð, Orel *stuʒjaz