v. (pres. 3 sg.)

WA past tharned, tharnyd

'lack, be wanting, lose'

(Modern English )


Always derived from ON, cp. OIcel þarfnaþarna 'need, want', formed on the PGmc wk v. *þarƀōjan- (cp. OE þearfian 'starve, be in need, want', OFris thervia, OS tharbon 'miss, lack'). While the root is common and widespread, there are no certain parallels elsewhere in Gmc to the Scandinavian derivational forms in -n-. A possible exception is <þærnode> 'lose' in a1121 Peterb.Chron. (LdMisc 636), for which MED tentatively reconstructs and OE etymon *þear(f)nian.

PGmc Ancestor


Proposed ON Etymon (OIcel representative)

þarfnaþarna 'need, want'
(ONP þarfna (vb.))

Other Scandinavian Reflexes

Far tarna, Icel þarfna, Norw tarna

OE Cognate

cp. þearfian 'starve, be in need, want'

Phonological and morphological markers

Summary category



First attested in Orrm, and predominantly in N/EM texts thereafter.

Occurrences in the Gersum Corpus

WA 2709,2859, 3071, etc.

All editors take A MS reading <tharne> at WA 2859 as an error for tharned (cp. D MS reading <tharnyd>).


MED tharnen (v.) , OED tharn (v.) , HTOED , Bj. 223, de Vries þarfa, Mag. þar(f)na, þar(f)nast, Orel *þarƀōjanan, Kroonen *þarƀō-, AEW đærnian