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Steg Belsky scripsit:

> Old English certainly had a lot of ways to say "man"... besides whatever
> the old form of the word "man" itself was,

Already "man(n)" was the ordinary word.

> there's this "guma" and then
> there's the "were" in "werewolf"... does anyone know if there were
> semantic differences between these different words?

We know that "wer" meant "adult male", but lots of these words are preserved
only in poetry, where they are used to make the alliteration go (for which
a wealth of synonyms is a big advantage).  For example "beorn" and "frec(a)",
which are obviously connected to the bear and the wolf, but we don't know
just what the original implications were.  OE words are just used, not explained
anywhere.

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John Cowan           http://www.ccil.org/~cowan              [log in to unmask]
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