Important Anglo-Saxon Words

Here is a collection of some of the more important and widely known Anglo Saxon words-

The agreement between the king and his warriors which stipulates that, in return for shelter, food, and gifts, the warriors will protect the king in battle with their lives.

A rash promise or pledge to perform an act, usually made in the meadhall due to intoxication. Originally, this simply meant a pledge

Blood vengeance
Belief that a family is honor bound to retaliate against another tribe that has offended or attacked a member of their clan.

The alternative to blood vengeance or the man price or payment to the opposing tribe as a peaceful way to end disputes.

The name for the warriors, which represented their elevated status over the common man.

Name of the tribe to which the hero Beowulf belonged.

The name given to women who are married off to the men from opposing tribes as way to bring about peace.

Alcoholic beverage that was staple during Anglo Saxon times. The mead-hall evolved around the drink and became the center of the community.

Name for the king, who gave gifts of gold rings and other treasures as prizes to deserving warriors.

The afterlife for the Anglo-Saxon people. In Valhalla, warriors battle all day and feast all night.

Word meaning secret; early form of writing used during the Anglo Saxon period. These symbols were usually inscribed on weapons and armor and included magical charms.

War banner given to a hero after a great victory or buried with a great king as a tribute into the Afterlife.
Beowulf the King

Created By Judith Mathieu,
Nancy Azcona,

Last Modified: March 21, 2004