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Useful phrases in Old English

A collection of useful phrases in Old English, a Germanic language that was spoken in England from about the 5th to the 11th century.

You can see them in many other languages by clicking on the English versions.

Key to abbreviations: frm = formal, inf = informal, sg = singular (said to one person), pl = plural (said to more than one person).

English Ænglisc (Old English)
Welcome Welcumen
(General greeting)
How are you? Hū eart þū?
Reply to 'How are you?' Fægere þancung, ond þū?
Long time no see Lang fierst besēað nā
What's your name? Hwā ēower nama īs?
My name is ... Mīn nama is ...
Where are you from? Hwiðer eart þū fram?
I'm from ... Ic ear ...
Pleased to meet you Fægen tōgēane þū
Good morning
(Morning greeting)
Gōdne mergen
Good evening
(Evening greeting)
Gōd ǣfen
Good night Gōd nihten
(Parting phrases)
Wes þū hāl
Good luck Gōd hælo
(Toasts used when drinking)
Have a nice day Habbe ān gōd dæg!
Bon appetit /
Have a nice meal
Gōd metesōcn
Bon voyage /
Have a good journey
Gōd fōr
I understand Ic ācnāwan
I don't understand Ic ācnāwan nā
Yes Gea; Giese
Maybe Magon-bēon
I don't know Ic cnāwan nā
Please speak more slowly Ic bidde þē spraec māra slāwlice
Please say that again Ic bidde þē cweðer eft
Please write it down Ic bidde þē āwrīte dun
Do you speak Old English? Spraec thu Ænglisc?
Yes, a little
(reply to 'Do you speak ...?')
Gea, an fea
Speak to me in Old English Sprece tō mec in Ænglisc
How do you say ... in Old English? Hū sægest þy ... in Ænglisc?
Excuse me Forgiefe mec
How much is this? Hū miccle þās is?
Sorry Sārig
Please Āblissian
Thank you Þancung
Reply to thank you Welcumen
Where's the toilet? Hwider meoxhus is?
This gentleman will pay for everything Þās mann sculan fore eale gielde
This lady will pay for everything Þās hlǣfdīge sculan fore eale gielde
Would you like to dance with me? Gelīc þū tō mid mec sealtia?
I miss you Ic lange fore ēow
I love you Ic lufie þē
Get well soon Bēo gesund hraðe
Go away! Gege onweg!
Leave me alone! Forlǣte mec!
Help! Helpe!
Fire! Fȳr!
Stop! Gestille!
Call the police! Hierden angecealle!
Christmas and New Year greetings Blīþe Crīstesmæsse ac Fægen Nīwe Gēar
Easter greetings Fægen Ēastran
Birthday greetings Fægen Borendæg
One language is never enough An geþēode nǣfre genōg is
My hovercraft is full of eels
Why this phrase?
Mīn wandrian-scyf ful ǣlen is

Phrase supplied by Matthew Leigh Embleton

If you would like to make any corrections or additions to this page, or if you can provide recordings, please contact me. You can make recordings on you computer, tablet, phone or other device and email them to me. Audacity is a good, free sound recorder and editor. You can also make them online at, or similar sites.

Information about Old English | Old English phrases | Tower of Babel in Old English | Old English-related books and learning materials


Other collections of Old English phrases English

Phrases in Germanic languages

Afrikaans, Bavarian, Alsatian, Danish, Dutch, Elfdalian, English (British), Faroese, Flemish (West), Frisian (North), Frisian (West), German, Gothic, Icelandic, Low Saxon, Luxembourgish, Norwegian, Old English, Scots, Swedish, Swiss German (Basel dialect), Swiss German (Chur dialect), Swiss German (Lucerne dialect), Yiddish

Phrases in other languages