English words first attested in Chaucer

English words first attested in Chaucer


English words first attested in Chaucer are a set of about two thousand English words that Geoffrey Chaucer is credited as being the first use found today in existing manuscripts.[1][2][3] This does not mean that he was the person to introduce these words into English, but that the earliest extant uses of these words are found in Chaucerian manuscripts.[4][5] The words were already in everyday speech in 14th century England (especially London) and other parts of Europe.[6][7] The claim is that these words are found for the first time in written manuscripts where he introduced them in one of his extensive works from 1374 - 1400 as the first author to use these particular words.[2] Many of Chaucer's special manuscript words from the 14th century are used today:
absent, accident, add, agree, bagpipe, border, box, cinnamon, desk, digestion, dishonest, examination, finally, flute, funeral, galaxy, horizon, infect, ingot, latitude, laxative, miscarry, nod, obscure, observe, outrageous, perpendicular, Persian, princess, resolve, rumour, scissors, session, snort, superstitious, theatre, trench, universe, utility, vacation, Valentine, veal, village, vulgar, wallet, and wildness.[3]


Christopher Cannon, in The Making of Chaucer's English, gives a complete detailed work on the etymology of Chaucer's special manuscript words and references the Middle English Dictionary (MED) definitions and etymology of each of these words.[8] He points out that the MED does not give details on the etymology of many of Chaucer's derived words, including many compounds, some participial adjectives, and most gerunds.[8] Cannon also points out that, while the Oxford English Dictionary lists Chaucer as the first cited author of these words, it also is mostly silent on the etymologies of these particular derived words.[8][9] Cannon furnishes a complete list of Chaucer's special manuscript words with their etymology.[8]

Historian Albert Baugh points out that some of Chaucer's aureate words came from Latin or French origin.[10] Some of Chaucer's aureate words like laureate, mediation, and oriental eventually became a part of everyday English. Baugh points out that the innovations of word development into common speech and everyday usage, such as these Chaucer words, is of considerable interest in the history of style.[11]


Below is a complete list of the 1977 Chaucer's special manuscript words that are first found in the existing manuscripts below as listed in the Oxford English Dictionary as being the first cited author.[9] Some now have different spellings and others are given the "root" word definition.[8] Some of these words are now dated or obsolete.[12] These manuscript words first found written in Chaucer's work, from The Canterbury Tales and other of his publications as shown below, were published in the 14th century.[8][9]

Canterbury Tales General Prologue

The Canterbury Tales is a collection of tales written sometime after 1373, with 'sondry folk' that resemble Boccaccio's stories of The Decameron of fleeing nobles.

acate, affile, alight, ambler, army, arrive, bagpipe, begster, borax, bourdon, bracer, bream, cape, ceruse, chape, clasp, cordial, dagger, debtless, digestible, dormant, Flandrish, foot-mantle, foster, gaud, hostelry, householder, in, jingle, knob, licentiate, line, luce, magic, magician, marrowbone, mercenary, miscarry, moral, pardoner, parvis, patent, perse, session, significavit, stew, wallet, whistling

The Miller's Tale

The Miller's Tale is told by a drunken miller to "quite" (requite) The Knight's Tale. The word "quite" here means to make repayment for a service - telling stories.

almagest, bragget, chant, cinnamon, fart, forge, haunch-bone, interrogation, keek, kneading, kneading-trough, lab, mislie, out, pearl, Pilate, piping, shelf, slumber, swive, tub, very, vere, watchet

The Reeve's Tale

The Reeve's Tale is about a manager of a large estate who made large profits. This tale is based on Boccaccio's sixth story in The Decameron.

bodkin, bolt, chime, derere, easement, grass time, halfway, jossa, messuage, mullock, popper, quack, sack, Sheffield, thick and thin, varnish

The Cook's Tale

From the first page of Canterbury Tales: The Wife of Bath's Tale [13]

The Cook's Tale is a tale of an apprentice named Perkins who is fond of drinking and dancing. He ultimately is released from his master and moves in with a friend. This friend's wife is a prostitute. The story becomes more 'seedy', continuing the downward trend of the preceding tales.

bribe, convertible, galliard, Harry, Hodge, louke, prenticehood

The Man of Law's Tale

The Man of Law's Tale is a story about a Christian princess named Constance. She is to marry a Syrian Sultan on condition that he convert to Christianity. His mother gets involved and sets her adrift at sea.

constabless, crone, dilatation, erect, femininity, feminity, man of law, mortally, motive, muse, peace, seriously, victorious, wrack

The Wife of Bath's Tale

The Wife of Bath's Tale is a tale about marriage. Scholars have associated this story as one of the so-called "marriage group" of Chaucer tales.

annex, ascendant, ba, bum, bumble, caterwaul, chose, disfigure, Ecclesiast, inclination, lure, Martian, peace, preamble, preambulation, resemblance, reveller, sip, spaniel, squire, stubborn, taur, vacation

The Friar's Tale

The Friar's Tale is a satirical attack on the profession as a summoner.

approver, bribe, bribery, determinate, flattering, foal, rebeck

The Summoner's Tale

The Summoner's Tale is a tale in defense of the satirical attack by the Friar.

acceptable, chirt, dagon, demoniac, demonstrative, Dives, equally, pismire, reverberation, spence, swarm, tip, trip

The Clerk's Tale

Decamaron prologue,[14] Boccaccio

The Clerk's Tale is the story of Griselda, a young woman whose husband tests her loyalty.

amble, archwife, Chichevache, constant, dishonest, frowning, gaze, laureate, marquisess, mazedness, proem

The Merchant's Tale

The Merchant's Tale reflects Boccaccio's Decameron seventh day in his ninth tale. Chaucer's tale is a sexually explicit story.

a-noon, arc, bedstraw, brotelness, court-man, crake, hippocras, houndfish, ordinate, preen, Priapus, procreation, skink, sole, struggle, superlative, veal, vernage, visage

The Squire's Tale

The Squire's Tale is a tale of the Squire who is the Knight's son. The tale is an epic romance about a novice warrior and lover with more enthusiasm than experience. It is quite explicit and descriptive.

albe, digestion, exaltation, feastly, heronsew, Pegasus, peregrine, plumage, poleyn, prolixity, prospection, prospective, resound, serve, Tartar, Tatar, trench, trill, trill

The Franklin's Tale

The Franklin's Tale focuses on issues of providence, truth, and generosity. A franklin was a medieval landowner.

alnath, Armorica, arrayed, begged, begeth, collect, considering, declination, desk, equation, expanse, falconer, faring, Nowell, opposition, Parnassus, proportional, rigour, superstitious

The Physician's Tale

The Physician's Tale is a domestic drama about the relationship between a daughter and her father.

award, definitive, notable, vicar general

The Pardoner's Tale

From the first page of Canterbury Tales The Knight's Tale [15]

The Pardoner's Tale is a tale in the form of a moral example.

bet, cinque, cinq, clink, corny, corpus, domination, envelop, fen, Galianes, policy, rioter, saffron, sane, village

The Shipman's Tale

The Shipman's Tale is similar to some of Boccaccio's stories in his Decameron and tells the story of a stingy merchant, his greedy wife and her lover.

creance, porteous, score

The Prioress's Tale

The Prioress's Tale story is of a child martyr killed by Jews.

outcry, sold

Tale of Sir Topas

Tale of Sir Topas is a self-portrait of Chaucer in an unflattering and humble manner. He presents himself as a reserved awkward person.

amble, piercing, poppet

The Knight's Tale

The Knight's Tale introduces many typical aspects of knighthood such as courtly love and moral issues.

alan, attourne, breastplate, broid, buckle, cerrial, chaas, Circe, citrine, clottered, collared, execute, expel, expulsive, feminie, fluttery, funeral, gigge, holm, howl, huntress, intellect, kemp, lacing, laxative, Lucina, melancholic, menacing, mishap, mortal, mover, murmur, murmuring, muzzle, naker, narcotic, nymph, obsequy, obstacle, opie, opposite, oyez, parament, party, perturb, pharmacy, plain, portraiture, possibility, princess, progression, refuge, renting, returning, save, saving, serie, shouting, smiler, strangle, strangling, tester, thoroughfare, turret, vanishing, variation, vital, vomit, whippletree, winged

The Tale of Melibee

The Tale of Melibee is an intentionally boring tale.

accidental, accomplish, annoyful, anoyful, arbitration, blameful, brigue, chincher, chinchery, commit, counterwait, damnably, desiring, edifice, especial, estable, examination, examining, formal, garnison, hotchpotch, information, mishappy, persevere, pertinent, retain, withholding

The Monk's Tale

The Monk's Tale is a collection of seventeen short stories on the theme of tragedy. These are of Lucifer, Adam, Samson, Hercules, Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, Zenobia, Pedro of Castile, Peter I of Cyprus, Bernabò Visconti, Ugolino of Pisa, Nero, Holofernes, Antiochus, Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar and Croesus. The Monk's Tale De Casibus Virorum Illustrium of these illustrious men is modeled after Boccaccio's De Casibus Virorum Illustrium of illustrious men.

afear, annunciate, appurtenant, armless, centaur, Cerberus, clubbed, consecrate, conspiracy, contributary, cursedly, customance, custumance, hexameter, humblehede, importable, leonine, lim-rod, misery, misgovernance, monster, morality, Occident, orient, officer, Persian, pompous, precept, proverb, Septentrion, size, sperm

The Nun's Priest's Tale

The Nun's Priest's Tale of the Cock and the Hen, Chanticleer and Partlet poem is a vigorous and comical beast fable and mock epic.

aha, apoplexy, catapuce, centaury, cholera, chuck, clinking, cottage, digestive, embattled, fortunate, fumitory, herb Ive, jade, jet, laureole, poop, reverse, tame, tiptoe

The Second Nun's Tale

The Second Nun's Tale tells the story of Saint Cecilia.

chasteness, eternal, noble, oppose, oppress, outer, preface, prefect, proceed, rote, soul, trine

The Canon's Yeoman's Tale

The Canon's Yeoman's Tale is an attack on alchemists.

ablution, amalgam, ammoniac, argol, arsenic, blunder, bole, calcination, calcining, cered, chalk-stone, citrination, clergial, coagulate, corrosive, crude, cucurbit, elixir, fermentation, fusible, gris, hayne, hazelwood, induration, ingot, introduction, lamp, luna, lunary, magnesia, malleable, mollification, orpiment, pellitory, porphyry, proffered, prowl, rap, rehearsal, relent, rosary, sal, sluttish, sol, sublime, sublimed, tartar, test, vitriol

The Manciple's Tale

The Manciple's Tale is a story of a purchasing agent for a law court telling a fable about Phoebus Apollo and his pet crow.

affect, bottle, cock, nod, palled, python, rackleness, textual, titleless

The Book of the Duchess

The Book of the Duchess is a poem on the death of Blanche, Duchess of Lancaster and the first wife of John of Gaunt.

aside, bagge, bear

A page from c.1440 manuscript of Canterbury Tales Romaunt of Rose [17]

The Parson's Tale

The Parson's Tale is a prose treatise on virtuous living.

annoyance, appertain, ardour, ardor, arrogant, barring, bending, castle, closure, clotheless, consideration, contract, contumacy, create, curiousness, cutted, dedicate, departed, dishonesty, durable, elation, embracing, emprise, eschew, furring, gabber, hernia, homicide, homily, hostler, humiliation, impudent, manslaughter, material, mistrest, mortification, mystery, natural law, nigromancian, observe, ordure, ours, paling, parting, pax, perdurable, performing, platly, pounced, pouncing, raffle, replenish, retraction, slumbery, somnolence, springer, sticking, strangeness, sustenant, talker, thunderclap, total, trey, uncharitably

Parlement of Foules

The Parliament of Fowls is a love poem associated with Valentine's Day. Many claim Chaucer is the mythmaker of the concept as we know it today.[18]

abstinent, bedside, blossomed, cackling, Cupid, disfigurate, dishevel, disobeisant, entitle, facund, formel, formal, horologe, messagery, mirthless, tercel, tiercel, tercelet, tiercelet, uncommitted, untressed, valence, Valentine, west

The Romaunt of the Rose

The Romaunt of the Rose is an allegorical dream, in which the narrator receives advice from the god of love on gaining his lady's favor, her love being symbolized by a rose.

absent, communably, forwelk, fresh, fur, galantine, guerdon, habit, householding, jacounce, jagounce, jargon, jocund, lambskin, lightsome, lozenge, mansuete, masonry, mavis, medlar, mendicity, mendience, miscoveting, misway, mourning black, muid, nock, non-certain, obscure, overgilt, outwine, outstretch, outsling, palasin, papelardy, par coeur, parochial, patter, praise, prill, prime temps, Proteus, quail-pipe, racine, ravisable, recreandise, refraining, reft, resemblable, return, reverie, ribanding, rideled, riverside, roin, roinous, rose-leaf, sailour, Sarsenish, satin, savorous, scutcheon, seemlihead, shutting, slitter, smallish, snort, squirrel, suckeny, tassel, terin, thick-set, thread, timbester, tissue, tress, tretis, villainsly, volage, waterside, well-arrayed, well begone, well beseen, well-fed, wyndre

The House of Fame

The House of Fame is a love poem based on works by Ovid and Virgil. The allegorical poem consists of a dream that journeys to two temples, The House of Fame and The House of Rumour which are various aspects of truth and falsehood.

accustomance, check, act, agreeable, airish, appearance, arrivage, arrival, assail, babery, blaze, burned, cadence, casually, celestial, clarion, congealed, conservative, corbet, cornemuse, covercle, crowding, dear-bought, desesperat, dissimulation, doucet, dowset, ducat, duration, encumbrous, existence, feminine, fouldre, fumigation, galaxy, gig, greenish, harmony, Hebraic, herald, herd-groom, herewithal, humble, inclined, inclining, intermeddle, lee, lilting, masty, Milky Way, minstrelly, misgovernment, ray, renovelance, rumble, scissors, signal, spring, stellify, sorceress, sweynt, syllable, tewel, tuel, tinned, unshut, upper


Boece is Chaucer's work derived from The Consolation of Philosophy, a Latin work originally written by the Roman Christian philosopher Boethius around A.D. 524.

abashing, accordable, add, address, adjection, adjoust, adjudge, administer, admonishing, admonition, agreeability, agreeably, albeit, alien, all-utterly, amenuse, amenusing, amoved, annoying, annoyously, anointed, arbitry, Arcturus, ardent, armourer, asperness, assigned, astoning, attaste, attemper, attemperance, attention, auster, autumn, awaiter, beholder, bespot, betiding, biting, blandishing, blissfulness, border, byname, Caurus, cavern, celebrable, centre, center, coemption, coetern, commonality, commove, complish, compotent, compound, comprend, compress, conject, conjoin, conjunction, conjuration, consequent, conservation, consular, contagious, continuation, contrary, convenient, corollary, corrige, Corybant, credible, declaring, decreet, defeat, definish, delicate, delie, delye, deluge, demonstration, despoiling, destinable, destinal, differing, disarm, discording, discourse, disincrease, disordinance, dispensation, dispense, dissolve, distempre, distrait, divide, divination, division, dull, durability, during, eager, echinus, egality,

A page from original manuscript of
Anelida and Arcite [19]

empoisoning, emprent, enbaissing, enchafe, enchantress, encharge, endamage, endark, enduring, enhance, enlace, ensampler, entach, entech, entalent, environing, eschaufe, establish, estimation, eternity, everyday, eve-star, evidently, exceed, exempt, exerce, exercitation, exiling, fellness, fellowship, felonous, festivally, fleeing, flitting, fluttering, foleye, forline, formly, fortuit, fortunel, fortunous, frounce, furthest, gaping, gastness, geometrian, ginner, gizzard, glaring, glow, governail, guerdon, guideress, habitacule, habitation, harmfully, henter, Hesperus, hider, honeyed, honied, hustlement, hydra, ignorant, imaginable, immovability, immovable, impair, imperial, impetre, imply, imposition, imprint, inconvenient, indifferently, indignation, inestimable, infect, infinity, infirm, inhabit, interchanging, intercommuning, interlace, interminable, jangling, jaw, jointure, knower, lash, leecher, lost, luxure, manifest, Marmaric, marvelling, marveling, meanly, misdrawing, misknowing, miswandering, movability, mowing, mutable, necess, nilling, orphelin, overlight, over-swift, overthrowing, overwhelve, perdurability, plungy, poetical, porism, portionable, presentary, previdence, pronouncer, proportionable, purveyable, reasoning, reddy, redoubt, reduce, remount, rending, replenished, replication, requirable, resist, resolve, resounding, resounding, rhetorian, roil, roundness, rower, rumour, sarplier, scaping, scorkle, semblable, senatory, sensibility, sensible, shadowy, showing, similitude, simplicity, singler, Sirius, skilling, slaked, slead, smoking, smoothness, stadie, starlight, starry, speculation, Stoician, suasion, submit, summit, superfice, supply, sway, sweller, tempest, theatre, theater, thenceforth, thunderer, thunderlight, tragedian, tragedy, tranquillity, transport, troublabla, tumbling, twitter, two-footed, unagreeable, unassayed, unbetide, unbowed, uncovenable, undepartable, undiscomfited, undoubtous, uneschewable, unexercised, ungentle, unhoped, universal, universality, universality, unleeful, unmovablety, unparegal, unperegal, unpiteous, unpiteous, unplight, unplite, unraced, unscience, unsolemn, unstanchable, unstanched, untreatable, unusage, unweened, unwit, unworshipful, unwrap, upheaping, used, variant, vengeress, voluntarily, weening, weeply, withinforth, witnessfully, wood

Anelida and Arcite

Anelida and Arcite is a retelling of an old Roman story previously written by Boccaccio.

assure, awaiting, causeless, chair, chantepleure, crampish, crookedly, desolate, doubleness, ecliptic, excuse, lowly, sound, subtile, Theban, whaped, unfeigned, whaped, womanhead

Troilus and Criseyde

Troilus and Criseyde is a story from Boccaccio's Il Filostrato.

abbetting, abusion, accident, accord, accusement, adieu, adorn, adverse, advertence, advocary, a-game, agree, alembic, aloud, alter, ambassador, appoint, argument, alite, ambage, amphilbology, argument, Aries, a-root, asfast, askance, asper, aspre, astrologer, atrede, attendance, attrition, atwixt, audience, augury, avaunter, await, bawdry, bay, beblot, befalling, benignity, bestiality, betrend, beware, blossomy, bounteous, burn, bypath, calculing, captive, casual, childishly, chittering, circle, circumscrive, collateral, combust, comedy, complain, complete, conceit, concord, conserve, consolation, constraint, continuance, convers, counterpoise, cramp, crow's foot, cumber-world, curation, dart, defeit, defet, define, deliber, deliberation, derring do, desespeir, desesperance, desesperaunce, determine, digression, direct, disadvance, disadventure, disblame, disconsolate, discordable, discordant, disdainous, disjoint, dispone, disport, disposition, disseverance, dissimule, distil, distill, disturn, divineress, dulcarnon, embassador, enchant, enterpart, entune, erratic, estately, estrange, exchange, excusable, execute, executrice, expert, eyed, faithed, farewell, fatal, fate, faun, feasting, fervently, fetching, finally, firmly, fix, forbysen, forlose, forpass, fury, future, gaure, goodlihead, good night, goosish, governance, graceless, groof, grufe, guide, half-god, hardiment, hawking, heinous, hemisphere, herdess, heroner, hollowness, homecoming, horizon, howne, humbly, hust, immortal, impression, increase, in-eche, infernal, influence, infortune, inhelde, inhielde, injure, inknit, intendment, interchange, intercommune, janglery, jeopard, Jove, jumper, just, kankedort, knotless, let-game, lethargy, liberty, lign-aloes, loadstar, lodestar, martial, mask, melodious, misaccount, misconstrue, misforgive, mislived, mismeter, molest, muck, mucker, munch, mutability, natal, native, new, nouriture, occidental, oriental, ounded, outring, overcarve, over-haste, over-rede, palaceward, palaceward, palaestrial, parody, peoplish, philosophical, phrenetic, plumb rule, pole arctic, predestiny, pregnant, Progne, proverb, qualm, racket, rackle, railed, refigure, refrain, refreid, reheting, reprehension, repression, resistence, resort, resport, return, revoke, Robin, rootless, rosy, royal, ruin, safeguard, saluing, sand, satyr, scrivenliche, secondly, sentiment, shapely, signifer, sling-stone, slink, sliver, snowish, soar, sob, space, strangely, subtilty, sugared, sunnish, surplus, supprise, teary, tempestous, testy, thriftily, thrifty, trance, transitory, transmew, trapdoor, tremor, unapt, unbody, unbridled, unbroided, uncircumscript, undeserved, unespied, unfeelingly, unhappily, universe, unkissed, unlikeliness, unlove, unmanhood, unnest, unprayed, unsheathe, unsitting, unswell, unthrifty, untied, untormented, untroth, unwist, urn, vapour, verre, vetch, virtueless, voidee, voluptuous, vulgarly, vulture, wantrust, weak, well-shapen, well-willy, wester, wieldy, womanhood, womanish, wrongfully, yfled, yold, yolden

The Legend of Good Women

The Legend of Good Women is a dream vision love poem.

accompass, adulation, agrote, angel-like, angrily, appete, appetite, arguing, bedote, bench, betraising, bleeding, box, bridled, browd, clift, complaining, countryward, crinkled, distain, during, emboss, ensure, eternally, everything, famous, father-in-law, felicity, figuring, fingering, fleuron, forgiving, foundation, fret, gledy, graciousness, imagining, infinite, joining, knightly, lure, Mantuan, paper-white, penful, presenting, radevore, reclaiming, renownee, ruled, seemliness, skirmishing, stately, storial, subtilly, subtilely, tidife, tidive, tuteler, toteler, virelay, well, wifehood

Treatise on the Astrolabe

Treatise on the Astrolabe is Chaucer's scientific paper of clearer definitions on how to use the Astrolabe, an astronomical instrument.

adding, aline, almanac, almucantar, almury, altitude, Arabic, Arctic, arm-hole, Arsechieles tables, azimuth, calculer, Capricorn, coldness, compilator, concentric, couching, crepuscule, cross-line, denticle, depression, descension, direct, distant, elevate, elevation, elongation, embelif, epicycle, equal, equator, equinox, fraction, Gemini, gerful, Greek, half-ebb, hence-forthward, indeterminate, intercept, introductory, latitude, line-right, longitude, lop-web, meridian, perpendicular, possibly, precedent, rete, retrograde, right angle, scale, Scorpio, second, septentrional, site, solid, solsticion, succedent, Taurus, tortuous, tropic, unstrange, usward, utility, vulgar

Miscellaneous poems

Below are words first attested to in his miscellaneous poems.

  • An ABC
A page from original manuscript of
Balade to Rosemounde [20]
  • Balade to Rosemounde
  • Chaucers Wordes unto Adam, His Owne Scriveyn
  • Complaint to His Lady
  • Fortune
  • Gentilesse
  • Lak of Stedfastnesse
  • Lenvoy de Chaucer a Scogan
  • Lenvoy de Chaucer a Bukton
  • Proverbs
  • The Complaint unto Pity
  • The Complaint of Chaucer to his Purse
  • The Complaint of Mars
  • The Complaint of Venus
  • The Former Age
  • The Truth
  • Womanly Noblesse

accumbrous, advocatrice, ancille, artillery, aspen, benevolence, besprent, blaspheme, blasphemer, cannel-bone, carrack, carack, cart-wheel, castigation, causer, collusion, comeliness, complaint, confeder, convict, coverter, craze, create, dapple-grey, delicacy, desespeire, desperation, distrouble, down, dullness, dulness, emboss, enfortune, enlumine, entune, envoy, envy, errant, eterne, fattish, fawn, feigned, fers, fickleness, fleshy, flute, forloin, fortune, fortuned, furious, gere, glazing, half-word, hearse, Hercules, humblesse, inconstance, interess, jane, knack, lake, lambish, lancegay, leer, likeliness, limer, litster, lustihead, meet, midpoint, overstrew, prose, rechase, resign, royalty, scant, seeming, solein, solitude, sore, sough, sturdily, suffisance, suing, surmount, sweaty, tall, Tantalus, tapet, Tartary, tickleness, tongued, traitress, traitoress, Turkey, tyranny, uncorven, uncoupling, unforged, ungrubbed, unsown, weld, well-faring, well-founded, whirling, wildly, wildness


Below are some of the words first found in Chaucer's manuscripts that we use today and how they were used in his poems in the 14th century.














































Milky Way
















thick and thin



Middle English usage

Suffrance suffreth swetely alle the anoyaunces

whan she approched to jhesu Crist

Som wikke aspect or disposicioun

And been a beggere; heere may I nat dwelle

Gooth with a sencer on the haliday

He of Centaures layde the boast adoun

For if I wolde selle my bele chose

My faire bryd, my sweete cynamome?

His nose was heigh, his eyen bright citryn

And was to God Almighty consecrate

Heere bihoveth the consideracioun of the grace Of jhesu crist

Ful privily hath made conspiracie Against this Julius

whan the soule is put in oure body, Right anon is contract original synne

And Al be it so that God hath creat alle thynges In right ordre

Shal nat departe from his hous

That every part dirryveth from his hool

Hadde prively upon his desk ylaft

The norice of digestioun, the sleep

She sholde tellen of his disfigure.

ne swereth nat so synfully in dismembrynge of crist by soule

Moost displesant to crist, and moost adversarie.

Now comth the synne of double-tonge

Remoeven harmes and to han thynges espiritueel and durable

For he was neigh his exaltacioun

That executeth in the world over al

Of fartyng, and of speche daungerous.

He leet the feeste of his nativitee

How wonnen was the regne of femenye

That in his forge smythed plough harneys

Putte in the fyr of funeral servyse

See yonder, lo, the galaxyë

Of sixe feet, which men clepe examétron

Of worldly shame? certes, an horrible homicide.

Shrighte emelye, and howleth palamon

Nat sory of his humiliacioun.

With bowe in honde, right as an hunteresse

He hadde yboght hym knedyng tubbes thre

And myn office is ful laborous

Fraunceys petrak, the lauriat poete

Vomyt upward, ne dounward laxatif.

With empty hand men may none haukes lure.

In al the lond magicien was ther non

By manasynge of mars, right by figure.

He was a shepherde and noght a mercenarie.

Which men clepeth the Milky Wey

And folwed hym with mosel faste ybounde

And saluces this noble contree highte.

The nymphs, the fauns, the hamadryades

Jhesu Crist and his freendes observede to shewen in hir lyve.

outrageous wratthe dooth al that evere the devel hym comaundeth

and it shal be To Meedes and to Perses geven

To the and to the, philosophical Strode

As wel of plumage as of gentillesse

Though that she were a queene or a princesse

That all the wode resouned of hire cry.

Withoute rasour or sisoures

At sessiouns ther was he lord and sire

I woot wel, for to sore As doth an hauk

Ther nys no thyng in gree superlatyf

Of swich a supersticiuos cursednesse.

thurgh thikke and thurgh thenne.

Whan he hadde leyser and vacacioun

His walet lay biforn hym in his lappe

Modern English usage

Tolerance suffers sweetly all the annoyances

when she approached Jesus Christ

Some evil disposition or aspect

And be a beggar; here I cannot dwell

Went with a censer on the holy day

Of centaurs laid he all the boastings down

For if I would go peddle my belle chose

My cinnamon, my fair bird, my sweetie

His nose was high, his eyes a bright citrine

And was to God Almighty consecrated

here it behooves one to give consideration to the grace of Jesus Christ

Full secretly did lay conspiracy Against this Julius

when the soul is put into a body, immediately is contracted original sin

And though it be that God has created all things in right order

Will not depart from his house

That every part derives but from the whole

Which book he'd privately on his desk left

The nurse of good digestion, natural sleep

She'd tell of his disfigurement impure.

swear not so sinfully, thus dismembering Christ by soul

this sin is most displeasing to Christ, and most hateful.

Now comes the sin of the double-tongued

removal of evils and to obtain things spiritual and durable

For he was near his exaltation

That executes in this world, and for all

Of farting and of language haughtyish.

He let the feast of his nativity

Was gained the realm of Femininity

Who in his smithy forged plow parts

Lighted the sacred funeral fire

lo, see yonder the galaxy

In six feet, which men call hexameter

Certainly, such a one is called a horrible homicide.

Shrieked Emily and howled now Palamon

not sorry for his humiliation.

With bow in hand, like any right huntress

Procured these kneading-tubs, or beer-vats, three

My job is most laborious

Francis Petrarch, the laureate poet

By vomiting or taking laxative

With empty hand men may no falcons lure

In all that land magician was there none

The menacing of Mars, in likeness sure

He was a shepherd and not mercenary.

which men call the Milky Way

And so they followed him, with muzzles bound

Saluzzo is this noble region bright.

The nymphs, the fauns, the hamadryades

Jesus Christ and His friends observed in their lives.

outrageous wrath does all that the Devil orders

and it shall be To Medes and Persians given now

and to you, philosophical Strode

As well of plumage as of nobleness

Although she be a queen or a princess

rill all the wood resounded mournfully.

not the kind with razor or scissors

At county sessions was he lord and sire

I have no cause to soar like a hawk

There is no pleasure so superlative

Of such a superstitious wickedness.

through thick and thin.

When he had leisure and took some vacation

His wallet lay before him in his lap

Poem and estimated year it came out

The Parson's Tale, c. 1386[21]

The Parson's Tale, c. 1386 [21]

The Knight's Tale, c. 1385[21]

The Franklin's Tale, c. 1386[21]

The Miller's Tale, c. 1386[21]

The Monk's Tale, c. 1375[21]

Wife of Bath's Tale, c. 1386[21]

The Miller's Tale, c. 1386[21]

The Knight's Tale, c. 1386[21]

The Monk's Tale, c. 1375[21]

The Parson's Tale, c. 1386[21]

The Monk's Tale, c. 1386[21]

The Parson's Tale, c. 1386[21]

The Parson's Tale, c. 1386[21]

The Parson's Tale, c. 1386[21]

The Knight's Tale, c. 1385[21]

The Franklin's Tale, c. 1386[21]

The Squire's Tale, c. 1395[21]

Wife of Bath's Tale, c. 1386[21]

The Parson's Tale, c. 1386[21]

The Parson's Tale, c. 1386[21]

The Parson's Tale, c. 1386[21]

The Parson's Tale, c. 1386[21]

The Squire's Tale, c. 1386[21]

The Knight's Tale, c. 1385[21]

The Miller's Tale, c. 1386[21]

The Squire's Tale, c. 1386[21]

The Knight's Tale, c. 1385[21]

The Miller's Tale, c. 1386[21]

The Knight's Tale, c. 1385[21]

The House of Fame, c. 1380[22]

The Monk's Tale, c. 1375[21]

The Parson's Tale, c. 1386[21]

The Knight's Tale, c. 1386[21]

The Parson's Tale, c. 1386[21]

The Knight's Tale, c. 1385[21]

The Miller's Tale, c. 1386[21]

The Friar's Tale, c. 1386[21]

The Clerk's Tale, c. 1386[21]

The Knight's Tale, c. 1385[21]

Wife of Bath's Tale, c. 1386[21]

The Monk's Tale, c. 1375[21]

The Knight's Tale, c. 1385[21]

Canterbury Prologue, c. 1387[22]

The House of Fame, c. 1384[22]

The Knight's Tale, c. 1385[21]

The Clerk's Tale, c. 1395[21]

The Knight's Tale, c. 1385[21]

The Parson's Tale, c. 1386[21]

The Parson's Tale, c. 1386[21]

The Monk's Tale, c. 1375[21]

Troilus and Criseyde, c. 1374[22]

The Squire's Tale, c. 1395[21]

The Knight's Tale, c. 1385[21]

The Squire's Tale, c. 1395[21]

The House of Fame, c. 1384[21]

Canterbury Prologue, c. 1386[22]

Troilus and Criseyde, c. 1374[22]

The Merchant's Tale, c. 1386[21]

The Franklin's Tale, c. 1386[21]

The Reeve's Tale, c. 1386[21]

Wife of Bath's Tale, c. 1386[21]

Canterbury Prologue, c. 1387[21]

See also


  1. ^ Cannon, p. 129
  2. ^ a b Cannon, pp. 231-233
  3. ^ a b Vivian Cook. "Chaucer’s words". http://homepage.ntlworld.com/vivian.c/Words/Chaucersnewwords.htm. Retrieved 2010-02-28. 
  4. ^ Cannon, pp. 226-230
  5. ^ Phelan, pp. 61-70
  6. ^ Baugh, pp. 193-4
  7. ^ Fisher, pp. 7-8
  8. ^ a b c d e f Cannon, 224-460
  9. ^ a b c Simpson, Weiner, et al, The Oxford English Dictionary. According to the Library of Congress for those that have academic library subscribing to the OED, here are the steps you can use to find such a list of words:
    • Once you are in the OED Online, select "Simple Search" found at the bottom of the screen.
    • Enter the word Chaucer in the box on the upper left of the screen where it says Search for
    • For the next box below labeled "in," use the pull-down arrow and click on "first cited author."
    • Most Universities and Colleges and many large public libraries have OED Online where the reference librarian can give you a listing.
    • The listing output shows Chaucer's works where he is cited as the first cited author of these words and the year the work was published.
  10. ^ Baugh, pp. 186
  11. ^ Baugh, p. 186
  12. ^ Cannon, p. 232
  13. ^ The Wife of Bath's Prologue
  14. ^ Medieval Sourcebook: Boccaccio: The Decameron - Introduction
  15. ^ The Knight's Tale Prologue
  16. ^ "award" - The Physician's Tale, line 202 This man shall have his slave, as my award.
    ^ "praise" - The Romaunt of The Rose, line 6930 I praise nothing whatever they see.
  17. ^ The Romaunt of the Rose
  18. ^ Oruch, Jack B., "St. Valentine, Chaucer, and Spring in February," Speculum, 56 (1981): 534–65. Oruch's survey of the literature finds no association between Valentine and romance prior to Chaucer. He concludes that Chaucer is likely to be "the original mythmaker in this instance." Colfa.utsa.edu - "St. Valentine, Chaucer, and Spring in February." Chaucer as Valentine mythmaker
  19. ^ Geoffrey Chaucer (14th century). "Anelida and Arcite". Wikisource. http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Anelida_and_Arcite. Retrieved 2010-02-28. 
  20. ^ Geoffrey Chaucer (14th century). "Balade to Rosemounde". Wikisource. http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Balade_to_Rosemounde. Retrieved 2010-02-28. 
  21. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be Geoffrey Chaucer (1386). "Classic Literature - The Canterbury Tales". Canterbury Tales. About.com Classic Literature. http://classiclit.about.com/library/bl-etexts/gchaucer/bl-gchau-can-genpro.htm. Retrieved March 11, 2010. 
  22. ^ a b c d e f Geoffrey Chaucer (1374-1395). "Chaucer in the Twenty-First Century". various poems. eChaucer, Chaucer in the Twenty-First Century. http://www.umm.maine.edu/faculty/necastro/chaucer/index.html. Retrieved March 11, 2010. 


  • Baugh, Albert Croll, A History of the English Language, Prentice-Hall 1978, London. ISBN 0-13-389239-5.
  • Brown, Peter, A companion to Chaucer, Wiley-Blackwell, 2002. ISBN 0-631-23590-6.
  • Burnley, David, A guide to Chaucer's language, Macmillan, 1983. ISBN 0-333-33532-5.
  • Cannon, Christopher, The making of Chaucer's English: a study of words, Cambridge UP, 1998. ISBN 0-521-59274-7.
  • Chaucer, Geoffrey, The works of Geoffrey Chaucer, Macmillan, 1898.
  • Chaucer, Geoffrey, The Complete Works of Geoffrey Chaucer: The house of fame, The legend of good women , Editor: Walter William Skeat. Clarendon, 1894.
  • Cousin, John W., A short biographical dictionary of English literature, Babylon Dreams, 1910. ISBN 1-60303-696-2.
  • Davis, Norman, A Chaucer Glossary, Clarendon, 1979. ISBN 0-19-811171-1.
  • Elliott, Ralph Warren Victor, Chaucer's English, Deutsch, 1974. ISBN 0-233-96539-4.
  • Fisher, John H., The emergence of standard English, UP of Kentucky, 1996. ISBN 0-8131-0852-7.
  • Gardner, John, Life and Times of Chaucer, Barnes & Noble, 1999. ISBN 0-7607-1281-6.
  • Gosse, Edmund, English literature : an illustrated record , Heinemann, 1906.
  • Horobin, Simon, Chaucer's language, Palgrave Macmillan, 2007. ISBN 1-4039-9356-4.
  • Langer, William Leonard, An encyclopedia of world history, ancient, medieval and modern ..., Volume 1, Houghton Mifflin, 1948.
  • Lee, Sir Sidney, Dictionary of national biography, Smith, Elder, 1903.
  • Phelan, Walter S., The Study of Chaucer's Vocabulary, Computers and the Humanities, Vol. 12, No. 1/2, Medieval Studies and the Computer, 1978.
  • Stearns, Peter N., The Encyclopedia of world history: ancient, medieval, and modern , Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2001. ISBN 0-395-65237-5.
  • Tatlock, John S. P., The Development and Chronology of Chaucer's Works, BiblioBazaar, 2009. ISBN 1-110-65731-5.
  • Simpson, J. A., Weiner, E. S. C., The Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition, Oxford UP, 1989, Reprinted 1991. ISBN 0-19-861186-2.
  • Wallace, David, Giovanni Boccaccio, Decameron, Cambridge UP, 1991. ISBN 0-521-38851-1.

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