Archaic case & gender/Dictionary

From The Anglish (Anglisc) Wiki

The following is a list of nouns. Proper nouns are not included here.

Generally, a noun's declension can be deduced with the gender and the nominative plural given. The basic rules are:

  1. If a noun is masculine and has an -s plural, then the genitive singular uses -s.
  2. If a noun is masculine and has an -en plural, then the genitive singular is uninflected.
  3. If a noun is feminine, then it is uninflected in the genitive singular and uses -en for the plural.
  4. If a noun is neuter, then it is inflected like a masculine with an -s plural (with a number of exceptions such as eye and ear).
  5. If the plural shows fricative voicing, then the genitive singular shows fricative voicing as well.
  6. All nouns, regardless of gender, use -en for the genitive plural, which is added to the stem of the nominative plural.

How can one find the gender of a compound or a suffixed derivative? The general rules are:

  1. For a compound, the gender is that of the rightmost member of the compound. For example, the gender of fireman is masculine because man is masculine, and the gender of workbook is feminine because book is feminine.
  2. For a derivative, the gender is that of the suffix. For example, the gender of baker is masculine because -er is a masculine suffix, and the gender of darkness is feminine because -ness is a feminine suffix.

Because it is clear how to find the gender of such words, those words are not included in the list. However, words that are no longer transparent in their formation are included here, e.g., maiden, wedlock.

To keep things simple, all words must be used in current English or attested in Old or Middle English. Any formations originating in Anglish are excluded (of course, one can still find the gender of such words with the guidelines above).

Words[edit]

Here, "native words" are those that are attested in OE. Etymological compounds and derivatives of such are included, as are pre-Conquest borrowings from Latin or French.

Native words
Noun Gender Plural Notes
abb (coarse wool) neuter abbs
abbot masculine abbots
acorn neuter acorns
acre masculine acres
adder (snake) feminine addern From a result of false division (a nadder > an adder).
adle (disease) feminine adlen From OE ādl. Usually a strong feminine in OE.
adze masculine adzen
ail (awn) feminine ailen From OE eġle.
ait (islet) masculine aits The variant eyot appears to have had the ending remodeled after the French diminutive suffix.
alder (tree) masculine alders
alder (parent) masculine alders From OE ealdor. Later ME forms suggest a shortened vowel due to OE inflections such as ealdras.
ale neuter ales
alms feminine almsen
alter (altar) masculine alters Altar is from a later borrowing.
angle (fishhook) masculine angles
anclee (ankle) masculine anclees Ankle is a Norse-influenced form.
anker (ship's anchor) masculine ankers Anchor is a Latin-influenced form.
anker (anchorite) masculine ankern
anlet (face) masculine anleten From OE andwlita.
answer feminine answern
ant feminine anten
ape masculine apes
apple masculine apples
arm (upper limb) masculine arms
armth (poverty) feminine armthen
arrow feminine arrowen
arse, ass (butt) masculine arses, asses
ash (residue) feminine ashen
ash (tree) masculine ashes
ask (lizard) feminine asken
ass (donkey, fool) masculine assen
athel (noble) masculine athels
atheling (prince) masculine athelings
atter (poison) neuter atters
attercop (spider) masculine attercoppen Found in OE as the inflected form ātorcoppan, so it is uncertain whether the word was masculine or feminine. Made masculine here by analogy with spider.
Also found in the shortened form cop (found in an altered form as the first element of cobweb).
auger masculine augers From a result of false division (a nauger > an auger).
aught (estimation, opinion) feminine aughten From OE eaht.
aught (possession, property) feminine aughten From OE ǣht.
ax, axe (tool) feminine axen
ax (axis, axle) feminine axen From OE eax. Axle is from Norse.
axle (shoulder) feminine axlen From OE eaxl.
It is possible for the ending of this word to be mistaken for (or blended in with) the -le suffix, thus making it masculine; in this case, the plural would be axles.
back neuter backs
bale (evil) neuter bales
ball (round object) masculine balls Unattested in OE and possibly a Norse borrowing. Assumed to be masculine because of its cognates in other West Germanic languages.
ban (decree, summons) neuter bans From OE ġebann. The modern meaning of prohibition is from the verb, which originally meant summon, but was influenced by Norse to mean curse (which later led to the sense of prohibit).
bane masculine banen
barley masculine barleys Of uncertain gender in OE. Made masculine here by analogy with bere.
barn (building) neuter barns Etymologically bere-ern (barley-building).
barn (child) neuter barns
barrow (mountain) masculine barrows
barrow (castrated boar) masculine barrows
barrow (vehicle) feminine barrown
bat (club) neuter bats
bath neuter baths Plural with fricative voicing.
baxter (baker) feminine baxtern Originally the feminine equivalent of baker.
beam masculine beams
bead neuter beads From OE bed, gebed.
bean feminine beanen
bear (animal) masculine bears
bear (bier) feminine bearen Bier is a French-influenced form.
beard masculine beards
beaver masculine beavers
bed neuter beds
bee (insect) feminine been
bee (piece of wood) masculine bees From a variant of bigh (bracelet). Now only in nautical use.
beech feminine beechen
beel (fire) neuter beels Bale (as in balefire) is a Norse-influenced form.
beem (trumpet) feminine beemen
beer neuter beers
beetle (insect) masculine beetles
beetle (hammer) masculine beetles
behoof (benefit) masculine behoofs Either masculine or neuter in OE. Made masculine here.
bell feminine bellen
bellow neuter bellows Nominalization of verb.
bellows masculine bellows Unmarked plural.
Originally from a plural form of belly. Sometimes used as a singular (thus a singular made from a plural).
belly masculine bellies
belt masculine belts
bench feminine benchen
bene (boon) feminine benen Boon is a Norse-influenced form.
bend (bond) feminine benden Also a masculine in OE.
Band and bond are Norse-influenced forms.
bend (curve) neuter bends Nominalization of verb.
bere (barley) masculine beres Rhymes with deer.
berrow (grove) masculine berrown From inflected forms of OE bearu.
berry feminine berrien
besom (cleaning broom) masculine besomen
bew (barley) neuter bews From OE bēow.
bid (offer) neuter bids Nominalization of verb.
biddle (beadle) masculine biddles From OE bydel. Beadle is a French-influenced form.
bide (wait, delay) neuter bides Found in OE as bīd (probably neuter).
bie (bend, curve) masculine bies From OE byġe.
bigh (bracelet) masculine bighs
bight (long bend) masculine bights
bin feminine binnen
birch feminine birchen
bird (birth) feminine birden Birth is a Norse-influenced form.
bird (animal) masculine birds
bisen (example) feminine bisenen From OE bȳsen. Rhymes with horizon.
bishop masculine bishops
bit (biting part of a tool) masculine bits
bit (morsel) masculine bitten
bit (bottle, flask) feminine bitten From OE byt.
bitch (female dog) feminine bitchen
bite neuter bites Nominalization of verb.
blade neuter blades
blast masculine blasts
bleach neuter bleaches Nominalization of verb.
blee (color) neuter blees
blink neuter blinks Nominalization of verb.
bliss feminine blissen
blood neuter bloods
bloom (mass of metal) masculine bloomen Bloom meaning flower, blossom is from Norse.
blossom (flower) masculine blossoms
blowth (blossoming) feminine blowthen Made feminine here because of the -th suffix.
blush neuter blushes Nominalization of verb.
boar masculine boars
board neuter boards
boat masculine boats
bode (message) neuter bodes Also a masculine in OE.
Used for forbode (act of forbidding, prohibition).
bode (messenger) masculine bodes
bode (expectation, waiting) feminine boden From OE bād.
Also found in abode.
bodice neuter bodices Originally from a plural form of body (thus a singular made from a plural).
body neuter bodies
bollock masculine bollocks Etymologically ball-ock (a diminutive form). Used mainly in the plural as a vulgar word.
bone neuter bones
book feminine booken Alternative plural: beech (plural with vowel change).
boot (benefit, profit) feminine booten Found in the phrase to boot.
borough (city) feminine boroughen Alternative plural: birry (plural with vowel change).
bottom masculine bottoms
bough masculine boughs
bow (weapon) masculine bown
bow (bending) neuter bows Nominalization of verb.
bower (arbor) masculine bowers
bower (farmer, boor) masculine bowers
box (box tree) neuter boxes Either masculine or neuter in OE. Made neuter here by analogy with tree, which is neuter.
box (container) masculine boxes Either masculine or neuter in OE. Made masculine here.
brain neuter brains
bramble masculine brambles
brass neuter brasses Alternative plural: braze (plural with fricative voicing and historical open-syllable lengthening).
bread (food) neuter breads
bread (breadth) feminine breaden
breadth feminine breadthen Made feminine here because of the -th suffix.
breast neuter breasts A feminine form was also present in OE.
breech masculine breeches Originally the plural of OE brōc. Made masculine by analogy with the synonym arse/ass.
brethel (wretch) masculine brethels Unattested in OE. Made masculine here because of the -el suffix.
brew neuter brews Nominalization of verb.
bride feminine briden
bridal neuter bridals Etymologically bride-ale.
bridge feminine bridgen
bridle masculine bridles
britch (breach) masculine britches Breach is from a later borrowing.
broad feminine broaden
brood feminine brooden
brook (breeches) feminine breech Plural with vowel change.
Breeches is a double plural formed after brook was lost, and breech was felt to be a singular.
brook (small stream) masculine brooks
broom masculine brooms
broth neuter broths
brothel (prostitute) masculine brothels Unattested in OE. Made masculine here because of the -el suffix.
brothel (whorehouse) neuter brothels Short for brothelhouse.
brother masculine brothers, brethren Alternative plural: brether (plural with vowel change).
Brethren is a double plural.
brow feminine browen
buck masculine bucks
build neuter builds Apparently originally an alteration of obsolete bold (building), which was neuter.
building feminine buildingen
bull (animal) masculine bullen The word in OE is attested in the inflected form bulan, which suggests that it was a weak masculine.
bullock masculine bullocks Etymologically bull-ock (a diminutive form).
burden feminine burdenen
burrow feminine burrown From borough in its old meaning of fortification.
bush masculine bushes
business feminine businessen Etymologically busy-ness.
butt masculine butts Unattested in OE. Made masculine here by analogy with the synonym arse/ass.
butter feminine buttern
buttock masculine buttocks
calf neuter calves Plural with fricative voicing.
Alternative plural: calver, calveren (a double plural). Both forms are from Middle English.
camp (battle, struggle) masculine camps Camp meaning encampment is from a later borrowing.
can feminine cannen
candle feminine candlen It is possible for the ending of this word to be mistaken for (or blended in with) the -le suffix, thus making it masculine; in this case, the plural would be candles.
canker (cancer) masculine cankers Cancer is from a later borrowing.
canon (principle) masculine canons
canonic (canon, clergyman) masculine canonics From OE canonic.
care feminine caren
castle (village) neuter castles From OE castel.
Castle meaning fortification is from French and would be masculine.
It is possible for the ending of this word to be mistaken for (or blended in with) the -le suffix, thus making it masculine.
cat feminine catten A masculine form was also present in OE. The word in most other Germanic languages is feminine.
chafer (bug) masculine chafers
chaffer (haggle) feminine chaffern Etymologically cheap-fare (trade-journey).
chalk masculine chalks
chap (man) masculine chaps Originally a shortening of chapman (customer).
chavel (jaw) masculine chavels
cheap (bargain) masculine cheaps The source of the modern adjective.
cheaves (concubine) feminine cheavesen Rhymes with eaves.
chedder (cedar) feminine cheddern Cedar is from a later borrowing.
cheek feminine cheeken
chest feminine chesten
chester (city) feminine chestern Found in placenames such as Winchester.
chettle (kettle) masculine chettles Kettle is a Norse-influenced form.
chew neuter chews Nominalization of verb, though one ME form icheu suggests OE *ġeċēow. A similar word appears in OE as ġecow.
chick neuter chicks Originally a shortened form of chicken.
chicken neuter chickens
child neuter children Children is a double plural. The original plural was childer (now dialectal).
chill masculine chills
chip (sharebeam) masculine chips From OE ċipp. Either masculine or neuter, as suggested by the inflected form cyppes. Made masculine here by analogy with sharebeam (in which beam is masculine).
Now a dialectal word. Appears to be distinct from chip meaning fragment.
church feminine churchen
churl (peasant, boor) masculine churls Carl is a Norse-influenced form.
clauster (cloister) neuter clausters Cloister is from a later borrowing.
It is possible for the ending of this word to be mistaken for (or blended in with) the -ster suffix, thus making it feminine; in this case, the plural would be claustern.
claw feminine clawen
clay masculine clays Of uncertain gender in OE, as it is seldom attested in OE. Made masculine here by analogy with cloam.
cleft feminine cleften Unattested in OE. Assumed to be feminine because of the -t suffix.
clerk masculine clerks
cliff neuter cliffs
climb neuter climbs Nominalization of verb.
cloam masculine cloams Either masculine or neuter in OE. Made masculine here.
cloth neuter cloths
cloud masculine clouds
clove (bulb) feminine cloven
clover feminine clovern
clug (clock) feminine cluggen Clock is from a later borrowing.
coal neuter coals
coaser (emperor) masculine coasers
coasern (empress) feminine coasernen
cock (chicken) masculine cocks
cold neuter colds Either masculine or neuter in OE. Made neuter here since it is probably from nominalization of the adjective.
comb masculine combs
coomb (ravine) masculine coombs Rhymes with loom.
cop (top, summit) masculine cops From OE copp. Now found as a word used in weaving.
copper (metal) neuter coppers
core (choice, decision) neuter cores From OE ġecor. Probably neuter, judging by its Old Norse cognate.
corn (plant) neuter corns
corn (crown) feminine coronen From OE corōna (a Latin borrowing). The phonetic development would have gone something like this: corōna > corene > corne > corn.
Crown is from a later borrowing.
Was a weak masculine or feminine in OE. The West Germanic counterparts are all feminine, so it is made feminine here.
coss (kiss) masculine cosses Kiss is from the verb.
cost (costmary) masculine costs From OE cost. Now found in alecost.
It is uncertain whether the word in OE was masculine or neuter.
cothe (disease) feminine cothen From OE coþu. Rhymes with loathe.
cove masculine coven
cow feminine cowen, kine Alternative plural: kye (plural with vowel change).
Kine is a double plural.
crab masculine crabben
crack neuter cracks Nominalization of verb.
cradle masculine cradles
craft (art) masculine crafts
crane masculine cranes
creed masculine creeden
creep neuter creeps Nominalization of verb.
crib feminine cribben
cripple masculine cripples
cristal (crystal) masculine cristalen The y in the current spelling is due to Latin influence.
Or: cristle (with a silent t; the current pronunciation with /t/ is probably a spelling pronunciation).
crock (pot) masculine crocks Also attested as a weak masculine in OE.
crop masculine crops Also appears as a weak masculine in OE.
cross (crucifix) feminine crossen Attested rarely in OE and perhaps a borrowing from Norse or French.
The gender of the OE word is unknown, but here, the gender is made feminine by analogy with the synonym rood.
crow feminine crowen
crowd neuter crowds Nominalization of verb. Made neuter here by analogy with its synonym throng.
crumb masculine crumben
cud neuter cuds
culver (pigeon) feminine culvern
cunning feminine cunningen Etymologically a verbal noun derived from the obsolete verb cun (know), which survives as the auxiliary can.
cunt feminine cunten Not clearly attested in OE, though some OE and ME names appear to show the word.
Its cognates in other Germanic languages suggest that the word was feminine.
cup feminine cuppen
cupboard neuter cupboards A transparent compound in its spelling, but no longer apparent in its pronunciation.
cuttle (cuttlefish) feminine cuttlen
daisy neuter daisies Etymologically day's eye, but since this is now opaque, it is made strong.
dale (valley) neuter dales
dare neuter dares Nominalization of verb.
dark neuter darks Nominalization of adjective.
daughter feminine daughtern
day masculine days
deacon masculine deacons
deal (part, agreement) masculine deals
deal (nipple) feminine dealen From OE delu.
dean (valley) feminine deanen
dearth feminine dearthen Unattested in OE. Made feminine here because of the -th suffix.
death masculine deaths
deed feminine deeden
deemer (judge) masculine deemers Agent noun of deem meaning judge.
deemster (judge) feminine deemstern Originally the feminine equivalent of deemer.
deer neuter deer Unmarked plural.
delf (mine) neuter delves Plural with fricative voicing.
dell (small wooded valley) neuter dells
den neuter dens
depth feminine depthen Made feminine here because of the -th suffix.
dey (dairymaid) feminine deyen Found in dairy (dey-ery) and etymologically related to lady, which was once a compound.
devil masculine devils Either masculine or neuter in OE (though regularly neuter in the plural).
dish masculine dishes
ditch masculine ditches Dike may be a Norse-influenced form.
doe feminine doen
dog masculine doggen Attested in the inflected form docgena. Assumed to be a weak masculine.
dole neuter doles
doom (judgement) masculine dooms
door feminine dooren From OE duru (a strong feminine meaning door) and dor (a strong neuter meaning gate). The two words were conflated in Middle English because of their formal and semantic similarity.
dough masculine doughs Of uncertain gender in OE, but probably a masculine or a neuter. Made masculine here.
douth (virtue, band of people) feminine douthen
dove feminine doven
down (hill) feminine downen
drake (male duck) masculine drakes Unattested in OE.
drake (dragon) masculine draken Dragon is from a later borrowing.
draught, draft feminine draughten, draften Unattested in OE, but found in most other West Germanic languages. Assumed to be feminine because of the -t suffix.
draw neuter draws Nominalization of verb.
dread neuter dreads Nominalization of verb.
dream (vision) masculine dreams Unattested in OE and possibly a Norse borrowing or the same word as OE drēam meaning joy.
Because it may have come from OE drēam, and the West Germanic counterparts are masculine, the word is made masculine here.
dream (joy) masculine dreams Possibly the same word as dream meaning vision.
drench masculine drenches
drift feminine driften Unattested in OE. Assumed to be feminine because of the -t suffix.
dright (troop) feminine drighten
drighten (lord) masculine drightens
drink masculine drinks A weak masculine form was also present in OE.
drive neuter drives Nominalization of verb. OE had a similar word in the form of ġedrif.
drone feminine dronen
drop masculine droppen
drought feminine droughten
drove feminine droven
duck feminine ducken
duff (pudding) masculine duffs From a dialectal variant of dough.
dung (manure) neuter dungs Of uncertain gender in OE. Made neuter here by analogy with sharn.
dung (dungeon) feminine dungen From OE *dung (suggested by the dative singular ding for *dyng).
Alternative plural: ding (plural with vowel change).
dust neuter dusts
dwarf masculine dwarfs, dwarves Plural with fricative voicing.
dye feminine dyen
ea (river) feminine ean
ea (law) feminine ean
eace (bait) neuter eaces From OE ǣs. Found in the dialectal word eaceworm.
ead (wealth, happiness) neuter eads This is the Ed- found in names like Edward and Edgar.
eal (oil) masculine eals Oil is from a later borrowing.
eam (uncle) masculine eams
ear (hearing organ) neuter earen
ear (grain part of corn) neuter ears
eard (land, country) masculine eards From OE eard. Rhymes with beard.
eard (character, disposition) masculine eards From OE eard. Rhymes with beard. Probably the same word as above.
earl (count) masculine earls
earth (world) feminine earthen
earth (plowing) feminine earthen Etymologically a derivative of ear (a verb meaning till).
east neuter easts Nominalization of adjective.
eaves feminine eavesen Eave is a singular formed when eaves was interpreted as a plural.
edge feminine edgen
eel masculine eels
eft (newt) feminine eften
elbow masculine elbowen
eld (age) feminine elden
elder (senior) masculine eldern Found in OE as a weak noun. Nominalization of adjective.
elder (tree) neuter elders
elf masculine elves Plural with fricative voicing.
ell feminine ellen
elp (elephant) masculine elps Elephant is from a later borrowing.
emnet (plain) neuter emnets
end (final part) masculine ends
end (duck) feminine enden
ern (place) neuter erns Found in barn (etymologically bere-ern, barley-building) and saltern.
erne (eagle) masculine ernes
errand neuter errands
esen (slave) masculine esens Pronounced as if spelled ezzen. From OE esne.
eve masculine even A shortened form of even (evening).
even (evening) masculine evens
evening (time) feminine eveningen
evest (envy) feminine evesten From OE æfest. Of varying gender in OE, but made feminine here by analogy with sin.
evil neuter evils Nominalization of adjective.
ewe (female sheep) feminine ewen
ey (egg) neuter eyren From OE ǣġ. Rhymes with clay.
Egg is a Norse-influenced form.
Eyren is a double plural. The original plural was eyer.
ey (awe) masculine eys From OE eġe. Rhymes with clay.
Awe is a Norse-influenced form.
ey (island) feminine eyen From OE īeġ. Rhymes with clay.
Now found only in the etymological compound island.
eye neuter eyen
fall (lowering) masculine falls Attested in OE as fiell (strong masculine) and feall (probably neuter).
fall (trap) feminine fallen From OE fealle.
fan (tool) feminine fannen
fane (vane) masculine fanes Vane is from a southern variant.
far (bull) masculine fars From OE fearr.
fare (travel) feminine faren Also found in compounds such as wayfare.
farer (traveler) masculine farers Also found in compounds such as wayfarer.
farm (sustenance) feminine farmen From OE feorm.
Generally considered etymologically distinct from farm meaning land for agriculture, which is traced back to Old French ferme and would be feminine as well.
farrow masculine farrows
fart neuter farts Nominalization of verb.
fasten (fasting) neuter fastens From OE fæsten. The current form fast appears to be from Norse.
fat (body substance) neuter fats Nominalization of adjective.
fat (vat) neuter fats Vat is from a southern variant.
father masculine fathers
fathom masculine fathoms
fax (head hair) neuter faxes Found in Fairfax.
fear masculine fears
feather feminine feathern
fee (money) neuter fees From OE feoh. Unrelated to modern fee, which is from French.
feed neuter feeds Nominalization of verb.
feenix (phoenix) masculine feenixes Phoenix is from a later borrowing.
fell (animal's hide) neuter fells Of uncertain gender in OE, but assumed neuter here since its West Germanic counterparts are neuter.
felly, felloe (wheel's rim) feminine fellien, felloen
felt neuter felts Of uncertain gender in OE. Made neuter here by analogy with cloth.
fen neuter fens Also a masculine in OE.
fenster (window) neuter fensters From OE fenestre, a Latin borrowing. Modern fenster is a borrowing from the German word, which also means window.
It is possible for the ending of this word to be mistaken for (or blended in with) the -ster suffix, thus making it feminine; in this case, the plural would be fenstern.
fere (companion) masculine feren From OE ġefēra.
fere (life) neuter feres From OE feorh.
fern neuter ferns
fetter feminine fettern
fiddle feminine fiddlen It is possible for the ending of this word to be mistaken for (or blended in with) the -le suffix, thus making it masculine; in this case, the plural would be fiddles.
field masculine fields
fiend masculine fiends Alternative plural: fiend (plural with vowel change).
fight neuter fights
fill feminine fillen
filth feminine filthen
film feminine filmen Usually a strong feminine in OE, but a strong masculine or neuter in the sense of foreskin.
finch masculine finches
fingel (prince) masculine fingels From OE fenġel .
finger masculine fingers
fire neuter fires
fish masculine fish, fishes Unmarked plural.
fist feminine fisten
fixen (vixen) feminine fixenen Vixen is from a southern variant.
Unattested in OE, but a synonym fyxe existed.
flash (flask) feminine flashen From OE flasce (in which sc may have represented /ʃ/ because of the following front vowel).
Or: flask/flax (forms with /sk/ or /ks/ from metathesis may be from inflected forms such as flascan, in which no palatalization happened, or from influence of Latin flasco).
Modern flask is from a later borrowing.
flax neuter flaxes
flea masculine flean Either masculine or feminine in OE. Appears also as flēah (a strong noun), but the word seems to have been more commonly a weak noun.
fleam (fleeing) masculine fleams From OE flēam.
fleece neuter fleeces
fleem (fugitive) masculine fleemen From OE flīema (the West Saxon form; the Anglian form was flēma).
fleet (ship) neuter fleets Of uncertain gender in OE, as it is attested only once in this sense without clear reference to its gender. Made neuter here by analogy with ship.
Possibly a nominalization of the verb fleet (which originally meant float).
fleet (creek) masculine fleets A merger of OE flēot (strong masculine) and flēote (weak feminine).
fleet (cream) feminine fleeten From OE flēte.
flesh neuter fleshes
flet (house, dwelling) neuter flets From OE flett.
flight (act of flying) masculine flights
flight (act of fleeing) masculine flights Unattested in OE. Assumed to be a strong masculine from conflation with flight meaning flying (other Germanic languages with both words have conflated them).
float masculine floaten
flone (arrow) feminine flonen From OE flān.
Either masculine or feminine in OE. Made feminine here by analogy with arrow.
flood masculine floods Either masculine or neuter in OE.
floor masculine floors A feminine form was also present in OE.
flot (sea) neuter flots
fly (insect) feminine flien
fly (act of flying) neuter flies Nominalization of verb. There was a strong masculine in OE, but this does not appear to have survived, so the modern word is probably from the verb.
fodder neuter fodders
foe masculine foen
folk neuter folk, folks Unmarked plural.
folm (hand's palm) feminine folmen A masculine form was also present in OE.
food masculine fooden
foot masculine feet Plural with vowel change.
ford masculine fords
fore (front) neuter fores Nominalization of the adjective (which itself arose from the prefix fore-).
fork feminine forken Attested as forca (weak masculine) in OE, though a variant force (attested only in the compound myxforce, a fork used for removing dirt) suggests that it was a weak feminine as well.
Its West Germanic counterparts are all feminine, so it is made feminine here.
fowl masculine fowl, fowls Unmarked plural.
fox masculine foxes
frea (lord, master) masculine frean From OE frēa.
freeze neuter freezes Nominalization of verb.
friend masculine friends Alternative plural: friend (plural with vowel change).
fright feminine frighten
frimth (origin) feminine frimthen
frith (peace) neuter friths From OE friþ.
frith (woodland) feminine frithen From OE fyrhþ, showing metathesis in ME. Also a neuter in OE.
frog masculine froggen
froover (comfort) feminine froovern
frosh (frog) masculine froshes
frost masculine frosts
frow (woman) feminine frown From OE frōwe. Rhymes with know.
furlong neuter furlongs
furrow (trench) feminine furrowen Alternative plural: firrow (plural with vowel change).
furrow (fir) feminine furrowen Alternative plural: firrow (plural with vowel change).
furze masculine furzes
galder (magic) neuter galders
gallow (scaffold for execution) masculine gallown Generally used in the plural, so gallown replaces gallows. The current plural gallows is occasionally used as a singular (thus a singular made from a plural).
game neuter games
gander masculine gandern
gang masculine gangs
gate (barrier) neuter gates The form is from OE gatu (originally the plural).
gavel (rent) neuter gavels From OE gafol.
gavel (fork) feminine gavelen From OE gafol. Generally feminine, though occasionally masculine in OE.
ghast masculine ghasts Essentially a variant of ghost.
ghost masculine ghosts
gidden (goddess) feminine giddenen Etymologically the feminine of god.
girdle masculine girdles
glass neuter glasses Alternative plural: glaze (plural with fricative voicing and historical open-syllable lengthening).
glede (bird) masculine gleden
gleed (glowing coal) feminine gleeden From OE glēd.
glee neuter glees
glide neuter glides Nominalization of verb.
glove feminine gloven
goal masculine goals Unattested in OE. Made masculine here by analogy with the synonym end.
goat feminine goaten Alternative plural: geat (plural with vowel change).
god masculine gods
godhead (godhood) feminine godheaden Has the obsolete suffix -head, which appears to be an umlauted variant of -hood and was probably feminine.
More or less an archaic variant of godhood, which is masculine.
gold neuter golds
gome (man) masculine gomen Rhymes with come. Also found as groom, like in bridegroom.
good (goodness, item) neuter goods Nominalization of adjective.
goose feminine geese Plural with vowel change.
gore (blood) neuter gores
gore (skirt, triangular piece of land) masculine goren
gore (spear) masculine gores
gorse (evergreen shrub) masculine gorses
gossip masculine gossips Etymologically god-sib (godparent).
gospel neuter gospels Etymologically good-spell (good news), later reinterpreted as god-spell.
gossamer masculine gossamers Etymologically goose-summer.
gound (foul matter, pus) masculine gounds From OE gund.
gouth (battle) feminine gouthen
grass neuter grasses Alternative plural: graze (plural with fricative voicing and historical open-syllable lengthening).
grave neuter graves
greed feminine greeden Backformation from greedy. Made feminine here by analogy with sin.
grip (grasp) masculine grips
grip (handful) masculine grippen From OE gripa.
gripe neuter gripes Nominalization of verb.
grope neuter gropes Nominalization of verb. Found in OE as grāp (a feminine noun), but this does not appear to have survived, so the modern word is probably from the verb.
ground masculine grounds
groundsel (plant) feminine groundselen
groundsel (beam) feminine groundselen Also spelled groundsill (reflecting its etymology).
grout feminine grouten Alternative plural: grite (plural with vowel change).
grove masculine groves Either masculine or neuter in OE.
growth feminine growthen Made feminine here because of the -th suffix.
guilt masculine guilts
gup (buttock) feminine guppen From OE gupe.
gut masculine guts
haft (handle) neuter hafts
haft (captivity, imprisonment) masculine hafts From OE hæft.
hag (ugly woman) feminine haggen Apparently from a shortening of OE hægtesse (sorceress) and thus from OE *hægge (showing gemination).
hail masculine hails
haitess (sorceress) feminine haitessen From OE hægtesse. Note that the ess in this word is not the feminine suffix -ess.
hair neuter hairs Hair shows French influence in the spelling.
half feminine halven Plural with fricative voicing.
hall feminine hallen
hallow (saint) masculine hallowen
halter feminine haltern Generally feminine in OE.
ham (meat, knee's back) feminine hammen
ham (enclosure) masculine hams From OE hamm.
hame (skin, membrane) masculine hamen From OE hama.
hammer masculine hammers
hand feminine handen
hane (rooster) masculine hanen
handle feminine handlen The OE form handle suggests that it was a weak feminine.
It is possible for the ending of this word to be mistaken for (or blended in with) the -le suffix, thus making it masculine; in this case, the plural would be handles.
harbor feminine harboren Etymologically hear-borrow (military-quarters).
hard, hurd (coarse part of flax) feminine harden, hurden
hare masculine haren
harp feminine harpen
hart (deer) masculine harts
hartow (duke) masculine hartowen
harvest masculine harvests
hat masculine hats
hate masculine hates Alteration of OE hete, a strong masculine, by analogy with the verb.
hatred feminine hatreden
haulm neuter haulms Also spelled halm.
hawk masculine hawks
head neuter heads Also used for forehead (which may not be a transparent compound for some speakers).
health feminine healthen
heap masculine heaps
hear (army) masculine hears Rhymes with bear.
heart feminine hearten
heat feminine heaten
heath feminine heathen
heathen masculine heathens
heaven masculine heavens
hedge feminine hedgen
heel (foot) masculine heelen
heft feminine heften Made feminine here because of the -t suffix.
heifer feminine heifern
height feminine heighten
heleth (hero) masculine heleths
hell feminine hellen
helm (helmet) masculine helms
helm (ship's wheel) masculine helmen
help feminine helpen A masculine or neuter form was also present in OE.
helve neuter helves Either masculine or neuter in OE. Made neuter here by analogy with haft.
hem masculine hems
hemp masculine hemps
hen feminine hennen
herd (group) feminine herden
herd (herdsman) masculine herds Found in compounds such as swineherd.
hide (skin) feminine hiden
hie (haste) neuter hies Nominalization of verb.
hield (slope, inclination) feminine hielden From OE hylde.
high neuter highs Nominalization of adjective.
hight (hope) masculine hights From OE hyht.
hill feminine hillen A masculine form was also present in OE.
hillock masculine hillocks
hind (female deer) feminine hinden
hinx (stallion) masculine hinxes From ME forms of OE henġest. Found in an altered form as the first element in henchman.
hip (body part) masculine hips
hip (rose's fruit) feminine hippen
hive feminine hiven
hoad (condition, order) masculine hoads The source of the -hood suffix.
hoard neuter hoards
hog masculine hogs
hold (holding) neuter holds Found in OE as heald. Nominalization of verb.
hold (cargo area) neuter holds Alteration of hole.
hole neuter holes
hollow neuter hollows
holly masculine hollies
holm (sea) masculine holms From OE holm. The modern meaning of islet is from Norse.
home masculine homes
honey neuter honeys
hood masculine hoods
hoof masculine hooves Plural with fricative voicing.
hope masculine hopen
horn masculine horns
hornet feminine horneten
horse neuter horses
hose (tube, pant-leg) feminine hosen
hound masculine hounds
house neuter houses Plural with fricative voicing.
hue neuter hues
hunger masculine hungers
hunt (act of hunting) neuter hunts Nominalization of verb.
hunt (hunter) masculine hunten From OE hunta. Survives as the occupational surname Hunt.
hussy feminine hussien Rhymes with fuzzy.
Etymologically house-wife, but since this is now opaque, it is made feminine here.
ice neuter ices
icicle masculine icicles Etymologically ice-ickle.
Or: icitchel (as the icle in icicle may be a Norse-influenced form).
ickle (icicle) masculine ickles Now found only in icicle (ice-ickle).
Of uncertain gender in OE, but probably masculine. Also attested as a weak feminine.
Or: itchel (as ickle may be a Norse-influenced form).
ilvet (swan) feminine ilveten
imp masculine impen Attested in OE as the inflected form impan, so it was a weak noun that was either masculine or feminine. Made masculine here by analogy with puck.
ingel (angel) masculine ingels From OE enġel. Angel is from a later borrowing.
inn neuter inns
inting (cause) masculine intingen
iron neuter irons
island (isle) neuter islands Etymologically ey-land.
The spelling is due to an unetymological connection to isle, a French borrowing.
itch feminine itchen The OE form suggests that it was a weak feminine, though it is also attested with a masculine plural ending.
kemp (champion) masculine kempen
kemp (mustache) masculine kemps From OE cenep. Kemp meaning coarse hair may be from Norse.
kerf masculine kerfs
kernel masculine kernels Either masculine or neuter in OE. Made masculine here because of the -el ending. Etymologically a derivative of corn.
key feminine keyen Generally a feminine in OE.
kiln feminine kilnen
kin (family, genus) neuter kins
kind (nature, category) feminine kinden
king masculine kings
kipe (basket) feminine kipen Attested in OE in the form of cȳpan, so it is uncertain whether it was masculine or feminine. Made feminine by analogy with willy.
kir (choice) masculine kirs
kirtle masculine kirtles
kist (virtue, excellent trait) feminine kisten From OE cyst.
kitchel (small cake) masculine kitchels From OE cyċel. Of uncertain gender, but made masculine here because of the -el suffix.
Also found in ME as kechel, which seems to have come from OE *cēċil (the West Saxon form of the attested form coeċil) and would now be *keechel. The etymological relationship between these two forms is unknown.
kitchen feminine kitchenen
kive (tub) feminine kiven From OE cȳf. Rhymes with hive. A modern dialectal form of this is keeve.
knape (boy) masculine knapen
knave masculine knaven
knell masculine knells
knee neuter knees
knife masculine knives Plural with fricative voicing.
Possibly a Norse borrowing.
knight masculine knights
knoll (small hill) masculine knolls
knot (fastening) masculine knotten
knowledge feminine knowledgen Only attested once in late OE. The suffix appears to be from *-lǣce, an umlauted variant of -lock (found in wedlock), and was probably feminine.
ladder feminine laddern
ladle masculine ladles
lady feminine ladien Etymologically a compound meaning bread-kneader. The second element is otherwise unattested in OE.
lair neuter lairs
lake (channel) feminine laken From OE lacu.
Lake meaning large body of water is from French and would be masculine.
lamb neuter lambs Alternative plural: lamber, lambren (a double plural). Both forms are from Middle English.
land (country) neuter lands
lane feminine lanen
lant (piss, urine) neuter lants From OE hland. Now a dialectal word.
lark (bird) feminine larken
last (tool) feminine lasten
last (cargo) neuter lasts
laugh neuter laughs Nominalization of verb.
laughter (laughing) masculine laughters
laughter (vice) masculine laughters Rhymes with daughter.
law (lake) masculine laws From OE lagu. Unrelated to law meaning rule, which is from Norse.
lay (layout) neuter lays Nominalization of verb.
lea (field) masculine leas A feminine form was also present in OE.
This is the -ley found in names like Bradley and Kimberley, also spelled -lee or -leigh.
lead (metal) neuter leads
leaf neuter leaves Plural with fricative voicing.
lean (loan) feminine leanen From OE lǣn.
Loan is a Norse-influenced form.
lean (reward) neuter leans From OE lēan.
lease (pasture) feminine leasen Rhymes with please.
leasow (pasture) feminine leasowen Pronounced as if spelled lezzow.
leather neuter leathers
leave (permission) feminine leaven
lee (shelter) neuter lees
lee (lion) masculine leen From OE lēo.
leech (doctor) masculine leeches
leech (worm) masculine leeches
leed (person) masculine leeds
leed (people, nation) feminine leeden
length feminine lengthen
lectrich (lettuce) masculine lectriches From OE lēactriċ.
lich (corpse) neuter liches
lichame (body) masculine lichamen Etymologically lich-hame (body-covering).
lid neuter lids
lie (falsehood) masculine lies A similar word was present in OE as lyġen (which was feminine).
lie (position) neuter lies Nominalization of verb.
life neuter lives Plural with fricative voicing.
lift (air) feminine liften From OE lyft.
light neuter lights
limb neuter limbs
lime (material) masculine limes
lime (linden tree) feminine limen Apparently an alteration of obsolete lind.
lind (linden) feminine linden From OE lind.
linden neuter lindens Nominalization of the adjective linden (of the linden tree).
line (cord) feminine linen The plural is pronounced with /aɪ/.
line (flax) neuter lines
linen neuter linens Nominalization of the adjective linen (flaxen).
lip masculine lippen
lire (flesh) masculine liren From OE līra. Also found in sparlire (leg's calf).
list (strip) feminine listen
list (desire) neuter lists Nominalization of the archaic verb list (desire).
list (hearing) masculine lists From OE hlyst. Also a feminine in OE.
lith (joint, member) neuter liths From OE liþ.
lith (slope) neuter liths From OE hliþ.
litten (churchyard) masculine littens Etymologically lich-town.
liver (organ) feminine livern
load feminine loaden Also used for lode, which is merely a spelling variant.
loaf masculine loaves Plural with fricative voicing.
lobster feminine lobstern
lock (device) neuter locks
lock (strand of hair) masculine locks
loke (blind alley) masculine loken From OE loca.
lord masculine lords Etymologically loaf-ward (bread-guardian).
lore (teaching, lesson) feminine loren
lorel (scoundrel) masculine lorels Unattested in OE. Made masculine here because of the -el suffix.
losel (scoundrel) masculine losels Unattested in OE. Made masculine here because of the -el suffix.
loss neuter losses
lot neuter lots
lothe (cloak) masculine lothen
louse feminine lice Plural with vowel change.
love feminine loven
low (mound) masculine lows Usually a strong masculine in OE.
lung feminine lungen
lust masculine lusts
lye feminine lyen
maid feminine maiden A shortened form of maiden. Made feminine here by analogy with the similar word maith.
maiden neuter maidens
maidenhead (maidenhood) feminine maidenheaden Has the obsolete suffix -head, which appears to be an umlauted variant of -hood and was probably feminine.
More or less an archaic variant of maidenhood, which is masculine.
main neuter mains
maith (girl) feminine maithen
man masculine men Plural with vowel change.
mare (female horse) feminine maren From OE mearh (a strong masculine meaning horse) and mȳre (a weak feminine meaning mare).
mare (evil spirit) feminine maren Found only in nightmare.
mark feminine marken
mast (pole) masculine masts
mast (forest trees' fruit) masculine masts
master masculine masters From OE mǣgester. Magister is from a later borrowing.
mat feminine matten
mathom (treasure) masculine mathoms
mead (drink) masculine meads
mead (meadow) feminine meaden
meadow feminine meadowen A variant developed from inflected forms of OE mǣd (> NE mead meaning meadow).
meal (food) neuter meals
meal (flour) neuter meals
meat masculine meats
meed (reward) feminine meeden
meet neuter meets Nominalization of verb.
mere (lake) masculine meres
mere (border) neuter meres
mew (gull) masculine mews
might feminine mighten
milk feminine milken
mill feminine millen A masculine form was also present in OE. The word in most other Germanic languages is feminine.
minchen (nun) feminine minchenen Etymologically the feminine of monk.
mind feminine minden Sometimes a neuter in OE.
minster (large church) neuter minsters Monastery is from a later borrowing.
mint (plant) feminine minten
mint (coin) neuter mints
mirth feminine mirthen
mistle (mistletoe) masculine mistles Now found only in mistletoe.
mistletoe feminine mistletoen The toe was originally tone (twig), but this was felt to be the plural of toe, so the n was dropped.
Or: mistletone, plural mistletonen (masculine).
modry (aunt) feminine modrien
mold (earth, soil) feminine molden
monk masculine monks
month masculine months
mood (state of mind) neuter moods
moon masculine moonen
moor masculine moors
moot neuter moots
more (root) feminine moren
morn (morning) masculine morns
morning feminine morningen
morrow (tomorrow) masculine morrows Also found in tomorrow.
morter (bowl) masculine morters From OE mortere. Mortar is a Latin-influenced spelling.
Mortar referring to the material appears to be etymologically the same word, but this sense development entered English through the French word, as it was not present in the OE word.
morth (murder) neuter morths
moss neuter mosses
mote neuter motes
moth feminine mothen
mother feminine mothern
moul (mule) masculine mouls Mule is from a later borrowing.
mound (protection) feminine mounden From OE mund.
mouse feminine mice Plural with vowel change.
mouth masculine mouths Plural with fricative voicing.
munt (mountain) masculine munts From OE munt.
Mount is from a later borrowing, showing the French form.
murder neuter murders It is unclear how much the present form was influenced by French murdre; the normal reflex of OE morþor would be *morther.
mussel (muscle) feminine musselen Muscle is from a later borrowing.
nail masculine nails
name masculine namen
nap (short sleep) neuter naps Nominalization of verb.
nap (cup, bowl) masculine naps From OE hnæpp.
nave (wheel's hub) feminine naven Mainly a feminine in OE, though a weak masculine form is suggested by OE nafa.
navel masculine navelen
need feminine needen
needle feminine needlen It is possible for the ending of this word to be mistaken for (or blended in with) the -le suffix, thus making it masculine; in this case, the plural would be needles.
neighbor masculine neighbors
nest neuter nests
net neuter nets
nether (low, lower) neuter nethers Nominalization of adjective.
news neuter news Unchanged plural.
Originally the plural of new as a calque of French nouvelles or Medieval Latin nova (neuter plural of novus).
newt feminine newten From a variant of eft and also a result of false division (an ewt > a newt).
night feminine nighten
nightmare feminine nightmaren Etymologically night-mare (in which mare originally referred to an evil spirit).
nit feminine nitten
noon masculine noons
nose feminine nosen
nostril neuter nostrils Etymologically nose-thirl (nose-hole).
north neuter norths Nominalization of adjective.
note (use) feminine noten
nun feminine nunnen
nut feminine nutten Alternative plural: nit (plural with vowel change).
oak feminine oaken Alternative plural: each (plural with vowel change).
oakum masculine oakumen
oakwern (squirrel) masculine oakwernen
oat feminine oaten
oar feminine oaren Possibly a Norse borrowing.
oath masculine oaths Plural with fricative voicing.
older (life, age) neuter alders From OE ealdor.
olvend (camel) masculine olvends
ooze (seepage) neuter oozes
ooze (wet mud) feminine oozen
ordeal neuter ordeals Found in OE as ordāl, ordēl and possibly reborrowed from Latin later.
ore (mineral) neuter ores From OE ār (a strong neuter meaning brass) and ōra (a weak masculine meaning unwrought metal). The two words were conflated in Middle English because of their formal and semantic similarity.
ore (honor) feminine oren
ore (herald) masculine ores
orlay (fate, destiny) neuter orlays From OE orlæġ.
oster (oyster) feminine ostern Oyster is from a later borrowing.
ought (chase, persecution) feminine oughten Rhymes with bought.
oure (aurochs) masculine oures
oven masculine ovens
ovet (fruit) neuter ovets
owl feminine owlen
ox masculine oxen
palm (tree) masculine palms
pan feminine pannen
path masculine paths Plural with fricative voicing.
pear feminine pearen
pease (pea) feminine peasen Pea is a singular formed when pease was interpreted as a plural form.
pebble masculine pebbles From OE papolstān (pebblestone). Made masculine here because of the -le ending.
penny masculine pennies, pence The plural pence is found in compounds such as twopence.
pepper masculine peppers
persock (peach) masculine persocks Peach is from a later borrowing.
pig masculine piggen Attested in OE only in the compound picbred (for picgbrēad). The OE form was probably *picga/pigga.
Probably a weak masculine noun in OE, as it was similar to other weak masculine nouns referring to animals such as docga (dog).
pillow masculine pillows
pintle (pin) masculine pintles Of uncertain gender in OE, but assumed to be masculine here because of the -le ending, which appears to have been originally diminutive.
pluck neuter plucks Nominalization of verb.
poad (coat) feminine poaden
pock masculine pocks The plural has become a new singular and spelled pox.
pole (long stick) masculine poles
pool masculine pools
pope masculine popen
port masculine ports
pot masculine pots
pox feminine poxen Originally the plural of pock. Made feminine by analogy with adle.
prat (trick) masculine prats From OE prætt. The source of the adjective pretty.
pride feminine priden An analogical umlauted derivative of proud, a pre-Conquest French borrowing.
priest masculine priests
puck (mischievous fairy) masculine pucken
puckle (goblin) masculine puckles From OE pūcel.
quake neuter quakes Nominalization of verb.
quale (death) feminine qualen From OE cwalu.
qualm (plague, pestilence) masculine qualms From OE cwealm. It is uncertain whether modern qualm is from this word.
quartern (prison) neuter quarterns
quean (woman) feminine queanen
queen feminine queenen
quern feminine quernen
quid (piece for chewing) neuter quids
quith (womb) masculine quiths Either a strong or weak masculine in OE.
rackent (chain) feminine rackenten
rail (rule) masculine rails From OE regol.
Etymologically related to modern rail and rule, both of which are from French.
rail (garment) neuter rails From OE hrægel.
rain masculine rains
ram (male sheep) masculine rams
rat masculine rats
raven masculine ravens
raw (lichen) feminine rawn From OE ragu.
read neuter reads Nominalization of verb.
rede (advice) masculine redes From OE rǣd.
reeve masculine reeven
rest (respite) feminine resten
rich (realm) neuter riches Found in bishopric (in which ric is a Norse-influenced form).
Note that riches (meaninng wealth) is from French richesce.
rid (rider, horseman) masculine ridden From OE ridda.
riddle (puzzling question) masculine riddles
riddle (sieve) masculine riddles The OE form was hridder, which was neuter and later became ridder, but the ending was later altered to -le, which is masculine.
ride neuter rides Nominalization of verb. OE had a similar word in the form of ġerid.
ridge masculine ridges
right neuter rights
rimth (space) feminine rimthen
rind feminine rinden
ring (circular band) masculine rings
ring (sound of ringing) neuter rings Nominalization of verb.
rise neuter rises Nominalization of verb.
rist (rise, increase) feminine risten Unattested in OE, though found in derivatives such as ǣrist.
road feminine roaden
rod masculine rods Of uncertain gender in OE. Made masculine here by analogy with staff.
roe (deer) masculine roen
rood (cross) feminine rooden
roof masculine roofs, rooves Plural with fricative voicing.
room neuter rooms
roomth (space, capacity) feminine roomthen From a later variant of rimth.
roose (rose) feminine roosen Rose is from the French form.
roost masculine roost
rooster masculine roosters It is possible for the ending of this word to be mistaken for (or blended in with) the -ster suffix, thus making it feminine; in this case, the plural would be roostern.
rope masculine ropes
roun (rune) feminine rounen
rower (heron) masculine rowern From OE hrāgra. Probably a weak masculine in OE.
rud (redness) feminine rudden
rudder neuter rudders
ruddock (robin) masculine ruddocks
run neuter runs Nominalization of verb.
rush (plant) feminine rushen
rust masculine rusts Either a masculine or a neuter in OE. Made masculine here.
sack masculine sacks
saddle masculine saddles
sail neuter sails Also a masculine in OE.
sain (sign, banner) neuter sains From OE segn (a borrowing from Latin signum). Also a masculine in OE.
Sign is a French-influenced form.
sake (dispute) feminine saken
sale (selling) feminine salen From OE sala, which may have come from Norse.
sale (hall) neuter sales From OE sæl.
salt neuter salts
salve (ointment) feminine salven
sand (rock) neuter sands
sand (sending, mission) feminine sanden
sare (device, machine) neuter sares From OE searu.
saw (tool) masculine saws
saw (saying, story) feminine sawn
sax (knife) neuter saxes
say neuter says Nominalization of verb.
scholar masculine scholars Ultimately a Latin borrowing and equivalent to school-er.
school (institution) feminine schoolen
scythe masculine scythes The spelling is due to an unetymological connection to Latin scindere.
sea feminine sean
seam (line) masculine seams
seam (load, burden) masculine seams From OE sēam.
sedge (plant) masculine sedges Also neuter in OE.
sedge (man) masculine sedges From OE seċg. Perhaps the second element of garsedge (< OE gārseċġ), which meant ocean.
sedge (sword) feminine sedgen From OE seċg.
seed neuter seeds
seet (ambush) feminine seeten From OE sǣt (which was the West Saxon form; the Anglian form would have been *sēt).
Seat meaning chair is generally thought to be a Norse borrowing.
seine (net) feminine seinen
self neuter selves Plural with fricative voicing.
Originally an adjective and later made a noun, so assumed to be neuter here.
semp (mustard) masculine semps From OE senep.
sess (seat) masculine sesses From OE sess.
sester (vessel for holding liquid) masculine sesters From OE sester.
It is possible for the ending of this word to be mistaken for (or blended in with) the -ster suffix, thus making it feminine; in this case, the plural would be sestern.
set (state or manner of being set) neuter sets Nominalization of verb and past participle set.
The meaning of group, collection may have been due to influence of French sete (a variant of secte, sect).
settle (bench) masculine settles Either masculine or neuter in OE.
shade feminine shaden A neuter form was also present in OE.
shadow feminine shadowen
shaft (pole) masculine shafts
shaft (creature) feminine shaften
shalk (servant) masculine shalks
shame feminine shamen
shand (shame, disgrace) feminine shanden
shank (leg) masculine shanken
shape neuter shapes
shard, sherd neuter shards, sherds Sherd is the usual form in archaeological use and is found in compounds such as potsherd.
share (portion) feminine sharen
share (pubes) feminine sharen
share (plowshare) neuter shares Possibly also a masculine in OE.
sharn (dung) neuter sharns From OE sċearn.
shat (money, treasure) masculine shats From OE sċeatt.
sheaf (bundle) masculine sheaves Plural with fricative voicing.
shear (cutting tool) feminine shearen Generally used in the plural.
shear (act of shearing) neuter shears Nominalization of verb.
sheath feminine sheathen Plural with fricative voicing.
shee (cloud) masculine sheen From OE sċēo. Attested only once without reference to gender. A similar Old Saxon word suggests that the word was originally a weak masculine.
shee (pair of shoes) neuter shees From OE ġesċȳ (the West Saxon form; the normal Anglian form would have been *ġesċē). Etymologically a derivative of shoe.
sheen neuter sheens Nominalization of the adjective sheen (shining, beautiful).
sheet (cloth) feminine sheeten
sheet (sail's rope) masculine sheets Merger of a strong masculine and a weak masculine.
sheep neuter sheep Unmarked plural.
shelchen (maidservant) feminine shelchenen Etymologically the feminine of shalk.
shelf feminine shelven Plural with fricative voicing.
shell feminine shellen
shepherd masculine shepherds Etymologically sheep-herd (sheep herdsman).
sheriff masculine sheriffs Etymologically shire-reeve, but since this is now opaque, it is made strong.
shield masculine shields
shild (guilt, debt) feminine shilden Rhymes with wild.
shilling (coin) masculine shillings
shime (brightness, light) masculine shimen From OE sċīma.
shin feminine shinnen
shine masculine shines Unattested as a single word in OE.
Made masculine here because of its West Germanic counterparts.
ship (vessel) neuter ships
ship (wage, stipend) masculine ships From OE sċipe.
shire feminine shiren
shirt feminine shirten
shit, shite feminine shitten, shiten From OE sċitte.
shoal (group) feminine shoalen Found in OE as sċolu and possibly reborrowed from Dutch later.
shoe masculine shoes Alternative plural: shoon (a weak plural originally from the dative plural).
shoot neuter shoots Nominalization of verb.
shop (store) masculine shoppen
shop (poet) masculine shops
shore neuter shores Unattested in OE. Made neuter here by analogy with the synonym strand.
shot neuter shots
shoulder masculine shoulders From OE sċuldor, which had the remarkable form sċuldru as the plural. There was also a weak masculine sċuldra.
shovel feminine shovelen
show neuter shows Nominalization of verb.
shower (water) masculine showers Usually a strong masculine in OE.
shrift (absolution) masculine shrifts Found in the phrase short shrift.
shrimp masculine shrimps Unattested in OE. Made masculine here by analogy with fish, which is masculine.
shrine neuter shrines
shrub (plant) feminine shrubben Attested in OE as scrybb, apparently a feminine.
sib (relative) masculine sibs Nominalization of the adjective sib meaning related.
sib (peace, amity) feminine sibben
sibling masculine siblings
sickle masculine sickles
side feminine siden
sield (seat) neuter sields From OE seld. Originally a variant of settle.
sight feminine sighten
sile (pillar, column) feminine silen From OE sȳl.
silk masculine silks
sill feminine sillen
silver neuter silvers
sin feminine sinnen
sint (soundness) feminine sinten From OE ġesynto.
sinder (cinder) neuter sinders Cinder is a French-influenced spelling.
sinew feminine sinewen
sink neuter sinks Nominalization of verb.
slaught (slaughter) masculine slaughts Found in onslaught. Slaughter is from Norse.
sledge (hammer) feminine sledgen
sleep masculine sleeps
sleuth (sloth) feminine sleuthen Unrelated to sleuth meaning detective, which is ultimately from Norse.
sley masculine sleys Also spelled slay.
slide neuter slides Nominalization of verb. OE had a similar word in the form of slide.
slime masculine slimes Of uncertain gender in OE, but probably a masculine or a neuter. Made masculine here.
sloth feminine slothen
slumber neuter slumber Nominalization of verb.
smear neuter smears
smit (stain) masculine smitten Found in OE as a weak noun, but it is uncertain whether it was masculine or feminine. Made masculine here by analogy with wem.
smite (strike) neuter smites Nominalization of verb.
smith (metalworker) masculine smiths
smith (smithy) feminine smithen From OE smiþþe.
smoke masculine smoken
snail masculine snails
snake masculine snaken
snow masculine snows
soap feminine soapen
sock masculine socks
son masculine sons
song masculine songs
sooth (truth) neuter sooths
sop masculine sops Attested in OE as sopp, with uncertain gender. Made masculine by analogy with sope.
sope (drink) masculine sopen From OE sopa.
sore neuter sores
sorrow feminine sorrowen
soul feminine soulen
south neuter souths Nominalization of adjective.
sow (female pig) feminine sowen
sparrow masculine sparrowen
spear neuter spears
speech feminine speechen
speed feminine speeden
spell (incantation) neuter spells
spew (vomit) neuter spews Nominalization of verb.
spider masculine spidern
spilth (spillage) feminine spilthen Made feminine here because of the -th suffix.
spindle feminine spindlen It is possible for the ending of this word to be mistaken for (or blended in with) the -le suffix, thus making it masculine; in this case, the plural would be spindles.
spird (stadium, racecourse) masculine spirds From OE spyrd.
splot (plot of land) masculine splots From OE splott.
spoke masculine spoken
sponge feminine spongen
spoon masculine spoons A feminine form was also present in OE.
The original meaning was chip; the present meaning appears to have come from Norse.
spot masculine spots Attested once in OE as spot, but the gender is unknown. Made masculine here by analogy with wem.
spring masculine springs
staff (rod, letter) masculine staffs, staves Staves is from OE stafas (showing fricative voicing and historical open-syllable lengthening).
Stave is a newly formed singular based on staves and is interchangeable with staff in most uses.
stag masculine staggen Probably a weak masculine in OE.
stair feminine stairen Generally used in the plural.
stall masculine stalls
stand masculine stands
star masculine starren
start (beginning) neuter starts Nominalization of verb.
start (tail, handle) masculine starts
stath (geographical bank) neuter staths
stay (rope) neuter stays Of unknown gender in OE. Assumed to be neuter based on its cognates in other Germanic languages.
stead masculine steads
stealth feminine stealthen
steam masculine steams
stear (history, story) neuter stears History is from a later borrowing, as is story.
steed masculine steeden
steel neuter steels
steer (bull) masculine steers
stench masculine stenches
step masculine steps
steven (voice) feminine stevenen Rhymes with heaven.
steven (appointed time) masculine stevens Rhymes with heaven.
steward masculine stewards Etymologically a compound with ward (guardsman).
stick masculine sticken
stile (steps) feminine stilen It is possible for the ending of this word to be mistaken for (or blended in with) the -le suffix, thus making it masculine; in this case, the plural would be stiles.
stirrup masculine stirrups Etymologically a compound meaning climb-rope.
stitch (sewing) masculine stitches
stitch (piece) neuter stitches From OE styċċe.
stock masculine stocks
stone masculine stones
stonerock (obelisk) masculine stonerocks From OE stānrocc. The inflected form stānrocces suggests that it was either masculine or neuter. Made masculine here by analogy with stone.
Rock is attested in OE only in this compound; the independent word is generally considered a reborrowing from French and thus would be feminine.
stool masculine stools
stork masculine storks Probably a masculine in OE.
storm masculine storms
stow (place) feminine stowen
strand (beach) neuter strands
straw neuter straws
streak masculine streaken
stream masculine streams
streel (arrow) feminine streelen From OE strǣl (the West Saxon form; the Anglian form was strēl).
Either masculine or feminine in OE. Made feminine here by analogy with arrow.
streen (lineage, ancestry) neuter streens Strain (as in kind, breed) is a French-influenced form.
street feminine streeten
strength feminine strengthen
stride masculine strides Found in OE as stridi (a strong masculine) and later re-formed by analogy with the verb.
strind (lineage) feminine strinden From OE strȳnd. Rhymes with find.
string masculine strings Or: stringe (as string may be a Norse-influenced form).
stringel (gallant leader) masculine stringel From OE strenġel.
strike neuter strikes Nominalization of verb.
stroke masculine strokes Unattested in OE, but implied by the verb strācian. Made masculine here by analogy with streak.
stud (post) feminine studden Alternative plural: stid (plural with vowel change).
stud (group of animals) neuter studs
sty (pigsty) neuter sties
sty (climb) masculine sties From OE stiġe.
sullow (plow) feminine sullowen Alternative plural: sillow (plural with vowel change).
summer masculine summers
sun feminine sunnen
sup neuter sups Nominalization of verb.
OE had supan, an inflected form showing uncertain vowel length and gender, but the modern word appears to be based on the verb.
suster (sister) feminine sustern Sister is a Norse-influenced form.
swallow (bird) feminine swallown
swallow (gulp) neuter swallows
swam (mushroom) masculine swams Rhymes with bomb.
swan masculine swans
sweer (father-in-law) masculine sweers From OE swēor.
sweer (pillar, column) masculine sweers From OE swēor.
sweven (dream) neuter swevens Rhymes with heaven.
swim neuter swims Nominalization of verb.
swine neuter swine Unmarked plural.
swink (toil, trouble) neuter swinks From OE swinc.
swire (neck) masculine swiren From OE swīra.
swoon (swineherd) masculine swoons From OE swān.
swoon (faint) neuter swoons Nominalization of verb.
swoot (sweat) masculine swoots Sweat is from the verb.
Either masculine or neuter in OE. Made masculine here.
sword neuter swords
tail masculine tails
tale feminine talen
tar neuter tars
tarse (penis) masculine tarses
team masculine teams
tear (teardrop) masculine tears
tear (rip) neuter tears Nominalization of verb.
temple neuter temples It is possible for the ending of this word to be mistaken for (or blended in with) the -le suffix, thus making it masculine.
thane masculine thanes
thank masculine thanks
thatch neuter thatches
theft feminine theften
thester (darkness) feminine thestern
thew (brawn) masculine thews
thew (slave) masculine thews
thewn (slavess) feminine thewnen Etymologically a derivative of thew.
thicket neuter thickets
thief masculine thieves Plural with fricative voicing.
thigh neuter thighs
thimble masculine thimbles Of uncertain gender in OE, but probably a masculine because of the -le suffix. Etymologically a derivative of thumb.
thing neuter things
thingel (prince) masculine thingels From OE þenġel.
thirl (hole) neuter thirls Also found in eyethirl (window).
thirst masculine thirsts
thistle masculine thistles
thoft (companion) masculine thoften
thoft (rower's bench) feminine thoften
thong masculine thongs
thorn masculine thorns
thought masculine thoughts Usually a strong masculine in OE.
thread masculine threads
threat masculine threats
throng neuter throngs
throp (village) masculine throps Thorp is a Norse-influenced form.
through (tombstone) feminine throughen Rhymes with now.
Alternative plural: thrigh (plural with vowel change).
thumb masculine thumben
thunder masculine thunders
thweal (towel) feminine thwealen Towel is from a later borrowing.
tide feminine tiden
tie feminine tien
tile feminine tilen It is possible for the ending of this word to be mistaken for (or blended in with) the -le suffix, thus making it masculine; in this case, the plural would be tiles.
tilth (tillage) feminine tilthen Derivative of till. Made feminine here because of the -th suffix.
time masculine timen
tin neuter tins
tit (breast) masculine tits
toad feminine toaden An alteration of OE tādiġe.
toady masculine toadies Apparently a shortening of toadeater.
toe feminine toen
token neuter tokens
tone (twig) masculine tones From OE tān.
tong (tool) feminine tongen Mostly used in the plural.
tongue feminine tonguen
tool neuter tools
tooth masculine teeth Plural with vowel change.
top masculine tops
tor (tower) masculine tors Tower is from a later borrowing.
town masculine towns
trap feminine trappen
tree neuter trees
trind (round object) masculine trinden Rhymes with find.
Attested in OE only in the inflected form trindan, so it is uncertain whether it was masculine or feminine. Made masculine here by analogy with ball.
troth (faith) feminine trothen From a variant of truth.
true (truce) feminine truen From OE trēow. Already in OE, this was often used in the plural with singular force, and in ME, the plural form with -s was made into a singular, whence the word truce (thus a singular made from a plural). Here, true replaces truce.
truth feminine truthen Plural with fricative voicing.
tungle (heavenly body) neuter tungles It is possible for the ending of this word to be mistaken for (or blended in with) the -le suffix, thus making it masculine.
turf feminine turfen, turven Plural with fricative voicing.
Alternative plural: turf (plural with vowel change).
tush (canine tooth) masculine tushes Originally a variant of tusk.
tusk masculine tusks
tween (doubt) masculine tweens From OE twēon, which appears to have been a variant of twēo (a weak masculine).
twig feminine twiggen This comes from OE twigge, a northern form that was feminine; the usual word in West Saxon was twig, which was a strong neuter and would have become *twy.
twin masculine twins
twine neuter twines
udder neuter udders
undern (afternoon) masculine underns
wain (car) masculine wains
walk neuter walks
walkirry (witch, sorceress) feminine walkirrien From OE wælcyrġe. Related to valkyrie, which is from Norse.
wall masculine walls
wane (lack) masculine wanen From OE wana. A neuter form was also present in OE.
wane (decrease) neuter wanes Nominalization of verb. The difference in sense suggests that this was independently formed from wane meaning lack.
warch (pain) masculine warches From OE wærc. Rhymes with porch.
ward (guardsman) masculine wards
ward (guardianship, district) feminine warden
ware feminine waren
warlock masculine warlocken
warmth feminine warmthen Made feminine here because of the -th suffix.
warp neuter warps
warrow (monster) masculine warrows
wart feminine warten
watch feminine watchen
water neuter waters
wax neuter waxes
way masculine ways
weal (well-being) masculine wealen
wealth feminine wealthen Made feminine here because of the -th suffix.
weapon neuter weapons
wear neuter wears Nominalization of verb.
weasel feminine weaselen
weather neuter weathers
web neuter webs
webber (weaver) masculine webbers Agent noun of web meaning woven fabric.
webster (weaver) feminine webstern Originally the feminine equivalent of webber.
wedlock neuter wedlocks
weed (plant) neuter weeds
weed (garment) feminine weeden
week feminine weeken
weft masculine wefts Merger of a strong masculine and a weak masculine.
weight feminine weighten
welcome neuter welcomes Nominalization of verb. OE had the noun wilcuma (welcome guest), but the modern meaning is clearly taken from the verb, so it is made neuter here.
welkin (sky) neuter welkins Apparently from variant forms of the plural of wolken (thus a singular made from a plural).
wem (stain) masculine wems From OE wamm, which was later altered by analogy with the OE verb wemman (stain).
were (man, husband) masculine weres Rhymes with bear. Found in werewolf.
were (weir) masculine weres Weir is a French-influenced form.
werrien (monstress) feminine werrienen Etymologically the feminine of warrow.
west neuter wests Nominalization of adjective.
wether (castrated goat/ram) masculine wethers
whale masculine whales
wharf neuter wharves Plural with fricative voicing.
wheat masculine wheats
wheel neuter wheels
whey neuter wheys
while feminine whilen It is possible for the ending of this word to be mistaken for (or blended in with) the -le suffix, thus making it masculine; in this case, the plural would be whiles.
whole neuter wholes Nominalization of adjective.
whore feminine whoren
wich (village) neuter wiches Found in placenames such as Sandwich.
Also spelled wick.
widow feminine widowen
width feminine widthen Made feminine here because of the -th suffix.
wife neuter wives Plural with fricative voicing.
wight (creature) neuter wights A feminine form was also present in OE.
wilderness feminine wildernessen Etymologically wildern-ness (in which wildern is an adjective meaning wild, savage and is derived from wild deer meaning wild animal).
will masculine willen A neuter form was also present in OE.
willow masculine willows
willy (basket) feminine willien From OE wiliġe.
wilven (she-wolf) feminine wilvenen From OE wylfen. OE also had wylf as a synonym.
win (victory) neuter wins
win (friend) masculine wins Found in names such as Edwin.
win (delight) feminine winnen Found in winsome.
wind masculine winds
wine neuter wines
winter masculine winters
wird (fate) feminine wirden Also used for forwird (ruin, perdition).
The word weird (originally a noun and now an adjective) is from the Scottish form.
wise (manner) feminine wisen Found in words like clockwise.
wit (intelligence) neuter wits
wit (wise man) masculine witten From OE wita.
witch feminine witchen
withe (flexible branch) feminine withen Rhymes with myth.
withy (willow) masculine withies Rhymes with prithee.
woath (hunt, chase) feminine woathen
woe masculine woen Originally an interjection. Made masculine here from influence of the related OE noun wāwa (woe), a weak masculine.
wold (forest) masculine wolds
wolf masculine wolves Plural with fricative voicing.
wolken (cloud) neuter wolkens Related to welkin, which seems to have developed from variants of the plural form such as weolcnu, though the phonetic change behind this is irregular.
woman feminine women Plural with vowel change.
Etymologically wife-man, but even in OE, it was occasionally feminine, and since this is now opaque, it is made feminine here.
womb feminine womben
wonder neuter wonders
wong (field) masculine wongs From OE wang. Also found in nerxenwong (paradise).
wong (cheek) feminine wongen From OE wang. Also found in thunwong (temple of the head, from OE þunwang).
Though originally a weak neuter, OE wang also gained strong forms, partly masculine and partly feminine. Made feminine here by analogy with cheek.
wonger (pillow) masculine wongers From OE wangere.
wood masculine woods
woof (weft) neuter woofs
wool feminine woolen
word neuter words
work neuter works
world feminine worlden
worm masculine worms
worry neuter worries Nominalization of verb.
worship masculine worships Etymologically worth-ship.
wort (herb) feminine worten Rhymes with hurt.
wort (brewing) feminine worten Rhymes with hurt.
worth (value) neuter worths
worth (enclosure) feminine worthen From OE worþ. Found in placenames such as Halesworth.
wough (wall) masculine woughs From OE wāg. Rhymes with dough.
wound feminine wounden
wrath feminine wrathen
wreath masculine wreathen Plural with fricative voicing.
wren masculine wrennen
wrench (trick, wile) masculine wrenches From OE wrenc.
wrench (twist, tool for wrenching) neuter wrenches Nominalization of verb.
wright (worker, maker) masculine wrights
wrist feminine wristen
writ (writing) neuter writs
writhe (contortion) neuter writhes Nominalization of verb.
wusk (wish) masculine wusks Wish is from the verb.
yard (enclosure) masculine yards
yard (measurement) feminine yarden
yarn neuter yarns
yarrow (gear) feminine yarrowen From OE ġearwe. Gear is a Norse-influenced form.
yarrow (plant) feminine yarrowen
yeak (cuckoo) masculine yeaks From OE ġēac.
yeap (expanse, space) feminine yeapen From OE ġēap.
year neuter years
yeast masculine yeasts
yeave (gift) feminine yeaven
yeft (gift) feminine yeften From OE gift, with the vowel later altered to e by analogy with yeave (the native word for give). Gift is a Norse-influenced form.
yest masculine yests Guest is a Norse-influenced form.
yew masculine yews
yield neuter yields
yild (guild) neuter yilds From OE ġeġyld. Yild is a later dialectal form.
Guild is a Norse-influenced form.
yim (gem) masculine yims Gem is from a later borrowing.
yoke neuter yokes
yolk masculine yolken
youth feminine youthen Plural with fricative voicing.

Old English borrowed words from Old Norse, many of which only begin to be attested in Middle English likely because of gaps in the historical record. Old Norse borrowings keep the gender of the original word.

In terms of declension, feminines and neuters are treated here as weak and strong, respectively. The only complication arises in masculines, for there are two main declensions for masculines in Old Norse: the strong declension (in which the nominative singular ends with -r) and the weak declension (in which the nominative singular ends with -i). Weak masculines in Norse appear to have been treated as weak masculines in Old English, e.g., ON útlagi > OE ūtlaga, ON húsbóndi > OE hūsbonda.

Old Norse words (if the word is not simply a phonetic substitution of a native word, then it is included here):

Old Norse words
Noun Gender Plural Notes
anger masculine angers
awn feminine awnen
bag masculine baggen From ON baggi (weak masculine).
bat (animal) feminine batten Apparently related to ON leðrblaka, which was feminine.
bark (rind) masculine barks
bloom (flower) neuter blooms
bond (peasant) masculine bonden From OE bonda (< ON bóndi, a weak masculine). Now found only in husband.
booth feminine boothen Plural with fricative voicing.
boulder masculine boulders Originally a shortening of boulder stone and thus masculine.
calf (part of leg) masculine calves Plural with fricative voicing.
cast neuter casts Nominalization of verb.
club feminine clubben
cog feminine coggen
cost (manner, trait) masculine costs From OE cost. Unrelated to cost meaning price.
down (feathers) masculine downs
fellow masculine fellown From OE fēolaga (< ON félagi, a weak masculine).
firth (estuary) masculine firths
flat neuter flats Nominalization of adjective, perhaps with some influence from native flet for the meaning of apartment.
freckle masculine freckles Ultimately from a plural form in Norse. Made masculine here because of the -le ending.
gap neuter gaps The native cognate would be yeap.
grith (peace, sanctuary) neuter griths From OE griþ.
hug neuter hugs Nominalization of verb.
husband masculine husbanden From OE hūsbonda (< ON húsbóndi, a weak masculine). Etymologically house-bond.
husting neuter hustings Generally used in the plural.
ill neuter ills Nominalization of adjective.
keg masculine keggen From ON kaggi (weak masculine).
kick neuter kicks Nominalization of verb.
kid neuter kids
kindle neuter kindles Nominalization of verb.
law (rule) feminine lawn
leg masculine legs
link masculine links
loft neuter lofts The native cognate is lift (air).
mug feminine muggen Probably from a Norse word, but the original form is unknown.
Made feminine by analogy with cup.
oaf masculine oafs, oaves Plural with fricative voicing.
The native cognate is elf.
outlaw masculine outlawn Found as a weak noun in OE.
raft masculine raften Made masculine by analogy with float.
rig neuter rigs Nominalization of verb.
root feminine rooten The native cognate is wort (herb).
score feminine scoren
scrap neuter scraps
seat neuter seats
skill neuter skills
skin neuter skins
skirt feminine skirten The native cognate is shirt.
skull masculine skulls Probably from a Norse word, but the original form is unknown.
sky neuter skies
slug masculine slugs Probably from a Norse word. Perhaps from ON slókr.
smile neuter smiles Nominalization of verb.
swain (suitor, attendant) masculine swains The native cognate would be swoon (swineherd).
Found in compounds such as boatswain/bosun and coxswain.
thrall masculine thralls
thrift feminine thriften
wand masculine wands
wing masculine wings
wrong neuter wrongs From OE wrang. Nominalization of adjective.

Other words (words that have uncertain or unknown origins or are generally thought to be imitative in origin):

Other words
Noun Gender Plural Notes
babe (infant) masculine babes Probably an imitative word from baby talk.
babe (darling) feminine baben The modern sense of this definition is feminine by nature, thus made feminine here.
baby masculine babies Etymologically a derivative of babe.
beach neuter beaches Perhaps related to OE bæce, which varied in gender.
Made neuter here by analogy with the synonym strand.
bloke masculine blokes Of unknown origin.
booby, boob (breast) neuter boobies, boobs Ultimately from bubby, which is probably imitative in origin.
Made neuter here by analogy with the synonym breast.
boy masculine boys Sometimes traced to French, though similar forms appear in other West Germanic languages. It is uncertain whether the word is connected to the OE name Boia.
bubble masculine bubbles Unattested in OE. The base bub appears to be imitative in origin.
Made masculine here because of the -le ending, which is masculine.
bun, bunny (rabbit) masculine buns, bunnies Probably from Scots.
Made masculine here by analogy with hare.
chip (fragment) neuter chips First attested in ME. Probably derived from the verb (which probably existed in OE, as suggested by the derivative forċippian). Hence, it is made neuter.
This appears to be distinct from OE ċipp, which referred to a beam or a plowshare.
creek masculine creeks Possibly a borrowing from Old Norse kriki, which was masculine.
Made masculine here by analogy with stream.
dad masculine dads From an assumed ME *dadde. Probably an imitative word from baby talk.
dude masculine dudes Perhaps a shortening of doodle, which itself is of unknown origin.
flag feminine flaggen Perhaps ultimately imitative, or otherwise drawn from Proto-Germanic.
Made feminine here because of its West Germanic counterparts.
gal feminine gallen From a variant of girl (which is of uncertain origin).
girl feminine girlen Sometimes assumed to be from OE *gyrela (a reconstructed form) and connected to OE ġerela (dress, apparel), though the latter OE word is assumed to have /j/ and thus would have become *yirl instead.
gun neuter guns Of unknown origin. Possibly from a shortening of Gunilda, a Norse name that was apparently used for a ballista in Windsor Castle.
Made neuter here by analogy with weapon.
knuckle masculine knuckles First attested in ME. Perhaps from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German.
No OE cognate is attested; cnucel is an erronous form in Bosworth-Toller. The OE form would probably have been *cnyċel (> *knitchel) and is possibly found in OE ġecnyclede.
lad masculine lads It is uncertain whether it is connected to the OE name Ladda.
lash feminine lashen Possibly an imitative word.
Made feminine here because of its West Germanic counterparts.
lass feminine lassen Possibly from Norse.
mom, mum feminine mommen, mummen Shortening of momma, which is an alternative spelling of mama. Possibly connected to ME mome (aunt). Probably an imitative word from baby talk.
pie (food) masculine pies Has no cognates in other Germanic languages.
Made masculine here by analogy with bakemeat (baked pastry).
pixie masculine pixies Of unknown origin. Made masculine here by analogy with elf.
rub neuter rubs Nominalization of verb. Of uncertain origin.
rubber masculine rubbers Etymologically rub-er (the masculine agent suffix).
squid feminine squidden Of unknown origin. Perhaps an alteration of squirt, which itself is of unknown origin. Made feminine here by analogy with cuttle (as in cuttlefish).

Suffixes[edit]

Suffixes also bear gender, so derivatives formed with these suffixes have the same gender as the suffix.

Productive native suffixes
Noun Gender Plural Example Notes
-dom masculine -doms kingdoms
-er masculine -ers writers
-ful (quantity) neuter -fuls handfuls Originally the adjective full agreeing in gender with the preceding noun.
-hood masculine -hoods neighborhoods
-ing (verbal noun) feminine -ingen meetingen
-ling (belonging to) masculine -lings underlings The diminutive meaning appears to have come from Norse.
-ness feminine -nessen highnessen
-some (group) neuter -somes twosomes Originally the pronoun some used after numbers in the genitive plural.
-ster feminine -stern spinstern Originally a feminine agent suffix.


Unproductive native suffixes
Noun Gender Plural Example Notes
-en (feminine) feminine -enen minchenen
-en (diminutive) neuter -ens maidens
-ing (patronymic) masculine -ings sweetings
-le masculine -les thimbles Some derivatives in OE were feminine.
-lock neuter -locks wedlocks A suffix denoting action, practice, or state.
-ock masculine -ocks hillocks Originally a diminutive suffix, which is evident only in hillock now.
-th, -t feminine -then, -ten strengthen, theften Some derivatives in OE were masculine.


French, Latin, and Greek suffixes
Noun Gender Plural Example Notes
-a feminine -aen amoebaen From Latin.
Note that since this is a case ending, you can just drop this all together in most cases (actaact, baiabay, catapultacatapult).
-age masculine -ages peerages From French.
-arch masculine -archs patriarchs From Latin (ultimately from Greek).
-archy feminine -archien monarchien From Latin (ultimately from Greek).
-ard masculine -ards bastards From French (ultimately from Frankish).
Note that while this suffix is Germanic in nature, and many compounds using this suffix consist of native English words (e.g., wizard), the primary use of this suffix is thanks to the Norman French. Use with caution.
-cracy feminine -cracien democracien From French and Latin (ultimately from Greek).
-cracy is the French form; if borrowed directly from Latin, the suffix would be -craty (and the plural thus -cratien). The Latin form is what the other Germanic languages use.
-crat masculine -crats aristocrats From French (ultimately from Greek).
-ence feminine -encen residencen From French. Also in the form of -ance.
-ent masculine -ents presidents From Latin -ēns (acc. -entem).
-ery feminine -erien bakerien From French.
-ess feminine -essen princessen From French (ultimately from Greek).
-et masculine -ets buckets From French.
Note that some words in English ending in -et originally came from a French word that was feminine that had the ending dropped (like violette to violet). For these words, while it is possible to assume they would keep their gender as it was, it might simply blend with the masculine suffix.
-ette feminine -etten cigaretten From French.
-ian masculine -ians magicians From French and Latin.
-ienne feminine -iennen comediennen From French.
-ine feminine -inen doctrinen From French and Latin -ina, with the case ending dropped.
-ism masculine -isms archaisms From French and Latin (ultimately from Greek).
-ist masculine -ists alchemists From French and Latin (ultimately from Greek).
-ity feminine -itien fatalitien From French and Latin.
Note that this shape is due to Norman French, and if borrowed from Latin directly, would be -itat (and the plural thus -itaten). The Latin form is what the other Germanic languages use.
-let masculine -lets booklets From French.
-ment neuter -ments governments From French and Latin -mentum, with the case ending dropped.
The suffix is treated as neuter, which agrees with the Latin suffix and which the other West Germanic languages do for -ment. The suffix in French is masculine.
-on masculine -ons accordions From Latin (acc. ōnem).
-or masculine -ors doctors From Latin. Equivalent to the native suffix -er.
-phobia feminine -phobien arachnophobien From French and Latin -phobia (ultimately from Greek).
Alternative form: -phoby, with the case ending dropped. The alternative form is what the other Germanic languages use.
-sis feminine -sisen diagnosisen From Greek.
-tion feminine -tionen definitionen From French and Latin. Also in the form of -sion.
-trix feminine -trixen imperatrixen From Latin.
-um neuter -ums addendums From Latin.
Note that since this is a case ending, you can just drop this all together in most cases (alphabetumalphabet, desertumdesert, crystallumcrystal).
-ure feminine -uren closuren From French and Latin.
-us masculine -uses cactuses From Latin.
Note that since this is a case ending, you can just drop this all together in most cases (adultusadult, bombusbomb, classusclass).
-y (abstract) feminine -ien baronien From French and Latin -ia, with the case ending dropped.


Other suffixes
Noun Gender Plural Example Notes
-ista masculine -istas fashionistas From Spanish. Either masculine or feminine in Spanish, depending on the sense.
-kin (diminutive) masculine -kins lambkins Apparently from Middle Dutch. The suffix in Dutch is neuter.
Not productive in English. Made masculine here (by analogy with the native diminutive suffix -ock), though the gender may change in names and words referring to people.
-nik masculine -niks peaceniks From Yiddish and Russian. The suffix is masculine in both languages.
-y (diminutive) masculine -ies doggies Of uncertain origin. An identical suffix is present in German as -i. In German, -i words usually have the same gender as the referent, though apparently some speakers treat it as neuter by analogy with the diminutive suffixes -chen and -lein.
Made masculine here (by analogy with the native diminutive suffix -ock), though the gender may change in names and words referring to people.