A Short List of Common Middle English Words

al: although
alday: continually
alderbest: best of all
algate: in any case
als: also, as
anon: immediately
artow: art thou, thou art
as: as, so as, often untranslatable
aventure: chance
ay: always

been: are
bet: better
beth: are; as imperative, be
bihote: promise (verb)
blyve, blive: quickly, soon
bountee: goodness
brenne(n): burn
breyde: move suddenly, start
buxom: obedient

can, (or kan): know, be able
canstow: can you, you can
cas: chance, accident
certes: surely, certainly
clerk: scholar
clepe(n): call, name
conne, konne: be able, know
corage: heartor: ere, before
couthe, cowthe: known

daungerous: distant, haughty
disese: discomfort
drenche(n): drown
dreynt: drowned

ech: each
eek, ek, or eke: also
er, er that: before
everich: every, every one

fay, fey: faith
fere, feere: companion
feele, fele: many
ferre: farther
fonde: test, strive
forthy: therefore
forward: agreement, promise
for-why: because
fro: from

gan: began, did (past tense of biginnen)

han: have
hastow: have you, you have
hem: them
hende: handy; courteous, gentle
here: her
her, hir(e): their
hight: called, named, promised

ilke: same
iwis: indeed

kan: see can
konne: learn, know how to

lasse: less
leste, lesteth: it pleases
lette(n): hinder, prevent
lite: little
lust: pleasure, desire

maistow, maystow: may you, you may
make: mate, husband
mede: reward
men: one, like German mann or French on
mete(n): dream
mo: more
moot: must
mowe: may
murye, myrie: merry

nam: am not
namo, namoore: no more
nadde: ne hadde: did not have
ne: not
neer: near, nearer
nil, nel, nyl: ne will, does not want
no fors: no matter
nolde: ne wolde (would not)
noot, not: ne woot (know not)
nyst: ne wyste (did not know)

o, oo, oon: one

paraunter, peraunter: peradventure
pardee: by God, common oath

rathe: early, soon
rede, reed: advise, interprete; n. counsel

quite(n): requite, pay back
quod: said

seistow: thou sayest
sely: innocent
shaltow: thou shalt
siker(ly): sure, surely
sith: since, then
skile, skille: reason
somedele: somewhat
sownen: conduce to, lead to
steven: voice
steven: meeting, occasion
swich: such
swynk(en): work (often w/ sexual implications
swythe: quickly

ther: where
thilke: this, that
tho: then
tho: those
tweye: two
trowe(n): believe

unnethe(s): scarcely

verray: true

wene, weneth: think, thinks
whylom: once, once upon a time
wisly: certainly, surely
withouten drede: without doubt
wood (adj.): mad, insane
worship: honor
wot: know
wrye(n): turn

yaf: gave
ycleped: called, named
yeve: gave
yerne: eagerly
yfeere, yfere: together
ywis (iwis): indeed 

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