|Old Frankish / Old Franconian|
|Native to||formerly the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Northern France, Western Germany|
|Era||5th to the 9th century|
Old Frankish (or, more correctly, "Old Franconian") was the language spoken by the Germanic Franks in the Low Countries and adjacent parts of contemporary France and Germany between the 4th and 8th century. It belongs to the West Germanic language group and is thought to have given rise to the modern Franconian languages. The Franks descended from Germanic tribes that settled parts of the Netherlands and western Germany during the early Iron Age. From the 4th century, they are attested as extending into what is now the southern Netherlands and northern Belgium. In the 5th and 6th centuries, they expanded their realm and conquered Roman Gaul completely as well as client states such as Bavaria and Thuringia.
Knowledge of Old Frankish is almost entirely reconstructed from Old Dutch and from etyma and loanwords from Old French. A notable exception is the Bergakker inscription found in 1996, which may be a direct attestation of Old Frankish.
During this period, Old Frankish had a major influence on the lexicon, pronunciation and grammar of the Romance languages spoken in former Roman Gaul. As a result, many modern French words and placenames (including the country name "France") have a Germanic origin. Between the 5th and 9th centuries, the languages spoken by the Salian Franks in Belgium and the Netherlands evolved into Old Dutch (Old Low Franconian), while in Picardy and Île-de-France it was eventually eclipsed by Old French as the dominant language.
Written texts of the language spoken by the Franks are extremely rare and much more limited when compared to Old English and Old High German. Most of the earliest texts written in the Low Countries were written in Latin. Some of these Latin texts however contained non-Latin words interspersed with the Latin text. These words are the only attestation of the language spoken by the Franks. Also, it is extremely hard to determine whether a text was actually written in the language spoken by the Franks, because the various Germanic dialects spoken at that time were much more closely related.
The set of dialects spoken by the Franks before around 500 AD was probably not a separate language per se, but a set of Istvaeonic dialects in the West Germanic branch of Proto-Germanic. It is only around 500 AD that one can speak of a "Frankish" or "Franconian" language.
There is some confusion between "Frankish" and "Franconian", even though they essentially mean the same thing. The historical origins of this confusion are described in detail in a separate section below.
The English term "Old Frankish" is often rather unclearly used (including in this article) to refer to what should properly be called "Old Franconian". The term "Old Frankish" in English is vague, referring sometimes to language and sometimes to other cultural aspects. It is also problematic in that it is not the term used by philologists and it misrepresents a complicated linguistic situation.
In philology, the language spoken by the Salian Franks from around the 5th to the 10th century was a variety of "Old Franconian" called "Old Low Franconian" or, more commonly, "Old Dutch". (This use of two terms to refer to a single language is similar to way that "Anglo-Saxon" and "Old English" are both used to refer to the same language.) This language should properly be called "Old Low Franconian" or "Old Dutch". However, some people refer to this as "Old Frankish" because of its connection to the Frankish people and empire.
The English term "Old Frankish" is, for historical reasons, usually not used in the context of the Ripuarian Franks and their language. It is more often used in the Salian Frank and Dutch contexts. However, the Franks in Germany spoke a variety of Old Franconian. This could also (irregularly) be called Old Frankish.
To make things even more complicated, the language spoken by the Salian Franks is sometimes referred to as "Old West Low Franconian", not just "Old Low Franconian".
So the language spoken by the Salian Franks (including those who expanded into France) should be called "Old Dutch", but it is also referred to as "Old Franconian", "Old Low Franconian", "Old West Low Franconian" and (irregularly) "Old Frankish". The language is referred to by five different names.
The Germanic languages are traditionally divided into three groups: West, East and North Germanic. Their exact relation is difficult to determine, and they remained mutually intelligible throughout the Migration Period, so that some individual varieties are difficult to classify.
The language spoke by the Franks was part of the West Germanic language group, which had features from Proto-Germanic in the late Jastorf culture (ca. 1st century BC). The West Germanic group is characterized by a number of phonological and morphological innovations not found in North and East Germanic.
Nevertheless, many scholars doubt that the West Germanic languages descended from a common ancestor later than Proto-Germanic, that is, they doubt that a "Proto-West-Germanic" ever existed. Rather, some have argued that after East Germanic broke off from the group, the remaining Germanic languages, the Northwest Germanic languages, divided into four main dialects: North Germanic, and the three groups conventionally called "West Germanic", namely
Evidence for this view comes from a number of linguistic innovations found in both North Germanic and West Germanic,. Under this view, the properties that the West Germanic languages have in common separate from the North Germanic languages are not inherited from a "Proto-West-Germanic" language, but rather spread by language contact among the Germanic languages spoken in central Europe, not reaching those spoken in Scandinavia or reaching them much later.
Nevertheless, it has been argued that, judging by their nearly identical syntax, the West Germanic languages during this early period were close enough to have been mutually intelligible.
It is not known exactly how the Frankish tribes, or the later Franks, fit into these groupings. They seem to have been primarily Istvaeonic.
Modern scholars of the Migration Period are in agreement that the Frankish identity emerged at the first half of the 3rd century out of various earlier, smaller Germanic groups, including the Salii, Sicambri, Chamavi, Bructeri, Chatti, Chattuarii, Ampsivarii, Tencteri, Ubii, Batavi and the Tungri. It is speculated that these tribes originally spoke a range of related Istvaeonic dialects in the West Germanic branch of Proto-Germanic. Sometime in the 4th or 5th centuries, it becomes appropriate to speak of Old Franconian (or, irregularly, of Old Frankish) rather than an Istvaeonic dialect of Proto-Germanic.
Very little is known about what the language was like during this period. One older runic sentence dating from around 425-450 AD is on sword sheath of Bergakker. Another early sentence from the early 6th century AD is found in the Lex Salica. This phrase was used to free a serf:
These are the earliest sentences yet found of Old Franconian. Because some people irregularly refer to this as Old Frankish, these sentences could also be described as examples of Old Frankish.
During this early period, the Franks were divided politically and geographically into two groups: the Salian Franks and the Ripuarian Franks. The language (or set of dialects) spoken by the Salian Franks during this period is sometimes referred to as early "Old Low Franconian", and consisted of two groups: "Old West Low Franconian" and "Old East Low Franconian". The language (or set of dialects) spoken by the Ripuarian Franks are referred to just as Old Franconian dialects (or, by some, as Old Frankish dialects).
At around 500 AD the Franks probably still spoke a range of related dialects and languages rather than a single uniform dialect or language. The language of both government and the Church was Latin.
During the expansion into France and Germany, many Frankish people remained in the original core Frankish territories in the north (i.e. southern Netherlands, Flanders, a small part of northern France and the adjoining area in Germany centred on Cologne). The Franks united as a single group under Salian Frank leadership around 500 AD. Politically, the Ripuarian Franks existed as a separate group only until about 500 AD. After that they were subsumed under the Salic Franks. The Franks were united, but the various Frankish groupings must have continued to live in the same areas, and speak the same dialects, but did so as part of the growing Frankish Empire.
There must have been a close relationship between the various Frankish dialects. There was also a close relationship between Old Low Franconian (i.e. Old Dutch) and its neighbouring Saxon-based languages and dialects to the north and northeast, i.e. Old Saxon and the related Anglo-Saxon dialects called Old English and Old Frisian.
A widening cultural divide grew between the Franks remaining in the north and the rulers far to the south. Franks continued to reside in their original territories and to speak their original dialects and languages. It is not known what they called their language, but it is possible that they always called it "Diets" (i.e. "the people's language"), or something similar.
Philologists think of Old Dutch and Old West Low Franconian as being the same language. However, sometimes reference is made to a transition from the language spoken by the Salian Franks to Old Dutch. The language spoken by the Salian Franks must have developed significantly during the seven centuries from 200 to 900 AD. At some point the language spoken by the Franks must have become identifiably Dutch. Because Frankish texts are almost non-existent and Old Dutch texts scarce and fragmentary, it is difficult to determine when such a transition occurred, but it is thought to have happened by the end of the 9th century and perhaps earlier. By 900 AD the language spoken was recognisably an early form of Dutch, but that might also have been the case earlier. Old Dutch made the transition to Middle Dutch around 1150. A Dutch-French language boundary came into existence (but this was originally south of where it is today). Even though living in the original territory of the Franks, these Franks seem to have broken with the endonym "Frank" around the 9th century. By this time the Frankish identity had changed from an ethnic identity to a national identity, becoming localized and confined to the modern Franconia in Germany and principally to the French province of Île-de-France.
The Franks expanded south into Gaul. Although the Franks would eventually conquer all of Gaul, speakers of Old Frankish apparently expanded in sufficient numbers only into northern Gaul to have a linguistic effect. For several centuries, northern Gaul was a bilingual territory (Vulgar Latin and Frankish). The language used in writing, in government and by the Church was Latin. Eventually, the Franks who had settled more to the south of this area in northern Gaul started adopting the Vulgar Latin of the local population. This Vulgar Latin language acquired the name of the people who came to speak it (Frankish or Français); north of the French-Dutch language boundary, the language was no longer referred to as "Frankish" (if it was ever referred to that way at all) but came to be referred to as "Diets", i.e. the "people's language". Urban T. Holmes has proposed that a Germanic language continued to be spoken as a second tongue by public officials in western Austrasia and Neustria as late as the 850s, and that it completely disappeared as a spoken language from these regions only during the 10th century.
The Franks also expanded their rule southeast into parts of Germany. Their language had some influence on local dialects, especially for terms relating to warfare. However, since the language of both the administration and the Church was Latin, this unification did not lead to the development of a supra-regional variety of Frankish nor a standardized German language. At the same time that the Franks were expanding southeast into Germany, there were linguistic changes in Germany. The High German consonant shift (or second Germanic consonant shift) was a phonological development (sound change) that took place in the southern parts of the West Germanic dialect continuum in several phases, probably beginning between the 3rd and 5th centuries AD, and was almost complete before the earliest written records in the High German language were made in the 9th century. The resulting language, Old High German, can be neatly contrasted with Low Franconian, which for the most part did not experience the shift.
The set of dialects of the Franks who continued to live in their original territory in the Low Countries eventually developed in three different ways.
Because of the geographical correspondence, it is tempting (but speculative) to think that the languages and dialects spoken by the early Franks are represented today by the languages and dialects of the Rhenish fan.
The Frankish Empire later extended throughout neighbouring France and Germany. The language of the Franks had some influence on the local languages (especially in France), but never took hold as a standard language because Latin was the international language at the time. Ironically, the language of the Franks did not develop into the lingua franca.
"Franconian" is entirely an English word. Continental Europeans use the equivalent of "Frankish", from the original Latin Franci, with the same meaning; for example, the German for Old Franconian is alt-Fränkisch. The Dutch linguist, Jan van Vliet (1622-1666), uses Francica or Francks to mean the language of the oude Francken ("Old Franks"). For van Vliet, Francks descended from oud Teuts, what is today referred to in English as the Proto-Germanic language.
The name "Franconian", an English adjective made into a noun, comes from the official Latin name of an area (and later Duchy) in the Middle Ages known as Franconia (German Franken). If being in the territory of the original Franci is a criterion of being Frankish, it was not originally Frankish, but Alemannic, as the large Roman base at Mainz, near the confluence of the Main and the Rhine, kept the Franci and the Suebi, core tribe of the Alemanni, apart. When the Romans withdrew, the fort became a major base of the Ripuarian Franks, who promptly moved up the Main, founded Frankfurt ("the ford of the Franks"), established a government over the Suebi between the Rhine and the Danube, and proceeded to assimilate them to all things Frankish, including the dialects. The Ripuarian Franks at that time were not acting as such, but were simply part of the Frankish empire under the Carolingian dynasty.
Franconian is the only English single word describing the region called Franken by the Germans. The population considered as native is also called Franken, who speak a language called Fränkisch, which is dialects included in German. In the Middle Ages, before German prevailed officially over Latin, the Latinizations, Franconia and Francones, were used in official documents. Since Latin was the scholarly lingua franca, the Latin forms spread to Britain as well as to other nations. English speakers had no reason to convert to Franken; moreover, "Frankish" was already being used for French and Dutch. Franconian was kept.
The English did not have much to say about Franconian until the 18th century, except that it was "High Dutch," and "German." In 1767 Thomas Salmon published:
"The language of the Germans is High Dutch, of which there are many dialects, so different, that the people of one province scarce understand those of another."
"Province", as it was applied to Germany, meant one of the ten Reichskreise of the Holy Roman Empire. Slingsby Bethel had published a description of them in a political treatise of 1681, referring to each of them as a "province," and describing, among them, "The Franconian Circle." Slingsby's language development goes no further than "High Germany," where "High Dutch" was spoken and "the lower parts of Germany," speaking, presumably, Low Dutch. Salmon's implicit identification of dialects with Reichskreise speech is the very misconception found objectionable by Green and Siegmund:
"Here we are also touching upon the problem of languages, for many scholars ... proceed from the assumption that they were ethnic languages/dialects (Stammessprachen) ... the very opposite goes for the Franks ..."
In the mid-19th century, a time when the Germans were attempting to define a standard German, the term. alt-Fränkisch made its appearance, which was an adjective meaning "old-fashioned." It came into English immediately as "Old Franconian." English writings mentioned Old Franconian towns, songs and people, among other things. To the linguists, the term was a windfall, as it enabled them to distinguish a Stammsprach. For example, in 1863 Gustave Solling's Diutiska identified the Pledge of Charles the Bald, which is in Old High German, as Old Franconian. He further explains that the latter is an Upper German dialect.
By the end of the century the linguists understood that between "Low Dutch" and "High Dutch" was a partially altered continuum, which they called Middle, or Central, German. It had been grouped with Upper, or High, German. This "Middle" was between low and high, as opposed to the Chronological Middle High German, between old and new. In 1890 Ernest Adams defined Old Franconian as an Old High German dialect spoken on the middle and upper Rhine; i.e., it went beyond the limits of Franconia to comprise also the dialect continuum of the Rhineland. His earlier editions, such as the 1858, did not feature any Old Franconian.
After the English concept of Franconian had expanded to encompass the Rhineland in the 1850s and 1860s, a paradox seemed to prevent it from spreading to the lower Rhine. Language there could not be defined as High German in any way. In 1862 Max Müller pointed out that Jacob Grimm had applied the concept of "German" grammar to ten languages, which "all appear to have once been one and the same." One of these was the "Netherland Language, which appears to have been produced by the combined action of the older Franconian and Saxon, and stands therefore in close relation to the Low German and the Friesian. Its descendants now are the Flemish in Belgium and Dutch in Holland." Müller, after describing Grimm's innovation of the old, middle and new phases of High German, contradicts himself by reiterating that Franconian was a dialect of the upper Rhine.
After somewhat over a generation a formal solution had been universally accepted: Franconian had a low phase. An 1886 work by Strong and Meyer defined Low Franconian as the language "spoken on the lower Rhine." Their presentation included an Upper, Middle and Lower Franconian, essentially the modern scheme. Low Franconian, however, introduced another conflict of concepts, as Low Franconian must mean, at least in part, Dutch. Here Strong and Meyer are anachronistic on behalf of consistency, an error that would not have been made by native Dutch or German speakers. According to them, "Franconian ceases to be applied to this language; it is then called Netherlandish (Dutch)...." Only the English ever applied Franconian anywhere; moreover, Netherlandish had been in use since the 17th century, after which Dutch was an entirely English word. The error had been corrected by the time of Wright's Old High German Primer two years later, in 1888. Wright identifies Old Low Franconian with Old Dutch, both terms used only in English.
Before it acquired the present name "Germanic", "Germanic" was known as "Teutonic". The Germanics were literary witnesses in history to the alteration of their early Germanic speech into multiple languages. The early speech then became Old Teutonic. However, this Old Teutonic remained out of view, prior to the earliest writings, except for the language of the runic inscriptions, which, being one or two words and numbering less than a thousand, are an insufficient sample to verify any but a few phonetic details of the reconstructed proto-language.
Van Vliet and his 17th century contemporaries inherited the name and the concept "Teutonic". Teutones and Teutoni are names from classical Latin referring to the entire population of Germanics in the Proto-Germanic era, although there were tribes specifically called Teutons. Between "Old Dutch" (meaning the earliest Dutch language) and "Old Teutonic", Van Vliet inserted "Frankish", the language of the Old Franks. He was unintentionally ambiguous about who these "Old Franks" were linguistically. At one point in his writing they were referred to as "Old High German" speakers, at another, "Old Dutch" speakers, and at another "Old French" speakers. Moreover, he hypothesized at one point that Frankish was a reflection of Gothic. The language of the literary fragments available to him was not clearly identified. Van Vliet was searching for a group he thought of as the "Old Franks", which to him included everyone from Mainz to the mouth of the Rhine.
By the end of the 17th century the concept of Old Frankish, the ancestor language of Dutch, German, and the Frankish words in Old French had been firmly established. After the death of Junius, a contemporary of Van Vliet, Johann Georg Graevius said of him in 1694 that he collected fragments of vetere Francica, "Old Frankish," ad illustrandam linguam patriam, "for the elucidation of the mother tongue." The concept of the Dutch vetere Francica, a language spoken by the Franks mentioned in Gregory of Tours and of the Carolingian Dynasty, which at one end of its spectrum became Old Dutch, and at the other, Old High German, threw a shadow into neighboring England, even though the word "Franconian", covering the same material, was already firmly in use there. The shadow remains.
The term "Old Frankish" in English is vague and analogous, referring either to language or to other aspects of culture. In the most general sense, "old" means "not the present", and "Frankish" means anything claimed to be related to the Franks from any time period. The term "Old Frankish" has been used of manners, architecture, style, custom, government, writing and other aspects of culture, with little consistency. In a recent history of the Germanic people, Ozment used it to mean the Carolingian and all preceding governments and states calling themselves Franks through the death of the last admittedly Frankish king, Conrad I of Germany, in 919, and his replacement by a Saxon. This "Old Frankish" period, then, beginning in the Proto-Germanic period and lasting until the 10th century, is meant to include Old High German, Old Dutch and the language that split to form Low German and High German.
Germanic is so diverse as to defy attempts to arrive at a uniform Germanic ancestor. Max Müller finally wrote in the lectures on the Science of Language, under the heading, "No Proto-Teutonic Language:"
"We must not suppose that before that time [7th century] there was one common Teutonic language spoken by all German tribes and that it afterwards diverged into two streams — the High and the Low. There never was a common, uniform Teutonic language; .... This is a mere creation of grammarians who cannot understand a multiplicity of dialects without a common type."
Historical linguistics did not validate his rejection of the Tree model, but it did apply the Wave model to explain the diversity. Features can cross language borders in a wave to impart characteristics not explicable by descent from the language's ancestor. The linguists of the early 19th century, including Müller, had already foreshadowed the Wave Model with a concept of the "blend" of languages, of which they made such frequent use in the case of Germanic that it was difficult to discern any unblended language. These hypothetical "pure" languages were about as inaccessible as the Proto-Germanic Old Frankish; that is, pure guesswork. Dialects or languages in the sense of dialects became the major feature of the Germanic linguistic landscape.
A second term in use by Van Vliet was oud Duijts, "Old Dutch", where Duijts meant "the entire Continental Germanic continuum". The terms Nederlandsch and Nederduijts were coming into use for contemporary Dutch. Van Vliet used the oud Duijts ambiguously to mean sometimes Francks, sometimes Old Dutch, and sometimes Middle Dutch, perhaps because the terms were not yet firm in his mind. Duijts had been in general use until about 1580 to refer to the Dutch language, but subsequently was replaced by Nederduytsch.
English linguists lost no time in bringing Van Vliet's oud Duijts into English as "Old Dutch". The linguistic noun "Old Dutch", however, competed with the adjective "Old Dutch", meaning an earlier writing in the same Dutch, such as an old Dutch rhyme, or an old Dutch proverb. For example, Brandt's "old Dutch proverb", in the English of his translator, John Childe, mentioned in 1721: Eendracht maekt macht, en twist verquist, "Unity gives strength, and Discord weakness," means contemporary Dutch and not Old Dutch. On the frontispiece, Childe refers to the language in which the book was written as "the original Low Dutch". Linguistic "Old Dutch" had already become "Low Dutch", the contemporary language, and "High Dutch", or High German. On the other hand, "Old Dutch" was a popular English adjective used in the 18th century with reference to people, places and things.
Most French words of Germanic origin came from Frankish (some others are English loanwords), often replacing the Latin word which would have been used. It is estimated that modern French took between 700 and 1000 stem words from Old Frankish. Many of these words were concerned with agriculture (e.g., French: jardin "garden"), war (e.g., French: guerre "war") or social organization (e.g., French: baron "baron"). Old Frankish has introduced the modern French word for the nation, France (Francia), meaning "land of the Franks", as well as the name for the Paris region, Ile-de-France from "Lidle Franken" or "Little Franconia".
The influence of Frankish on French is decisive for the birth of the early langue d'oïl compared to the other Romance languages, that appeared later such as langue d'oc, Spanish, Portuguese and Catalan, Italian, etc., because its influence was greater than the respective influence of Visigothic and Lombardic (both Germanic languages) on the langue d'oc, the Romance languages of Iberia, and Italian. Not all of these loanwords have been retained in modern French. French has also passed on words of Frankish origin to other Romance languages, and to English.
See below a non-exhaustive list of French words of Frankish origin. An asterisk prefixing a term indicates a reconstructed form of the Frankish word. Most Frankish words with the phoneme w, changed it to gu when entering Old French and other Romance languages; however, the northern langue d'oïl dialects such as Picard, Northern Norman, Walloon, Burgundian, Champenois and Bas-Lorrain retained the [w] or turned it into [v]. Perhaps the best known example is the Frankish *werra ("war" < Old Northern French werre, compare Old High German werre "quarrel"), which entered modern French as guerre and guerra in Italian, Occitan, Catalan, Spanish and Portuguese. Other examples include "gant" ("gauntlet", from *want) and "garder" ("to guard", from *wardōn). Frankish words starting with the phoneme s changed to es when entering Old French (e.g., Frankish skirm and Old French escremie > Italian scrima > Modern French escrime).
|Current French word||Old Frankish||Dutch or other Germanic cognates||Latin/Romance|
|affranchir "to free"||*frank "freeborn; unsubjugated, answering to no one", nasalized variant of *frāki "rash, untamed, impudent"||Du frank "unforced, sincere, frank", vrank "carefree, brazen", Du frank en vrij (idiom) "free as air" Du Frankrijk "France", Du vrek "miser", OHG franko "free man"||L līberāre|
|alène "awl" (Sp alesna, It lesina)||*alisna||MDu elsene, else, Du els||L sūbula|
|alise "whitebeam berry" (OFr alis, alie "whitebeam")||*alísō "alder"||MDu elze, Du els "alder" (vs. G Erle "alder"); Du elsbes "whitebeam", G Else "id."||non-native to the Mediterranean|
|baron||*baro "freeman", "bare of duties"||MDu baren "to give birth", Du bar "gravely", "bare", OHG baro "freeman", OE beorn "noble"||Germanic cultural import|
|bâtard "bastard" (FrProv bâsco)||*bāst "marriage"||MDu bast "lust, heat, reproductive season", WFris boaste, boask "marriage"||L nothus|
|bâtir "to build" (OFr bastir "to baste, tie together")
|*bastian "to bind with bast string"||MDu besten "to sew up, to connect", OHG bestan "to mend, patch", NHG basteln "to tinker"; MDu best "liaison" (Du gemenebest "commonwealth")||L construere (It costruire)|
|bière "beer"||*bera||Du bier||L cervisia|
|blanc, blanche "white"||*blank||Du blinken "to shine", blank "white, shining"||L albus|
|bleu "blue" (OFr blou, bleve)||*blao||MDu blā, blau, blaeuw, Du blauw||L caeruleus "light blue", lividus "dark blue"|
|bois "wood, forest"||*busk "bush, underbrush"||MDu bosch, busch, Du bos "forest", "bush"||L silva "forest" (OFr selve), L lignum "wood" (OFr lein)|
|broder "to embroider" (OFr brosder, broisder)||*brosdōn, blend of *borst "bristle" and *brordōn "to embroider"||G Borste "boar bristle", Du borstel "bristle"; OS brordōn "to embroider, decorate", brord "needle"||L pingere "to paint; embroider" (Fr peindre "to paint")|
|broyer "to grind, crush" (OFr brier)||*brekan "to break"||Du breken "to break",||LL tritāre (Occ trissar "to grind", but Fr trier "to sort"), LL pistāre (It pestare "to pound, crush", OFr pester), L machīnare (Dalm maknur "to grind", Rom măcina, It macinare)|
|brun "brown"||?||MDu brun and Du bruin "brown" ||L brunneis|
|choquer "to shock"||*skukjan||Du schokken "to shock, to shake"|
|choisir "to choose"||*kiosan||MDu kiesen, Du kiezen, keuze||L eligēre (Fr élire "to elect"), VL exeligēre (cf. It scegliere), excolligere (Cat escollir, Sp escoger, Pg escolher)|
|chouette "barn owl" (OFr çuete, dim. of choë, choue "jackdaw")||*kōwa, kāwa "chough, jackdaw"||MDu couwe "rook", Du kauw, kaauw "chough"||not distinguished in Latin: L būbō "owl", ōtus "eared owl", ulula "screech owl", ulucus likewise "screech owl" (cf. Sp loco "crazy"), noctua "night owl"|
|cresson "watercress"||*kresso||MDu kersse, korsse, Du kers, dial. kors||L nasturtium, LL berula (but Fr berle "water parsnip")|
|danser "to dance" (OFr dancier)||*dansōn||OHG dansōn "to drag along, trail"; further to MDu densen, deinsen "to shrink back", Du deinzen "to stir; move away, back up", OHG dinsan "to pull, stretch"||LL ballare (OFr baller, It ballare, Pg bailar)|
|déchirer "to rip, tear" (OFr escirer)||*skerian "to cut, shear"||MDu scēren, Du scheren "to shave, shear", scheuren "to tear"||VL extracticāre (Prov estraçar, It stracciare), VL exquartiare "to rip into fours" (It squarciare, but Fr écarter "to move apart, distance"), exquintiare "to rip into five" (Cat/Occ esquinçar)|
|dérober "to steal, reave" (OFr rober, Sp robar)||*rōbon "to steal"||MDu rōven, Du roven "to rob"||VL furicare "to steal" (It frugare)|
|écang "swingle-dag"||*swank "bat, rod"||MDu swanc "wand, rod", Du (dial. Holland) zwang "rod"||L pistillum (Fr dial. pesselle "swingle-dag")|
|écran "screen" (OFr escran)||*skrank||MDu schrank "chassis"; G Schrank "cupboard", Schranke "fence"||L obex|
|écrevisse "crayfish" (OFr crevice)||*krebit||Du kreeft "crayfish, lobster"||L cammārus "crayfish" (cf. Occ chambre, It gambero, Pg camarão)|
|éperon "spur" (OFr esporon)||*sporo||MDu spōre, Du spoor||L calcar|
|espier "to spy"
espion "male spy",
espionne "female spy",
|*spehōn "to spy"||Du spieden, bespieden "to spy"|
|escrime "fencing" < Italian scrima < OFr escremie from escremir "fight"||*skirm "to protect"||Du schermen "to fence", scherm "(protective) screen", bescherming "protection", afscherming"shielding"|
|étrier "stirrup" (OFr estrieu, estrief)||*stīgarēp, from stīgan "to go up, to mount" and rēp "band"||MDu steegereep, Du stijgreep, stijgen "to rise", steigeren||LL stapia (later ML stapēs), ML saltatorium (cf. MFr saultoir)|
|flèche "arrow"||*fliukka||Du vliek "arrow feather", MDu vliecke, OS fliuca (MLG fliecke "long arrow")||L sagitta (OFr saete, Pg seta)|
|frais "fresh" (OFr freis, fresche)||*friska "fresh"||Du vers "fresh", fris "cold"|
|franc "free, exempt; straightforward, without hassle" (LL francus "freeborn, freedman")
France "France" (OFr Francia)
|*frank "freeborn; unsubjugated, answering to no one", nasalized variant of *frāki "rash, untamed, impudent"||MDu vrec "insolent", Du frank "unforced, sincere, frank", vrank "carefree, brazen", Du Frankrijk "France", Du vrek "miser", OHG franko "free man"||L ingenuus "freeborn"
|frapper "to hit, strike" (OFr fraper)||*hrapan "to jerk, snatch"||Du rapen "gather up, collect", G raffen "to grab"||L ferire (OFr ferir)|
|frelon "hornet" (OFr furlone, ML fursleone)||*hurslo||MDu horsel, Du horzel||L crābrō (cf. It calabrone)|
|freux "rook" (OFr frox, fru)||*hrōk||MDu roec, Du roek||not distinguished in Latin|
|galloper "to gallop"||*wala hlaupan "to run well"||Du wel "good, well" + lopen "to run"|
|garder "to guard"||*wardōn||MDu waerden "to defend", OS wardōn||L cavere, servare|
|gant "gauntlet"||*want||Du want "gauntlet"|
|givre "frost (substance)"||*gibara "drool, slobber"||EFris gever, LG Geiber, G Geifer "drool, slobber"||L gelū (cf. Fr gel "frost (event); freezing")|
|glisser "to slip" (OFr glier)||*glīdan "to glide"||MDu glīden, Du glijden "to glide"; Du glis "skid"; G gleiten, Gleis "track"||ML planare|
|grappe "bunch (of grapes)" (OFr crape, grape "hook, grape stalk")||*krāppa "hook"||MDu crappe "hook", Du (dial. Holland) krap "krank", G Krapfe "hook", (dial. Franconian) Krape "torture clamp, vice"||L racemus (Prov rasim "bunch", Cat raïm, Sp racimo, but Fr raisin "grape")|
|gris "grey"||*grîs "grey"||Du grijs "grey"||cinereus "ash-coloured, grey"|
|guenchir "to turn aside, avoid"||*wenkjan||Du wankelen "to go unsteady"|
|guérir "to heal, cure" (OFr garir "to defend")
guérison "healing" (OFr garison "healing")
|*warjan "to protect, defend"||MDu weeren, Du weren "to protect, defend", Du bewaren "to keep, preserve"||L sānāre (Sard sanare, Sp/Pg sanar, OFr saner), medicāre (Dalm medcuar "to heal")|
|guerre "war"||*werra "war"||Du war or wirwar "tangle", verwarren "to confuse"||L bellum|
|guigne "heart cherry" (OFr guisne)||*wīksina||G Weichsel "sour cherry", (dial. Rhine Franconian) Waingsl, (dial. East Franconian) Wassen, Wachsen||non-native to the Mediterranean|
|haïr "to hate" (OFr haïr "to hate")
haine "hatred" (OFr haïne "hatred")
|*hatjan||Du haten "to hate", haat "hatred"||L odium|
|hanneton "cockchafer"||*hāno "rooster" + -eto (diminutive suffix) with sense of "beetle, weevil"||Du haan "rooster", leliehaantje "lily beetle", bladhaantje "leaf beetle", G Hahn "rooster", (dial. Rhine Franconian) Hahn "sloe bug, shield bug", Lilienhähnchen "lily beetle"||LL bruchus "chafer" (cf. Fr dial. brgue, beùrgne, brégue), cossus (cf. SwRom coss, OFr cosson "weevil")|
|haubert "hauberk"||*halsberg "neck-cover"||Du hals "neck" + berg "cover" (cf Du herberg "hostel")|
|héron "heron"||*heigero, variant of *hraigro||MDu heiger "heron", Du reiger "heron"||L ardea|
|houx "holly"||*hulis||MDu huls, Du hulst||L aquifolium (Sp acebo), later VL acrifolium (Occ grefuèlh, agreu, Cat grèvol, It agrifoglio)|
|jardin "garden" (VL hortus gardinus "enclosed garden", Ofr jardin, jart)||*gardo "garden"||Du gaard "garden", boomgaard "orchard"; OS gardo "garden"||L hortus|
|lécher "to lick" (OFr lechier "to live in debauchery")||*leccōn "to lick"||MDu lecken, Du likken "to lick"||L lingere (Sard línghere), lambere (Sp lamer, Pg lamber)|
|maçon "bricklayer" (OFr masson, machun)||*mattio "mason"||Du metsen "to mason", metselaar "masoner"; OHG mezzo "stonemason", meizan "to beat, cut", G Metz, Steinmetz "mason"||VL murator (Occ murador, Sard muradore, It muratóre)|
|maint "many" (OFr maint, meint "many")||*menigþa "many"||Du menig "many", menigte "group of people"|
|marais "marsh, swamp"||*marisk "marsh"||MDu marasch, meresch, maersc, Du meers "wet grassland", (dial. Holland) mars||L paludem (Occ palun, It palude)|
maréchausse "military police"
|*marh-skalk "horse-servant"||ODu marscalk "horse-servant" (marchi "mare" + skalk "servant"); MDu marscalc "horse-servant, royal servant" (mare "mare" + skalk "serf"); Du maarschalk "marshal" (merrie "mare" + schalk "comic", schalks "teasingly")|
|nord "north"||*Nortgouue (790-793 A.D.) "north" + "frankish district" (Du gouw, Deu Gau, Fri/LSax Go)||Du noord or noorden "north"||L septemtriones "north, north wind, northern regions, seven stars near the north pole", boreas "north wind, north", aquilo"stormy wind, north wind, north", septentriones north wind, north, northern regions, seven stars near the north pole", septentrio "north, great, north regions", septemtrio "north, great, north regions", aquilonium "northerly regions, north", borras "north" septemtrional "north", septentrional "north"|
|osier "osier (basket willow); withy" (OFr osière, ML auseria)||*halster||MDu halster, LG dial. Halster, Hilster "bay willow"||L vīmen "withy" (It vimine "withy", Sp mimbre, vimbre "osier", Pg vimeiro, Cat vímet "withy"), vinculum (It vinco "osier", dial. vinchio, Friul venc)|
|patte "paw"||*pata "foot sole"||Du poot "paw", Du pets "strike"; LG Pad "sole of the foot"; further to G Patsche "instrument for striking the hand", Patschfuss "web foot", patschen "to dabble", (dial. Bavarian) patzen "to blot, pat, stain"||Vulg LPauta, LL branca "paw" (Sard brànca, It brince, Rom brîncă, Prov branca, Romansh franka, but Fr branche "treelimb"), see also Deu Pranke|
|poche "pocket"||*poka "pouch"||MDu poke, G dial. Pfoch "pouch, change purse"||L bulga "leather bag" (Fr bouge "bulge"), LL bursa "coin purse" (Fr bourse "money pouch, purse", It bórsa, Sp/Pg bolsa)|
|riche "rich"||*riki "rich"||MDu rike, Du rijk "kingdom", "rich"||L ŏpĭpărus|
|sale "dirty"||*salo "pale, sallow"||MDu salu, saluwe "discolored, dirty", Du (old) zaluw "tawny"||L succidus (cf. It sucido, Sp sucio, Pg sujo, Ladin scich, Friul soç)|
|salle "room"||*sala "hall, room"||ODu zele "house made with sawn beams", Many place names: "Melsele", "Broeksele" (Brussels) etc.|
|saule "willow"||*salha "sallow, pussy willow"||OHG salaha, G Salweide "pussy willow", OE sealh||L salix "willow" (OFr sauz, sausse)|
|saisir "to seize, snatch; bring suit, vest a court" (ML sacīre "to lay claim to, appropriate")||*sakan "to take legal action"||Du zeiken "to nag, to quarrel", zaak "court case", OS sakan "to accuse", OHG sahhan "to strive, quarrel, rebuke", OE sacan "to quarrel, claim by law, accuse";||VL aderigere (OFr aerdre "to seize")|
|standard "standard" (OFr estandart "standard")||*standhard "stand hard, stand firm"||Du staan (to stand) + hard "hard"|
|tamis "sieve" (It tamigio)||*tamisa||MDu temse, teemse, obs. Du teems "sifter"||L crībrum (Fr crible "riddle, sift")|
|tomber "to fall" (OFr tumer "to somersault")||*tūmōn "to tumble"||Du tuimelen "to tumble", OS/OHG tūmōn "to tumble",||L cædere (obsolete Fr cheoir)|
|trêve "truce"||*treuwa "loyalty, agreement"||Du trouw "faithfulness, loyalty"||L pausa (Fr pause)|
|troène "privet" (dialectal truèle, ML trūlla)||*trugil "hard wood; small trough"||OHG trugilboum, harttrugil "dogwood; privet", G Hartriegel "dogwood", dialectally "privet", (dial. Eastern) Trögel, archaic (dial. Swabian) Trügel "small trough, trunk, basin"||L ligustrum|
|tuyau "pipe, hose" (OFr tuiel, tuel)||*þūta||MDu tūte "nipple; pipe", Du tuit "spout, nozzle"||L canna "reed; pipe" (It/SwRom/FrProv cana "pipe")|
The Franks conquered adjoining territories in Germany (including the territory of the Allemanni). The Frankish legacy survives in Germany, for example, in the names of the city of Frankfurt and the area of Franconia. The Franks must have brought their language with them from their original territory and, as in France, it must have had an effect on the local dialects and languages. However, this seems to have been overwhelmed by later linguistic changes.
Frankish also had an influence on late Latin itself. Latin words with Frankish roots include sacire, meaning "seize" (from Frankish sekjan, related to English "seek"). Frankish speech habits are also responsible for the substitution of Latin cum ("with") with aboc (a Frankish corruption of apud hoc "near this" ≠ Italian, Spanish con) in Old French (Modern French avec), and for the use of a non tonal form of Latin homo "man" : on one side homme "man" and on the other side Old French hum, hom, om > modern on, indefinite pronoun meaning "we", "it", etc. (compare German der Mann "man" and man, indefinite pronoun).
English also has many words with Frankish roots, usually through Old French e.g. random (via Old French randon, Old French verb randir, from *rant "a running"), standard (via Old French estandart, from *standhard "stand firm"), scabbard (via Anglo-French *escauberc, from *skar-berg), grape, stale, march (via Old French marche, from *marka) among others.
A few Italian words are of Frankish origin, too. They entered the vulgar language after the Frankish Empire annexed the Lombardic Kingdom of Italy.
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