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Part II. Where did all those Words come ... > Chapter 7. Old English: AD 450­1150 - Pg. 10

10 Chapter 7. Old English: AD 450­1150 About AD 450 several Germanic tribes (the Angles, Saxons and Jutes) began to invade and conquer the island of Britain. Eventually these tribes occupied all of present-day England. These newcomers brought with them many closely related dialects (called Anglo-Saxon), out of which Old English developed. Old English also borrowed some words from Latin--the language of the Romans who invaded Britain around AD 43. These were the foundations for today's modern English. The vocabulary of Old English was small. Approximately 85 percent of it is no longer in use. Most of the Old English vocabulary was replaced by French and Latin words. However, Old English was flexible and combined old words easily to form new ones. It was rich in prefixes and suffixes, so that old words could be changed for new ones. Some words from everyday life are the same as they were in Old English-- cap, land, mat, meat, eat, fight, sleep, work, live, child, foot, house. Some religious words were borrowed from Latin when Christianity was introduced in AD 597-- abbot, altar, candle, martyr, relic. Old English was also influenced by a 26-year Danish reign (1014­1040). Later the Angles, Saxons