Designates the population in Britain partly descended from the Germanic tribes who migrated from Europe and settled the south and east of the island beginning in the early 5th century, and the period after their initial settlement through their creation of the English nation up to the Norman conquest.
The Anglo-Saxon era denotes the period of English history between about 550 and 1066. Also known as Old English, that was spoken and written by the Anglo-Saxons in England (and parts of south-eastern Scotland ) between at least the mid-5th century and the mid- 12th century , after which it is known as Middle English .
The Benedictine monk Bede, writing in the early 8th century, identified the English as the descendants of three Germanic tribes:
The Angles , who probably came from Angeln (in modern Germany ): Bede wrote that their whole nation came to Britain, leaving their former land empty. The name England ( Old English : Engla land or Ængla land ) originates from this tribe.
The Saxons, from Lower Saxony (in modern Germany; German: Niedersachsen) and the Low Countries;
The Jutes, possibly from the Jutland peninsula (in modern Denmark; Danish: Jylland).
The language was divided into four main dialects: West Saxon , Mercian , Northumbrian and Kentish
Old English, sometimes calledAnglo-Saxon, was the language spoken under Alfred the Great and continued to be the common language of (non-Danelaw) England until after the Norman Conquest of 1066 when, under the influence of the Anglo-Norman language spoken by the Norman ruling class, it changed into Middle English roughly between 1150-1500..
Old English is far closer to early Germanic than Middle English. It is less Latinised and retains many morphological features (nominal and rbal inflection) that were lost during the 12th to 14th centuries. The languages today which are closest to Old English are the Frisian languages , which are spoken by a few hundred thousand people in the northern part of Germany and the Netherlands.
Although today we ha borrowed words from most of the world's languages, our basic vocabulary comes to us from Old English. Words like heart, foot, head, day, year, earth, father, mother, son, daughter, name, east, full, hound, tooth, eat, wea, and sew are survivals of Old English words. Indeed, all of those words come to us from Proto-Indo-European; thus, they ha been part of our language for thousands of years.
Examples of Old English words
A abide, abo, ale, ali, apple, awake, axe
B back, bath, bed, bird, blood, body, brother
C can, car, chicken, child, clean, cold, cup
D daft, daughter, dead, deer, door, drink, dusk