The sixteen runes inscribed on the seventh-century Harford Farm Brooch can be divided up into three Old English words, the first of which is a name. The finite verb gibœtæ has so far been interpreted as a preterital form meaning `(he) repaired', but this analysis is very doubtful from the viewpoint of Old English grammar. If gibœtæ is parsed as the correctly shaped present subjunctive of the Old English verb gebētan the whole inscription can be interpreted as meaning `may Luda make amends by means of the brooch'. The phrase is calqued on legal terminology.
KeywordsEnglish Word Comparative Literature Historical Linguistic English Grammar Legal Terminology
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