English

\ \ [OE] The people and language of England take their name from the Angles, a West Germanic people who settled in Britain in the 5th and 6th centuries AD. They came originally from the Angul district of Schleswig, an area of the Jutland peninsula to the south of modern Denmark. This had a shape vaguely reminiscent of a fishhook, and so its inhabitants used their word for ‘fishhook’ (a relative of modern English angler and angling) to name it. From earliest times the adjective English seems to have been used for all the Germanic peoples who came to Britain, including the Saxons and Jutes, as well as the Angles (at the beginning of the 8th century Bede referred to them collectively as gens anglorumrace of Angles’). The earliest record of its use with reference to the English language is by Alfred the Great.
\ \ Cf.ANGLER, ANGLING

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

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