Thanks to Maurice Reed for his technical and testing assistance.

About Old English and Scots/Lallans

Old English (sometimes called Anglo-Saxon) is the earliest attested form of the English language. Old English grammar starts to change around 1100 after the Norman French invasion of 1066 resulting in Middle English. This caused the language to incorporate more French vocabulary and sounds. In addition, the grammar began to evolve to a form closer to Modern English.

Old English Links

Scots/Lallans

The language of Scottish poets like Robert Burns (Auld Lang Syne) is called Scots or Lallans. It is a descendant of Old English and a close relative of Modern English. Scots preserves some archaic features of Old English including some consonants "ch" /x/ and some pre vowel shift pronunciations.

Note: Modern Scots uses English spelling, but older texts may use Old English letters.

About Scots/Lallans

Old English Orthography

Old English and Unicode

Old English, like most medieval languages, shows a wide range of diacritic marks
and unusual characters, not all of which may be represented in Unicode. However,
most of the more commonly encountered issues such as thorn (þ), eth (ð), long ash (ǣ) and wynn (ƿ) can be displayed within Unicode.

Font Recommendations

Thorn (þ)/Eth (ð) and Long Vowels Ā-Ū

Because thorn (þ/Þ) eth (ð,Ð) are used in modern Icelandic, many common fonts listed below already contain these characters. These fonts also usually contain long vowels ā,ē,ī,ō,ū.These fonts include:

  • Arial
  • Calibri
  • Cambria
  • Century Gothic
  • Century Schoolbook
  • Comic Sans
  • Georgia
  • Helvetica
  • Palatino
  • Times New Roman
  • Verdana

Note: If your version of one of the font listed above does not include long marks, make sure you have a recent version of Microsoft Office or Windows installed if possible.

Additional Fonts

Fewer fonts contain characters such as long y (ȳ), long ash (ǣ), wynn (ƿ), yogh (ȝ) and C/G dot (ċ,ġ). Some of the ones that do are listed below.

Microsoft Office/Windows

  • Arial
  • Calibri
  • Cambria
  • Times New Roman

Macintosh

  • Helvetica
  • Lucida Grande

Third Party Fonts

 

Windows International Keyboard Codes

In order to use these codes you must activate the U.S. international keyboard. Once the U.S. International keyboard has been activated, you can use the codes below.

Note: Other characters like wynn, yogh, and the long vowels must be inserted with the Character Map utility. or Word Numeric ALT codes.

International Keyboard Codes
Character Code
æ, Æ RightAlt+Z, Shift+RightAlt+Z  (You must use the Alt key on the right)
ð,Ð RightAlt+D, Shift+RightAlt+D
þ, Þ RightAlt+T, Shift+RightAlt+T

Character Map

The Windows Character Map also includes the ability to insert vowels with macrons/long marks.

Windows Word Numeric ALT Codes

The following numeric codes work only in Microsoft Word, and you must use the numeric keypad. More detailed instructions
about typing accents with ALT keys are available. 

Word ALT Codes

Vwl ALT Code
Ā ALT+0256
Cap long A
Ē ALT+0274
Cap long E
Ī ALT+0298
Cap long I
Ō ALT+0332
Cap long O
Ū ALT+0362
Cap long U
Ȳ ALT+0562
Cap long Y
Capital Vowels
Æ ALT+0198

Cap short ash
Ǣ ALT+0482
Cap long ash
Vwl ALT Code
ā ALT+0257
Lower long A
ē ALT+0275
Lower long E
ī ALT+0299
Lower long I
ō ALT+0333
Lower long O
ū ALT+0363
Lower long U
ȳ ALT+0563
Lower long Y
Lower Vowels
æ ALT+0230
Lower short ash
ǣ ALT+0483
Lower long ash
Consonants
Cns ALT Code
Ð ALT+0208
Cap eth
ð ALT+0240
Lower eth
Þ ALT+0222
Cap Thorn
þ ALT+0254
Lower Thorn
Ƿ ALT+0503
Cap Wynn
ƿ ALT+0447
Lower Wynn
Ȝ ALT+0540
Cap Yogh
ȝ ALT+0541
Lower Yogh
Ċ ALT+0266
Cap C Dot
ċ ALT+0267
Lower C Dot
Ġ ALT+0288
Cap G Dot
ġ ALT+0289
Lower G Dot
 

Manuscript Abbreviations

Below are codes for manuscript abbreviations amperagus (⁊) and slashed thorn (ꝥ), but you probably will need to download a comprehensive font to view them.

Manuscript Conventions
Sym Character Code
ALT+8266
Amperagus/Tironian ET
ALT+42853
Thorn with slash

 

Macintosh Extended Keyboard Codes

Apple has provided additional keyboards which allow you to enter Old English characters via Unicode.

For vowels, thorns, eths and superscript dots

You can switch to or the US/ABC Extended keyboard and use these additional accent codes.
Note: Another option is to insert them via the Character Viewer/Palette.

Mac Extended Accent Codes
Character Name Character Code
Ash æ, Æ

Option+’ (singequote) = lowercase aesc
Shift+Option+’ = capital aesc

Thorn þ,Þ

Option+T = lowercase thorn
Shift+Option+T = capital thorn

Eth ð,Ð

Option+D = lowercase eth
Shift+Option+D = capital thorn

Macron (Long Vowel) ǣ

Option+A, V
For instance ǣ (long ash), would be Option+A, then Option+’

Acute (Long Vowel Alt) ǽ

Option+E, V
For instance ǽ (long ash), would be Option+E, then Option+’

Superscript Dot ċ,ġ

Option+W,C
For instance ġ (lower g dot), would be Option+W, then G
Ġ (cap g dot), would be Option+W, then Shift+G

 

Other Characters

You can switch to the Unicode Hex Input keyboard and use these Option numeric codes. Once entered, these letters can be cut and pasted
as needed. Another option is to insert them via the Character Viewer/Palette.

Note: You may need to download a comprehensive font to view manuscript conventions such as abbreviations amperagus (⁊) and slashed thorn (ꝥ).

Additional Option Codes
Sym Option Code
Ƿ Option+01F7
Cap Wynn
ƿ Option+01BF
Lower Wynn
Ȝ Option+021C
Cap Yogh
ȝ Option+021D
Lower Yogh
Option+204A
Amperagus/Tironian ET
Option+A765
Thorn with slash

HTML Accent Codes

This section presents information specific to Latin. For general information about developing non-English Web sites, see the Encoding Tutorial or the Web Layout sections.

Unicode Encoding

If you use long marks, Unicode (utf-8) is the required encoding for Web sites. If the following encodings are used instead, you may encounter display problems:

Avoid These

  • iso-8859-1 (Latin 1),
  • iso-8859-15 (Latin with euro (€) symbol)
  • win-1252 (Windows 1)

Language Tags

Language Tags allow browsers and other software to process text more efficiently.

Language Codes:

  • ang (Old English/Anglo-Saxon)
  • enm (Middle English)
  • sco (Scots/Lallans)

The HTML Entity Codes

Use these codes to input accented letters in HTML. For instance, if you want
to type ġeþwǣre, you would type ġeþǣre. These numbers are also used with the Word Numeric ALT codes listed above.

HTML Entity Codes for Old English

Capital Vowels
Vwl Entity Code
Ā Ā
Capital Long A
Ē Ē
Capital Long E
Ī Ī
Capital Long I
Ō Ō
Capital Long O
Ū Ū
Capital Long U
Ȳ Ȳ
Cap long Y
Æ Æ
Cap AE lig
Ǣ Ǣ
Cap long ash
Lower Vowels
Vwl Entity Code
ā ā
Lower long A
ē ē
Lower long E
ī ī
Lower long I
ō ō
Lower long O
ū ū
Lower long U
ȳ ȳ
Lower long Y
æ æ
AE lig
ǣ ǣ
Lower long ash
Consonants
Cns Entity Code
Ð Ð (208)
Cap eth
ð ð (240)
Lower eth
Þ Þ (222)
Cap thorn
þ þ (254)
Lower thorn
Ƿ Ƿ
Cap Wynn
ƿ ƿ
Lower Wynn
Ȝ &#540
Cap Yogh
ȝ ȝ
Lower Yogh
Ċ Ċ
Cap C Dot
ċ ċ
Lower C Dot
Ġ Ġ
Cap G Dot
ġ ġ
Lower G Dot
 

Manuscript Abbreviations

Below are codes for manuscript abbreviations amperagus (⁊) and slashed thorn (ꝥ), but you probably will need to download a comprehensive font to view them.

Manuscript Conventions
Sym Entity Code
⁊
Amperagus/Tironian ET
ꝥ
Thorn with slash ("that")
 

Links

Freeware Fonts

Both Microsoft and Apple provide fonts with Old English support, but they are
sans-serif fonts. These fonts include the characters and are serif fonts, which tend to be more readable for
medieval languages.

Additional Information

Old English Language

Scots/Lallans Language

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