gestures and signs

Barbara Need nee1 at MIDWAY.UCHICAGO.EDU
Fri Feb 4 04:06:06 UTC 2005

>_sign of the cross_ (OED: c1290).  Is there any indication of what
>Anglo-Saxons called it?
>barnhart at

According to _A Thesaurus of Old English_

bletsung, cristelmae:l, cru:c, ha:lig ro:de ta:cen, ro:d, ro:de tq:cen

to 'make the sign of the cross" was

(ge)bletsian, (ge)mercian mid ... ro:de, (ge)segnian

My copy of Clark-Hall _A concise Anglo-Saxon Dictionary_ translates
these back into ModEng as

'consecration, blessing, benediction, favor of God'; [=
cri:stesmae:l] 'Christ's mark, the cross'; 'cross', [written
rodetacen] 'holy sign of the cross'; 'sign of the cross'

'consecrate, ordain, bless, give thanks, adore, extol, sign with the
cross, pronounce or make happy'; [= mearcian] 'mark with ... cross',
'to make the sign of the cross, cross oneself, consecrate, bless'

It also gives wyrcan cristesmael for 'to make the sign of the cross'.

Barbara Need

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