Saturday, 18 December 2010

The meaning of Sassenach



Sassenach definition

an English person or Lowlander: term used, often disparagingly, by the Irish and Scots

Origin: Ir Sasanach or Gael Sasunnach < Gael Sasunn, Saxon < Gmc, as in OE Seaxan, Saxon


[Gael. sasunnach.]
A Saxon; an Englishman; a Lowlander. [Celtic] Sir W. Scott.



Sassenach is a word used chiefly by the Scots and to designate an Englishman or a Lowlands Scot. It derives from the Gaelic Sasunnach meaning, originally, "Saxon". The modern Scottish spelling is 'Sasannach'. As employed by Scots or Scottish English-speakers today it is usually used in jest, as a (friendly) term of abuse. The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) gives 1771 as the date of the earliest written use of the word in English.

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