Scripture passages are written in Old English, which for some may be a bit confusing. In an attempt to assist those that find this vocabulary difficult to understand, we provide the following list of Old English words and phrases with their respective meanings.

This is only a partial list, and is a work in progress. If you would like to see the meaning of a particular word or phrase appear here, please email us at

art – are
beseech – request, ask.
besought – asked, made request. (past tense of beseech)
betwixt – between.
canst – can.
cometh – comes, or coming.
dearth – (durth) scarcity or scant supply of anything; want or lack such as a draught or famine.
didst – did
doth – do, does.
durst – Dare; to have the necessary boldness or courage for something.
dwelt – dwelled
entereth – to enter
forth – forward, out; cast forth – to cast out
hath – equivalent of modern has.
henceforth – from now on.
hither – here.
meet – suitable, fitting, proper: “It is not meet to take the children’s bread”
mete – to measure.
midst – Middle, or among: “in the midst of the storm…”
nary – None; absolutely nothing; not even close to anything.
naught – Nothing. (Did you know our modern word “not” is actually an abbreviated form of this Olde-English word, which was itself a shortened form of “no whit” or “not a whit”?)
pass – to go into the past, to pass from existence: “This too shall pass.” would mean something like “This too will go away”; it came to pass – it happened.
prevent – to act or go ahead of, to arrive before
shall or shalt – will
seek – (O.E. secan, to seek) To go in search or quest of; to look or search for.
straightway – immediately
tarry – to linger, deliberate, wait, stay, or pause.
thou – you
thee – you
thine – your
thither – there.
thy – your
trow – To think or suppose: “Wilt thou labor for naught? I trow not!”
whence – From where: “Whence, comest thou?” would translate to the modern “Where do you come from?”
wax – to grow, to become.
whither – To where: “Whither thou goest, I shall go.” translates in modern English as “Where you go, I will go.”
wilt – will: “such wilt fall”; to become limp or flaccid, droop: “the flower doth wilt”
wist – knew; past tense of wit: “He wist that his love was coming…”
wit – To know (usually referring to something in the future): “Canst thou wit what the day shall bring?”
wo – woe, great sorrow or distress
wot – to know: “For I wot that thou art a prophet”
wrought – done, made, created: “…see what God hath wrought…”
ye – polite form of thou.
yea – yes; indeed: “Yea, and he did come”; not only this but even: “a good, yea, a noble man”