The Origins of English



“The English language is like London: proudly barbaric yet deeply civilised, too, common yet royal, vulgar yet processional, sacred yet profane. Each sentence we produce, whether we know it or not, is a mongrel mouthful of Chaucerian, Shakespearean, Miltonic, Johnsonian, Dickensian and American. Military, naval, legal, corporate, criminal, jazz, rap and ghetto discourses are mingled at every turn. ” 
― Stephen FryThe Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within

Have you ever wondered why the English language has such an enormous vocabulary? Why does Stephen Fry describe it as a 'mongrel'? In this web quest, you will learn about the History of the English language, its origins and how English has evolved. You will learn about the very first origins of English-Old English and take a look at the wonderful epic poem Beowulf, which was written in Old English.

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