Old English Newsletter


Back  |  Print


Anglo-Saxon Plant Name Survey (ASPNS): Tenth Annual Report for 2008


Dr. C. P. Biggam, Director of ASPNS, University of Glasgow

ASPNS has acquired another author. He is Prof. T. L. Markey, a retired professor of German and linguistics who has held positions in Harvard University and the University of Michigan, as well as visiting professorships in Austria and Germany. His present work centres on the word leek and its relatives.

ASPNS presented a session at the International Medieval Congress for 2008, held at the University of Leeds. The session was entitled 'Problems with Plant Names', and it was organized by Carole Biggam, moderated by Prof. Graham Caie, and sponsored by the Department of English Language, University of Glasgow. The speakers were as follows:

  • Carole P. Biggam, University of Glasgow: "Entering the Jungle: the Nature of Plant-Names."
  • Maria A. D'Aronco, University of Udine, Italy: "Some Problematic Plant-Names: Elehtre and Galluc, a Reconsideration."
  • Alaric Hall, University of Leeds: "'My Sigurðr Was to the Sons of Gjúki as is Garlic Growing Up from Grass': Why Were Medieval Germanic Speakers So Passionate about Alliums?"

An excellent outcome of presenting this session was that we were able to make the acquaintance of several Scandinavian researchers into plant and garden history, as well as meeting again some of the staff of the Dictionary of Old English Plant Names.

Thanks is due to our umbrella organization, the Institute for the Historical Study of Language, University of Glasgow, and also to the Department of English Language of the same university, where ASPNS is based.


Plant-Related Publications by ASPNS Members

  • Bierbaumer, Peter, Hans Sauer, Helmut W. Klug and Ulrike Krischke, "Old English Plant Names Go Cyber: the Graz-Munich Dictionary Project." …un tuo serto di fiori in man recando: scritti in onore di Maria Amalia D'Aronco, edited by Patrizia Lendinara (Udine: Forum, 2008). vol. 2: 43-62.
  • Biggam, C. P., "Anglo-Saxon Plant Name Survey (ASPNS): Ninth Annual Report, for 2007," Old English Newsletter 41.1 (2008): 34-5.
  • Hooke, Della, "Early Medieval Woodland and the Place-Name Term Lēah," A Commodity of Good Names: Essays in Honour of Margaret Gelling, edited by O. J. Padel and David N. Parsons (Donington: Shaun Tyas, 2008), 365-76.