Why Oaken Flaxen Olden but not Elmen Wheaten Newen ?

Pebbenwall   Fri Apr 23, 2010 12:52 pm GMT
You folks are very knowsome about English so please help. Why is it that in English one can make the word Oaken form Oak but not other trees and their woods with the suffix -en?

And what about stuff like Golden but not Stonen? 'the Princess lived in a golden palace but the witch dose not live in a stonen hut'

Oak - Oaken (oak + -en meaning of oak) but why not the following enendings for other trees and things made from their woods?

Enendings work well on all the unvoweled tree words. Whereas -ern and -n in conjunction with a bit of word shortening (Pebben for Pebble rather than Pebblen or Pebblern) work best on the vowel enders.

Beech - Beechen
Elm - Elmen
Larch - Larchen
Yew -Yewen
Holly (can you say Hollern or is it Hollyen or Holln?)
Birch -Birchen
Wych - Wychen
Fir (Firen or Firn or maybe Firnern or Firt?)
Ash -Ashen
Alder (would this be Aldren, Alderen, Aldern or Alden?)
Aspen (Aspenen, Aspern, Aspenern?)
Apple (Applen, Applern, Appeln?)
Cherry (Cherryen, Cherren, Cherrern?)
Walnut (Walnuten, Walnen?)
Myrtle (Myrtlen, Myrtlern, Myrteln?)
Blackthorn (Blackthornen?)
Sloe (Sloen, Sloern?)
Plum - Plumen
Wild - Wilden
Linden (Lindenen, Lindern, Lindeen?)
Lime - Limen
Elder (Elderen, Eldern, Eldren?)
Maple (Maplen, Maplern, Mapeln?)
Fig (Figen, Figern?)
Hawthorne (Hawthornen, Hawthornern?)
Hazel (Hazelen, Hazelern?)
Hornbeam (Hornbeamen, Hornbeamern?)
Chestnut (Chestnuten, Chestnutern, Chesten?)
Rowan (Rowanen, Rowanern, Rown?)
Buckthorn (Buckthornen, Buckthornern?)
Spindle (Spindlen, Spindlern, Spinden?)
Strawberry (Strawnbren, Strawberen, Strawbern, Strawberryen, Strawnbern?)
Wayfaring (Wayfarn, Wayfaringen, Wayfaringern?)
Whitebeam (Whitebeamen, Whitebeamern, Whitebearm?)
Mulberry (Mulberryen, Mulbern, Mulberryen?)
Heaven (Heavenen, Heavenern, Heavern?)
Pear (Pearen, Pearn, Pearern?)
Box - Boxen
Chokers (Chokersen, Chokersern, Chokern?)
???   Fri Apr 23, 2010 8:32 pm GMT
It's possible it's left over from when English inflected its adjectives. Maybe.
Uriel   Fri Apr 23, 2010 11:59 pm GMT
Wheaten is a word -- see wheaten terriers.
Pebbenwall   Sat Apr 24, 2010 12:15 am GMT
Yep that is most likely it, but I wonder why it has gone on to become so hit and miss in these newen days?

You can swing down a 'golden' axe made of gold, but its not allowed to leave an 'axen' mark made by an axe! - why is the -en suffix so hypocracitcal, fickle and flip floppy?
Leasnam   Sat Apr 24, 2010 12:18 am GMT
The -en ending meaning "made of, consisting of" comes from an Old English suffix '-en' from Proto-Germanic '-inaz', and is related to the Latin ending in English which is "-ine" (cf Equine, Marine, etc)

-en can be added to any tree name to signify something made from it. If I had a shirt woven from larchwood (theorhetically), I could say I owned a "larchen shirt".

'Stonen' is possible too (OE staenen "stoney, made of stone"), but we just use 'stone' as the adjective, because early on, 'stonen' > 'stone' due to the double n being pronounced like one n. it's hard to say "stonen" without slipping it into just "stone" (cf dayey, clayey, etc--hard to say). But you *could* say "stonen"--that is a valid English word + brook of a suffix.

'Silvern' ("made of silver") and 'brazen' ("made of brass") are like 'golden', but we don't normally say "coppern", "oren" or "tinnen", etc.

It just comes down to what sounds the best I guess.
Leasnam   Sat Apr 24, 2010 12:20 am GMT
also think of 'glazen' for "made of glass", which does exist as a word
Pebenwall   Sat Apr 24, 2010 12:21 am GMT
<Wheaten is a word -- see wheaten terriers.>

Oh goodie! way more original than calling them flaxen, and since there IS a 'wheaten' it should bode well that there is actually a 'thatchen' too.
Leasnam   Sat Apr 24, 2010 12:29 am GMT
dunno bout that, but there is an 'oaten' ;)
Pebbenwall   Sat Apr 24, 2010 12:31 am GMT
Thanks Leasnam.

The star marked words are probably the only words which would make folks think twice.

Pebbenwall   Sat Apr 24, 2010 12:38 am GMT
Its so easy to breath extra life into these words. All someone has to do is call their cottage Thatchenhouse or a city farm called Oatenfield or a new-build road in Docklands called Cobbenwalk (cobble road) rather than Victorious Colonnade or whatever etc.
Leasnam   Sat Apr 24, 2010 12:40 am GMT
some other more opensightly ones: wooden, bronzen, linen, earthen, silken, woolen

other new ones to bethink: soapen, steelen, rocken, boarden, sheeten (made of paper), shitten (made of you know what), haten, bricken, clothen, oilen, eggen...
Pebbenwall   Sat Apr 24, 2010 12:56 am GMT
Slag - Slagen - Slag slag heap Slagenbeech or Slagenknoll etc

Flagg - Flaggen (many colours) 'hike to the top of flaggentop hill' 'the flaggen flag'

Shingle - Shinglen/Shingen - Shinglenhole shaft works
Mightenfight&bloodenf   Sat Apr 24, 2010 12:44 pm GMT
Elder tree (ellaen, ellaern) not be miststaken for Alder tree.

Elder - Elderen, Elerern, Elden, Eledern
.   Sat Apr 24, 2010 1:32 pm GMT
Bearberry - Bearen, Bearern, Bearben, Bearberren, Bearbern?

Whortleberry - Whortlen, Whortlern, Whorten, Whortern, Whortleberren, Whortlebern?

Blackberry - Blacken, Blackern, Blackberren, Blackberrern, Blackbern?

Gooseberry - Goosen, Goosern, Gooseberren Goosebern?

Cloudberry - Clouden, Cloudern, Cloudberren, Cloudbern?

Birdcherry - Birden, Birdern, Birdcherren, Birdcherrern, Birdchen?

Bladdernut - Bladden, Bladdern, Bladderen, Bladderern, Bladdernuten, Bladdernutern, Bladdert?

Bramble - Bramben, Brambern, Bramblen, Bramblern?

Thistle - Thisten, Thistern, Thistlen, Thistlern?

Gorse - Gorsen, Gorsern?

Furze - Furzen, Furzern?

Johnswort - Johnsworten, Johnswortern?

Bloodtwig - Bloodtwigen, Bloodtwigern, Blooden, Bloodern?

Crabapple - Craben, Crabern, Crabappen, Crabappern, Crabapplen, Crabapplern?

Bridewort - Briden, Bridern, Brideworten, Bridewortern?

Broom - Broomen, Broomen?

Brier - Briern, Brieren, Bren?

Withy - Withen, Withern, Withyen, Withyern?

Durmast - Dunmasten, Durmasten, Durm, Durmen?

Dogwood - Dogen, Dogern, Dogwooden, Dogwoodern?

Butterflybush - Buttern, Butten, Butteren, Butterern, Butterflen?

Cockspurthorn - Cockspurn, Cockspuren, Cockspurern?

Prickly - Pricken, Pricklen, Prickern?

Woody - Wooden, Woodyen, Woodten, Wooten?

Thorny - Thornt, Thornen, Thornern?

Bush - Bushen?

Shrub - Shruben?
.   Mon Apr 26, 2010 2:31 pm GMT
icen - made of ice (an icen sculpture)

also, in slightly altered form: elfin ("elfin magic")