(also called Anglo-Saxon
) was a Germanic language
that was spoken in England from about the 7th century to the 12th century. It is the ancestor of Middle English
. Within the Germanic languages, Old English is classified as Ingvaeonic
, related to Old Saxon
and Old Frisian
After the Norman conquest in 1066, the Anglo-Norman language (a dialect of Old French) displaced Old English as the language of the nobility. Likewise, many Old English given names were replaced by Norman French names. Names like Leofwine, Sigeberht and Æðelflæd fell out of use. In other instances native Old English names were replaced by continental Germanic cognates.
Names of Old English origin in use today include Edward, Alfred (both names of pre-Norman English kings), Audrey and Edith.