This is page 603 of An Anglo-Saxon Dictionary by Bosworth and Toller (1898)
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L In the later specimens of the West Saxon dialect those words in which the vowel a immediately preceded a combination of consonants beginning with 1 are generally found to have undergone a change which was represented by writing ea instead of a. This change does not occur to the same extent in the earlier specimens, and seems not to occur at all in the Northumbrian dialect, or in the kindred languages. Thus in the translation of Gregory's Pastoral Care and in the Parker MS. of the Chronicle alle, onwald are found as well as ealle, onweald, while in Ælfric's Homilies they are regularly written in the latter form. So the West Saxon forms, healdan, sealt, healf, are found in the Northumbrian Gospels as halda, salt, half, and in Gothic, O. Sax., Icel., O. H. Ger. the vowel also is a.
In the Runic alphabet the character, which in name and form agrees with the Scandinavian rune &l-rune; , lögr, was &l-rune; , lagu. The same name seems to have been given to the corresponding letter in the Gothic alphabet, though it occurs only in a, corrupt form laar = lagus. The meaning of this word may be seen from the verses in the Runic poem that are devoted to the letter:
Lagu byþ leódum water to wanderers langsum geþuht wearisome seemeth gif hí sculun néþan if they must venture on nacan tealtum on vessel unsteady and hí sæýþa and them the sea-waves swýðe brégaþ sorely affright and se brimhengest and the sea-horse bridles ne gýmþ steering despiseth. Runic pm. 21; Kmbl. 343, 19-26.
lá. I. interj. Lo! Oh! Ah! :-- Lá næddrena cyn Oh! generation of vipers, Mt. Kmbl. 3, 7: 12, 34. Lá ðú líccetere, 7, 5. Lá freónd amice, 22, 12. Lá Drihten Domine, Ps. Th. 21, 17: 118, 176. Lá hú oft hí gremedon hine quotiens exacerbaverunt eum! Ps. Spl. 77, 45. Áfæst lá and hí lá hí and wel lá well and ðyllíce óðre syndon englisc interjectiones, Ælfc. Gr. 48; Som. 49, 28. Weg lá weg lá euge, euge, Ps. Th. 69, 4. Wá lá se tówyrpþ ðæt tempel ua qui destruit templum, Mk. Skt. 15, 29. Wá lá áhte ic mínra handa geweald alas! had I power over my hands, Cd. 19; Th. 23, 32; Gen. 368. Wá lá wá heu, proh dolor! Bd. 2, 1; 8. 501, 14. Wei lá wei, [cf. Chauc. weilawey Shakspere welladay] Bt. 35, 6; Fox 170, 12, Cott. MS. Wel lá men wel oh! men, 34, 8; Fox 144, 23. Wel lá, Bt. Met. Fox 21, 1; Met. 21, 1. II. Enclitic particle used to emphasise interrogation, exclamation, entreaty, affirmation, negation :-- Understenst ðú lá sentisne, wylt ðú lá visne, Ælfc. Gr. 44; Som. 45, 47. Is ðæ-acute;r genoh lá satisne est, Som. 46, 40. Hú lá ne wurpe wé þrý cnihtas intó ðam fýre why, did not we cast three youths into the fire? Homl. Th. ii. 20, 12. Wénst ðú lá ðæt ðú beó álýsed fram ðisum tintregum do you suppose then that you will be released from these torments? Homl. Th. i. 424, 29. Dá cwæþ ic hwæt is ðæt lá then said I 'what then is that?' Bt. 34, 5; Fox 140, 14, Hwæt is ðæt lá þinga? 38, 3; Fox 200, 2. Hwæt is ðis lá manna? Elen. Kmmbl. 1802; El. 903. Hwæt biþ hit lá elles búton flæ-acute;sc seoddan se écea dæ-acute;l of biþ hwæt biþ lá elles seó láf búton wvrma mete why, what else is it but flesh when the eternal part is away? what else then is the remnant but worms food? Blickl. Homl. 111, 31. Hwæ-acute;r biþ lá ðonne se ídla lust? hwær beóþ ðonne ða symbelnessa? 58, 16. Is ðis lá wundorlíc and winsum spell this is indeed a wonderful and delightful speech, Bt. 34, 5; Fox 140, 10. Ðæt lá mæg secgan se ðe sóð and riht fremeþ that indeed may he say who does truth and right, Beo. Th. 3404; B. 1700: 5720; B. 2864. Ðæt lá wæs fæger, Cd. 223; Th. 293, 18; Sat. 457. Uton lá geþencan let us then determine, 227; Th. 305, 9; Sat. 644. Ac feor ðæt lá sí ðæt ... sed absit ut ... Bd. 1, 27, S. 490, 24. Ic ðæs lá wísce ðæt wegas míne on ðínum willan weorðan gereahte I do indeed wish that my ways may be directed according to thy will; utinam dirigantur viæ meæ, Ps. Th. 118, 5. Bidde ic ðé lá gif ... precorque si ... Bd. 3, 13; S. 538, 40: 4, 3; S. 568, 27: Dóm. L. 6, 65. Nese lá nese, Bt. 27, 2; Fox 96, 27. v. eálá.
lác; generally neuter, but occasionally feminine [v. Shrn. pp. 3-4], or masculine, as in the compound lyb-lác q. v. The idea which lies at the root of the various meanings of this and of the next word seems to be that of motion. Thus lácan and Icel. leika are used to describe the motion of a vessel riding on the waves, the flight of a bird as it rises and falls in the air, the flickering, wavering motion of flame, and the like; while Gothic laikan renders σκιρτâν in Luke i. 41, 44; vi. 23. From this
idea of activity we pass to that of games, playing, dancing &c. ; and so Gothic laiks = χoρ&omicron-tonos;s in Luke xv. 25; in Icel., where the meaning play, sport is the prevailing one (see also compounds in which leik- occurs), leikr is used of dancing, athletics, various games, music, as in strengleikr, leika = to play, to lake in the dialect of the North of England. In O. H. Ger. the application is generally to music, leih, leich = modus, modulus, carmen versus, but in rang-leih = wrestling the meaning is similar to the Icelandic (see Grff. ii. 152-3.) And just as plega is used, by itself or in its compounds, of war and battle, so in the Icelandic poetry we have Hildar leikr, sverða leikr = battle (see Cl. and Vig. Dict. p. 382, col. 2), and in English lác could be applied in the same way. But in the latter language the more frequent meanings are those of offering, gift, and to connect these with the preceding ones Grimm notes the association of dancing and playing with offerings and sacrifices. From this special, meaning of offering the more general one of gift, present might easily come. To quote his words 'Das wort (lác) scheint einer wurzel mit dem goth. laiks (saltatio) ahd. leih (ludus, modus) altn. leikr, ursprünglich also tanz and spiel, die das oper begleiteten, allmählich die gabe selbst zu bezeichnen,' D. M. 35. The passages which follow will shew the English use of the word. I. battle, struggle :-- Wíga unlæt láces a warrior not slow to fight (referring to death which was approaching Guthlac), Exon. 47 b; Th. 164, 5; Gú. 1007. II. an offering, sacrifice, oblation :-- Gode onsægdnesse tó beranne ðæs hálgan láces ad offerendas Domino victimas sacræ oblationis, Bd. 4, 22; S. 592, 26. Hí him sculon láces lof lustum bringan sacrificent sacrificium laudis, Ps. Th. 106, 21. Ic ðé láces lof lustum secge tibi sacrificabo hostiam laudis, 115, 7. Ic ðé lustum láce cwéme voluntarie sacrificabo tibi, 53, 6. And bærnon uppan ðam weofode drihtne tó láce adolebuntque super altare in oblationem domino, Lev. 3, 5. Offrian tó láce to offer as a sacrifice, Ælfc. T. Grn. 4, 27. Hie drihtne lác begen brohton they both brought an offering to the Lord, Cd. 47; Th. 60, 2; Gen. 975. Se rinc Gode lác onsægde, 85; Th. 107, 21; Gen. 1792. Onbleót ðæt lác Gode, 142; Th. 177, 21; Gen. 2933. Ðú scealt blótan sunu, and leófes lác forbærnan, and mé lác bebeódan, 138; Th. 173, 9; Gen. 2858. Ðú ðínne lác offrige, Homl. Skt. 7, 119. Þurh lác ðære hálwendan onsægdnesse per oblationem hostiæ salutaris, Bd. 4, 22; S. 592, 22. Mára is allum cwicum lácum and sægdnissum majus est holocaustomatibus et sacrificiis, Mk. Skt. Rush 12, 33. Æ-acute;nig ðæra þinga ðe gedwolgodum tó lácum betæ-acute;ht biþ any thing that is appointed to false gods for sacrifices, Swt. A. S. Rdr. 105, 30. Nemme hé lufige mid lácum ðone ðe gescóp heofon and eorþan unless by offerings he shew his love to him that created heaven and earth, Exon. 67 a; Th. 249, 13; Jul. 111. Mid háligra lofsanga lácum cóman with offerings of holy hymns they came, Blickl. Homl. 207, 9. Gode lác onsægdon, 201, 13: Guthl. 20; Gdwin 32, 13. On ðám lácum geleáfsumra fidelium oblationibus, Bd. 1, 27; S. 488, 38. Geoffrode lác obtulit holocausta, Gen. 8, 20. Genimaþ eów lác and ingangaþ on his wíctúnas tollite hostias et introite in atria ejus, Ps. Th. 95, 8. Seó cwén Sabæ geseah ða lác ðe man Gode offrode the queen of Sheba saw the offerings that were made to God, Homl. Th. ii. 584, 16. Hé fræt fíftýne men and óðer swylc út offerede láðlícu lác he (Grendel) devoured fifteen men and as many bore away, horrid sacrifices, Beo. Th. 3172; B. 1584. III. a gift, present, grace, favour, service; a present or offering of words, a message :-- Lác munus, Ælfc. Gr. 9, 22; Som. 12, 14. Lác munus vel zenia, Ælfc. Gl. 35; Som. 62, 77; Wrt. Voc. 28, 55. Lác elogia, i.e. munus, Wrt. Voc. ii. 143, 19: 29, 24: xenium, donum, Hpt. Gl. 496: munificentia, 414. Gúþlác se nama ys on rómánisc belli munus, Guthl. 2; Gdwin 10, 23. Leóht wé geseóþ láce lumen videmus muneris, Hymn. Surt. 43, 17, Behátenre fæderes láce promisso Patris munere, 95, 27. Láce eulogiæ, benedictionis, Hpt. Gl. 496. Tóforan ðære cynclícan láce ðe hé hire geaf, Homl. Th. ii. 584, 31. Sende tó láce sent it as a present, Elen. Kmbl. 2398; El. 1200. Hé ðære mægeþ sceolde láce (acc. fem.?) gelæ-acute;dan láþspel tó sóþ he to the maiden must bring the message, the grievous tale too true, Exon. 52 a; Th. 182, 28; Gú. 1317. Tíd is ðæt ðú fére and ða æ-acute;rendu eal biþence ófestum læ-acute;de swá ic ðé æ-acute;r bibeád lác tó leófre time is that thou go and think about those errands [cf. Th. 173, 24 sqq. where Guthlac speaks of his burial], with speed bring, as I before bid thee [cf. Th. 172, 31 sqq], the message to my dear sister, 51 b; Th. 179, 35; Gú.1272. Heó lác weorðade ðe hire brungen wæs she honoured the gift [the nails of the cross] that was brought her, Elen. Kmbl. 2272; El. 1137. Cwæþ hé his sylfes suna syllan wolde ... Hie ða lác hraðe þégon tó þance he said he would give his own son ... They that gift soon accepted thankfully, Andr. Kmbl. 2224; An. 1113. Ða hálgan þrýnesse georne biddan ðæt heó ðæt lác ðæt hie þurh ðone hálgan heáhengel æ-acute;rest æteówde mannum wundorlíc tácn ðæt hie ðæt mannum tó fylgenne oncýðde earnestly to entreat the holy Trinity that the grace of shewing by the holy archangel a wondrous token to men, that that it would make known to men for their guidance, Blickl. Homl. 205, 30. Ðonne onfóþ hí from Gode máran méde ðonne hí from æ-acute;nigum óðrum lácum dón then shall they receive from God greater reward than they do from any other gifts, 45. 34. Him lácum cwémaþ dona adducent, Ps. Th. 72, 10. Lácum, þeódgestreónum, Beo. Th. 86; B. 43. Him eorla hleó gesealde máþmas xii. het hine mid ðæm lácum leóde secean, 3740; B. 1868. Culufre gewát fleógan eft mid lácum hire (the olive branch), Cd. 72; Th. 88, 28; Gen. 1472. Hí geopenodon heora hordfatu and him lác geoffrodon gold and récels and myrram they opened their treasures, and presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh [Mt. 2, 11], Homl. Th i. 78, 27. Lác gifan. Exon. 100 b; Th. 380, 2; Rä. 1, 1. Bringan lác and luftácen to bring gifts and love-tokens, Beo. Th. 3730; B. 1863. Læ-acute;c munera, Ps. Spl. T. 14, 6. IV. medicine :-- Heofendlícere láe [ = heofenlícere láce] cælestis medicinæ, Hpt. Gl. 415, 36. Lác medicamine, 507, 77. Lác medicamenti, 527,18. [Laym.1st MS. lac, 2nd MS. lock gift: Orm. lac a sacrifice, offering Gen. a. Ex. loac; Piers P. laik a game.] v. ag-, æ-acute;fen-, beadu-, berne-, brýd-, cwic-, feoht-, freó-, ge-, hæ-acute;med-, heaðu-, lyb-, mæsse-, reáf-, sæ-acute;-, scín-, wed-, wíf-, wíte-lác. It also occurs in proper names, e.g. Gúþ-lác, Hyge-lác.