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  • *pulls up a comfy chair to wait until qms comes along with a jaunty limerick*

    March 7, 2014

  • Ughten is that "restless hour before the dawn" ... Forsyth, Horologicon, The NED (the forerunner of the OED) calls it "the part of the night immediately before daybreak ..."

    It's from ME ughten ‘the time of twilight before dawn’, from OE ūht ‘the time right before daybreak’ (Bosworth-Toller). Likely from an objectiv case as in ‘on uhtan’.

    As for how it is said, the 'gh' is silent as in night, sight, bight, light but which shows that the fore-vowel is long thus it would likely be said as ooten or yooten. Yes, the 'gh' might hav once been said like the 'ch' in 'loch' or German 'ich' but not anymore. However, Ormulum wrote 'uhhtenn'. The two h's make the fore-vowel short ... likely not short like in 'ug' but short like 'oohten' rather than 'yooten'.

    March 7, 2014

  • I've been looking for a word with this meaning for ages!

    June 21, 2009

  • evenfall sounds more pleasant.

    June 18, 2009

  • So this is like gloaming, for the morning?

    June 18, 2009

  • My Middle English resources tell me the vowel is going to be like our "oo". As in "you", or "house" in Canadian. And that the "gh" is going to be like a Scottish ch, but in the back of the mouth. (It's in the front of the mouth with vowels such as e and i, in which case it sounds more like a sh.)

    June 18, 2009

  • You can find this word listed in Middle English Dictionary (U. of Mich. Press, 1997), which you can see via Google Books. There are several citations from between 1200 and 1500. Other spellings are oughten, ohtoun, and uhhtenn, which may give you some idea of how the -ugh was pronounced. Of course, it wasn't pronounced ugg-, but perhaps with a vowel as in bout, and a velar fricative like the ch in the Scottish loch; it seems to rhyme with the Middle English past participle foughten (see below).

    It sounds rather nice to me, especially in the cited phrase bothe even and oughten, meaning literally "both evening and morning" and idiomatically "at all times of the day" as in the following couplet:
    Thretti dayes … he had foughten
    With-outen rest bothe euen & oughten.

    May 12, 2009

  • ughone and ugheight are my favourites.

    May 12, 2009

  • Matinal Crepuscule would be a goth band, while Ughten is definitely heavy metal

    May 12, 2009

  • it's up to the courts now

    May 12, 2009

  • Ugh.

    May 12, 2009

  • Agreed, MM. But what about matinal crepuscule?

    May 12, 2009

  • I took it to be ugg-ten, which is especially hideous, but neither ooh-ten or uf-ten come close to morning twilight.

    May 12, 2009

  • Obviously a cognate of Dutch 'ochtend' although in this form, it looks more like first light after a night of heavy drinking.

    May 11, 2009

  • Curious word. Where does it come from? I wonder how it's pronounced, OOH-ten? UF-ten? It probably sounds nicer than it looks.

    May 11, 2009

  • Well said, 'outh.

    May 11, 2009

  • this is on par with 'pulchritudinous' for punching the beauty of the thing it represents in the face.


    "what a lovely....ughten?!"

    May 11, 2009

  • morning twilight.

    February 5, 2008