Sorry, no definitions found. Check out and contribute to the discussion of this word!


Sorry, no etymologies found.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word bastard eigne.


    Sorry, no example sentences found.


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • the first-born illegitimate son of parents whose second son was legitimate.

    (Random House Unabridged)

    a bastard eldest son whose parents afterwards intermarry.

    (Webster's Revised Unabridged)

    It bothers me that the two definitions above are not concordant - I don't know which, if any, is "correct".

    November 3, 2007

  • How are they not concordant? They seem to mean the same thing to me.

    November 4, 2007

  • Well, the first definition requires that the parents marry before the birth (conception?) of the second son.

    By the second definiton, they could have several more bastards, and not get married until after child # 5.

    In the latter case, son # 1 would be a bastard eigne according to second definition, but not the first.

    November 4, 2007

  • Ah. I see.

    The way I read them, I assumed that if they didn't marry until after #5 was born, then they'd have five bastard eignes. Though both definitions do state that it's only the *eldest* son.

    I think, though, in your supposition, that son #1 would still be a bastard eigne, according to both definitions.

    I also think it very interesting that daughters don't come into this anywhere at all. I know that was the case for many centuries, that bastard daughters were rarely acknowledged. I think in the case of sons, they would have been more dangerous to ignore and/or more useful to acknowledge.

    November 4, 2007