Spelling Bee preparation tips for English Words from Old English

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Spelling tips for Words from Old English:

The following spelling tip comes from Merriam-Webster's Spell It! spelling bee preparation list for Words from Old English. These spelling tips apply specifically to the Spelling Bee Practice: Words From Old English spelling list for SpellQuizzer:
"Tip from the Top: You have a great advantage in learning to spell a word that has been in English for a very long time. Chances are that the word belongs to a group of words that show the same spelling pattern, since words in all languages have a habit of conforming to each other over time. As you study the words in the list, try to remember them together with another word or words with a similar sound and spelling."

"Peer Pressure: Words Feel It Too! Have you ever noticed that when someone joins a group, he or she often does whatever possible to blend in? Believe it or not, words often do the same thing! The best way for a new word to survive in a language is to look or sound like other words. Before long, the new word is accepted as a native. For example, our list has three words that (a) have two syllables, (b) have a double consonant, and (c) end with ock: paddock, mattock, and hassock. The -ock part of these words is an Old English suffix used to form diminutives (smaller versions of something). Now, look at these non–study-list English words: cassock, haddock, and hammock. If you guessed that they all came from Old English using the same suffix, you would be wrong! All these words came into English later and some came from other languages, but it was easy and convenient to spell them according to a familiar pattern."

"Old English likes double consonants following short vowels, especially if the vowel is in a stressed syllable. Examples include quell, paddock, mattock, sallow, fennel, hassock, errand, barrow, kipper, and Wiccan."

"A long a sound (\ā\) at the end of words from Old English is nearly always spelled ay as in belay."

"Long e (\ē\) at the end of an adjective or adverb from Old English is nearly always spelled with y. Examples include dreary, watery, windily, fiery, creepy, daily, stringy, timely, womanly, and chary."

"Long o (\ō\) at the end of words from Old English is typically spelled with ow as in sallow and barrow. By contrast, a long o at the end of a word in many languages that English has borrowed from is simply spelled with o."

"When the syllable \səl\ ends words from Old English, it is nearly always spelled stle, with the t being silent (as in gristle and nestle)."

"Silent gh after a vowel is common in words from Old English, as in slaughter. Silent gh usually appears after i in words like plight (not on the study list) and nightingale, and it signals that the vowel is pronounced \ī\."

"The vowel combination oa in words from Old English is nearly always pronounced as long o (\ō\) as in loam and goatee. Examples not on the study list include shoal, boastful, and gloaming."

"Silent e on the end or not? For words from Old English that end in either hard th (\th\) or soft th (\th\), remember this: More often than not, soft th will have a silent e at the end of the word. Consider, for example, bequeath, dearth, kith, hearth, and hundredth versus blithe, tithe, and lithe. Interestingly, the word blithe can be pronounced both ways."
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