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Here are some examples of citations in the OED of Old English where they use a standalone crossed thorn, :

  • Þu aclænsast Ꝥ weofod and ʒehalʒast.
  • Þær after com swulke mon-qualm Ꝥ lute hær cwike læfden.
  • Heo unwreih þene put Ꝥ hit adronc inne.
  • Đer··Ꝥ fyr ne bið ʒidrysnad.
  • Þa sæde he [Epicurus] Ꝥ se lust wære Ꝥ hehste good.
  • Þu steorest te sea stream Ꝥ hit fleden ne mot fir þan þu markedest.
  • Eft is heofena rice ʒelic þam mangere þe sohte Ꝥ gode mere-grot.
  • Al swa þat wilde swin Ꝥ wroteð ȝeond þan grouen.
  • Swa hwa swa wille sawan westmabære land, atio ærest of ða þornas & þa fyrsas & Ꝥ fearn & ealle þa weod.

That’s the Unicode glyph of a thorn with a stroke:

‭ Þ  00DE       LATIN CAPITAL LETTER THORN
‭ þ  00FE       LATIN SMALL LETTER THORN
        * Icelandic, Old English, phonetics
        * Runic letter borrowed into Latin script
        x (runic letter thurisaz thurs thorn - 16A6)
‭ ᚦ  16A6       RUNIC LETTER THURISAZ THURS THORN
        x (latin small letter thorn - 00FE)
‭ Ꝥ  A764       LATIN CAPITAL LETTER THORN WITH STROKE
‭ ꝥ  A765       LATIN SMALL LETTER THORN WITH STROKE
‭ Ꝧ  A766       LATIN CAPITAL LETTER THORN WITH STROKE THROUGH DESCENDER
‭ ꝧ  A767       LATIN SMALL LETTER THORN WITH STROKE THROUGH DESCENDER

It may be that it is supposed to be a small thorn with stroke not a capital one. I need a better magnifying glass. :)

If you can't see it in your browser, it looks like this:

enter image description here

But my question is: what does it mean?

What does that mean? Is it a scribal abbreviation for the or that, or both or neither?

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5  
I can't see the character (not that I'd know the answer). :( –  medica Jun 20 at 3:53
    
idem! I see an empty little box. Tsk, tchrist, we've been through this before. :) I suspect @medica we need to change our browsers, I think firefox handles this type of characters well. –  Mari-Lou A Jun 20 at 6:34
1  
@Mari-LouA - I'm on Firefox, and I can't see a crossed thorn. After looking up "crossed thorn" on Google, I think maybe it looks like this. –  J.R. Jun 20 at 10:37
    
@J.R. and I'm using Chrome. Good to know we're not alone in seeing empty squares :) –  Mari-Lou A Jun 20 at 10:39
    
Interesting note here: "Please note that ð (eth), þ (thorn), and æ (ash) can be displayed on your monitor .. because æ, ð, and þ are still used in the Icelandic language today. There are other characters, such as a crossed thorn, which you could use if you install a special font on your computer." –  J.R. Jun 20 at 10:52

2 Answers 2

up vote 10 down vote accepted

In the Old English language that was spelled þæt. It was also abbreviated as a letter Thorn, þ, with the ascender crossed, ꝥ . enter image description here

Wikipedia: That

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@ Maru-Lou and @ Mr. Shiny and New - Thanks for the edits. –  GMB Jun 20 at 10:41
2  
Abbreviations were customarily indicated with an overbar (eg D͞mo for the Latin Domino), so the crossed thorn is the ultimate example. –  Andrew Leach Jun 20 at 11:14
    
@AndrewLeach Yes, although I think that cross was for the final t; notice in the article how it evolved to have a tau-like glyph above it. –  tchrist Jun 20 at 20:55

According to the website http://bible-researcher.com/engchange.html, it was an abbreviation for that (I.e. thorn, ash, t - I can't get runes to work on my phone).

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