Traditional Irish song "The Foggy Dew" contains following lines:

"And the world did gaze in deep amaze at those fearless men but few

Who bore the fight that freedom's light might shine through the foggy dew"

Is such usage of the word "amaze" as a noun acceptable in contemporary English? Or should "amazement" always be used instead? Was it acceptable back in the days?

  • Charlotte Bronte used it in Villette a bunch of times. I was full of amaze when I came across its noun usage and adopted it immediately.
    – Andrew Q
    Mar 9, 2019 at 2:33

2 Answers 2


The Oxford English Dictionary dates this usage to 1580 (another early citation is Shakespeare's Love's Labours Lost, act II, scene i). It describes it as "chiefly poetical".


The word 'amazement' would not fit in that song as it is sung. Hiberno English is what the song was written in. That descends from Irish which has it own rules as can be read here: http://multikulti.wordpress.com/2014/09/15/10-reasons-why-irish-is-an-absolutely-awesome-language/

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