Why was the word (?verb?) "king" used in this (page 63) Mk.2:6 part of the Wycliffe Bible?

The King James Version

But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts

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Furthermore the ordinary Middle English spelling of this word ('as a noun') in this source is "kyng".

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It's the second half of the word "thinking", (or "thenking") with the first half being at the end of the previous line.

A modern rendition of the Wycliffe translation has

But there were some of the scribes sitting, and thinking in their hearts

(or "but the were sume of the scribis sittyng y thenking in her hertis")

You can clearly see the words for 'scribis' and 'sittyng' and 'hertis', and you can also see another place where a word is split, "sume", between the end of the line two above the red circle and the beginning of the line above it.

Splitting a word was not unusual in those days. Writing materials were rare enough not to waste space where a word could be started in it, and finished on the next line.

  • 2
    Nor is it unusual today, although (as you know) in modern English we would always insert a hyphen. – Davislor May 13 at 21:17
  • it's pretty unusual if you consider how much digital writing people consume these days. it seems like word-breaking is off by default on most platforms and applications. (i put the hyphen in word-breaking there and SE styling seems to take that as a potential line break boundary, but other long words near the edge of the container don't get the same treatment and don't get automatic hyphen insertion) – mendota May 13 at 22:15