Old English. What is the origin “ht” suffix? Is it related to “th”?

Examples: bring & brought - strong & strength

  • 1
    (1) There is no "-ht" suffix. Spelling has nothing to do with grammar. (2) There is a derivational nominalizing suffix -th that appears on some adjectives like strong, long, and wide. (3) The irregular past tense form of bring is spelled with silent GH representing an earlier velar stop sound that velarized the nasal spelled NG. You can see the same thing in German, where the CH is pronounced: bringen, brachte, gebracht are the principal parts in German, and bring, brought, brought in English. Spelling is just technology and doesn't affect language. Jun 29, 2020 at 19:48
  • I once heard the claim that the "brought" spelling reflects the pronunciation that existed at the time that printing presses were first being introduced -- something like "brogked", where the "g" sound was "hard".
    – Hot Licks
    Jun 29, 2020 at 19:55

1 Answer 1


I refer you to the online Etymology Dictionary. https://www.etymonline.com/word/thought

They explain it in terms of "thought"

thought (n.) Old English þoht, geþoht "process of thinking, a thought; compassion," from stem of þencan "to conceive of in the mind, consider" (see think). Cognate with the second element in German Gedächtnis "memory," Andacht "attention, devotion," Bedacht "consideration, deliberation."

Bammesberger ("English Etymology") explains that in Germanic -kt- generally shifted to -ht-, and a nasal before -ht- was lost. Proto-Germanic *thankija- added a suffix -t in the past tense. By the first pattern the Germanic form was *thanht-, by the second the Old English was þoht

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