It struck me while searching for the meaning of the word English: what could be the meaning of the word "English", and why is this language called "English"?

closed as general reference by Robusto, tchrist, Hugo, coleopterist, Roaring Fish Dec 12 '12 at 14:15

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.


Look here for some some outline information on the etymology of the word English.

English (n.1)
"people or speech of England," O.E. Englisc, from Engle (pl.) "the Angles," the name of one of the Germanic groups that overran the island 5c., supposedly so-called because Angul, the land they inhabited on the Jutland coast, was shaped like a fish hook (see angle (n.)). The term was used from earliest times without distinction for all the Germanic invaders -- Angles, Saxon, Jutes (Bede's gens Anglorum) -- and applied to their group of related languages by Alfred the Great. After 1066, of the population of England (as distinguished from Normans and French), a distinction which lasted only about a generation. In pronunciation, "En-" has become "In-," but the older spelling has remained. Meaning "English language or literature as a subject at school" is from 1889. Old English is from early 13c.

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