Definitions:
Adjective and Noun

Old English lama, lǫma (the weak declension is, from some unexplained cause, used in indefinite as well as definite context, the form in ­a being, moreover, commonly used for all genders), corresponding to Old Frisian lam, lom

Old Saxon lamo (Dutch lam)

Old High German lam (Middle High German lam, modern German lahm)

Old Norse lame (weak)

Old Germanic *lamo­; an ablaut­ variant is *lômjo­ in Old High German luomi

Middle High German lüeme dull, slack, gentle, early modern German lumm, whence lümmel, "blockhead."

From the same root is Old Church Slavoni clomitĭ to break.

Verb

Old English had lęmian of equivalent formation (= Old Norse lęmja) which did not survive into Middle English.

--From Oxford English Dictionary

lame, adj.

Pronunciation: /leɪm/

Forms: OE lama, ( lame), loma, ME lomme, ME lome, ME lam, ME– lame.

1. Of a person or animal:

2. fig.

a. Disabled or impaired in any way; weak, infirm; paralysed; unable to move.

Const. on, of (cf. 1c). Obs. exc.arch.

b. Disabled through injury to, or defect in, a limb; spec. disabled in the foot or leg, so as to walk haltingly or be unable to walk. Proverb. to help a lame dog over a stile

c. Const. of, in, †on, †with (the crippled part).

d. absol.

e. said of the limb; also of footsteps, etc.

a. Maimed, halting; imperfect or defective, unsatisfactory as wanting a part or parts. Said esp. of an argument, excuse, account, narrative, or the like. †Phr.lame to the ground (cf. Antrim & Down Gloss. s.v. Lame ‘A stab of a bayonet which has lamed me to the ground.’).

b. Const. of, in (the defective part): cf. 1c. Also with to andinf.

lame, n2.
1. Lameness; infirmity. Obs.

lame, v.
1. trans. To make lame; to cripple.

--From Bosworth­-Toller Anglo­-Saxon Dictionary

lama, adj.

Forms: loma, lame

1. Lame, disabled in the limbs, maimed, crippled, weak, paralysed, palsied, paralytic

--From Middle English Dictionary

lame, adj.

Forms: OE lama, (lame), loma, ME lomme, ME lome, ME lam, ME– lame, lam, lome, lomme & (early pl.) lamen.

(a) Of persons: crippled in the feet, lame; also, crippled in the hands; disabled by disease, old age, etc.; of an ox: unable to walk; of limbs: crippled; of lips or tongue: unable to speak, mute; also fig.; halt and ~, halting and lame; ~ o fot, lame; ~ on eies, having weak eyes, almost blind; ~ leier, lying crippled, helpless in bed

(b) maimed; also, disabled by wounds

(c) as noun: lame or crippled person(s)

(d) of persons or things: incapacitated, helpless; weak, ineffectual; deficient; ~ of,

deficient in (some respect), wanting in; ben ~, to decline in reputation, become obscure

[quot.: c1450]; make ~, enfeeble (the wits), damage (a reputation)

(e) of language, verse, meter: halting, defective

(f) of a gore in a garment: crooked, ill­cut

lame, n.
1. lameness; withouten ~, without defect or blemish

lamen, v.
1. to injure, wound, disable; maim or disfigure; injure good name or reputation, damage

alamed, ppl.
Forms: alemed.
1. Paralyzed, lame

The Story:

Etymology: The term most directly corresponds to Old Frisian lam, lom and Old High German lam. The Oxford English Dictionary also lists Old Saxon lamo (Dutch lam), Old Norse lame (weak), and Old Germanic *lamo- (an ablaut-variant is *lômjo- in Old High German luomi). The OED also notes of the later verb form, “Old English had lęmian of equivalent formation (= Old Norse lęmja) which did not survive into Middle English.” The subsequent noun and verb forms of lame both descend from the earlier adjectival form.

Definitions: In both Old and Middle English, lame occurs most frequently as an adjective meaning “disabled,” “impaired,” or “crippled.” It is usually connected to or applied to the limbs, particularly feet and legs, as seen in the compound limmlaman found in one of Wulfstan’s homilies. This general designation is further evidenced in the select images below, which consistently depict lame men as carrying or using a crutch. Given this usage, it is not surprising that the term is most often used in Biblical or religious narratives describing healing.

In Old English, the term only exists as an adjective, first appearing in the eighth century. The Bosworth-Toller Anglo-Saxon Dictionary defines the term as “lame, disabled in the limbs, maimed, crippled, weak, paralysed, palsied, paralytic.” Curiously, it is always declined as a weak adjective and the same forms are used for both genders. (See Alfred Bammesberger’s work below for a possible explanation). It occurs in texts such as Cynewulf’s Elene, Bede’s Ecclesiastical History, Aelfric’s Lives of the Saints, the Paris Psalter, and the West Saxon Gospels. For a complete list of all Old English occurrences, see Occurrences of Lame in Old and Middle English.

In approximately 1300, lame appears as a verb in Middle English, and by 1400 it occurs as a noun; however, the adjectival form remains the most popular. The Middle English Dictionary provides five definitions for the adjective:
(a) Of persons: crippled in the feet, lame; also, crippled in the hands; disabled by disease, old age, etc.; of an ox: unable to walk; of limbs: crippled; of lips or tongue: unable to speak, mute; also fig.; halt, halting and lame; on eies, having weak eyes, almost blind; leier, lying crippled, helpless in bed
(b) maimed; also, disabled by wounds
(c) of persons or things: incapacitated, helpless; weak, ineffectual; deficient; deficient in (some respect), wanting in; to decline in reputation, become obscure; enfeeble (the wits), damage (a reputation)
(e) of language, verse, meter: halting, defective
(f) of a gore in a garment: crooked, ill-cut

The MED also lists an obscure participle form alamed.The definitions for the nominal and verb forms show little variation: the former is defined as “lame or crippled person(s)” and the latter as “to injure, wound, disable; maim or disfigure; injure good name or reputation, damage.” The term appears in the Layamon’s Brut, the Wycliffite Bible, Langland’s Piers Plowman, and Cursor Mundi. For a list of select Middle English occurrences, see Occurrences of Lame in Old and Middle English.


Semantic Change: The term appears relatively stable across Old and Middle English, though it does begin to show some distance from physical disability and impairment in the MED’s definitions connected to reputation (c), verse (e), and garments (f). These connotations begin to surface in the late fourteenth and early fifteenth century, such as the narrator in Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde, who remarks, “Disblameth me, if any word be lame, For as myn auctour seyde, so sey I” orHoccleve’s comment on Sir John Oldcastle, “Thou art of merit & of honur lame.” This semantic split from disability-related definitions towards deficiency-related definitions may be connected to the modern slang term lame, though both connotations persist well into the twentieth century. (See Jessi Elana Aaron’s work below for an analysis of the modern term and its relationship to earlier, disability-related meanings).
Related Terms:
Latin claudus and paralyticus; Old English wanhal; Middle English palsy, feble,and crokyd.



Evidence and Images:

Marco Zoppo, circa 1455-1457, The British Museum

St James healing the lame man; the group with the saint is to the right of the composition, set beside a triumphal arch, in front of which stands a male. (http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details/collection_image_gallery.aspx?partid=1&assetid=235019&objectid=765083)

Fol. 146v, Vedastus of Arras, 1445, The Morgan Library

Vedastus of Arras: healing Blind Man and Cripple ­­ Standing outside city gates, Vedastus of Arras, nimbed, wearing bishop’s vestments and miter, holding crozier in right arm, places left hand on forehead of blind man, kneeling, joined hands raised. Behind him are four lame men on crutches, including one kneeling and holding crutch, hat on ground, an amputee with wooden leg, and man sitting on ground, supporting himself with small, hand­held crutches. From windows in balcony of building within city, woman and king, crowned, holding scepter in right hand, look on. (http://corsair.themorgan.org/cgi­bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?BBID=345947)

Fol. 18r (Miniature no. 34), Gerardus of Villamagna: Scene, giving Alms, 1320, The Morgan Library

Gerardus of Villamagna: Scene, giving Alms ­­ Two men, one with staff, stand beside ass laden with basket of food in front of bearded, nimbed Gerardus. He extends food toward cripple (lame), with crutch under his arm, holding bag of food, before group of men. Scene before wall and two buildings. (http://corsair.themorgan.org/cgi­bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?BBID=245228)

Fol. 287r, St. Peter and the Miracle of healing the lame Man (initial D), circa late 13C, The Morgan Library

Apostle Peter: Miracle of healing Lame Man ­­ In initial D decorated with geometric ornament and diapered backgrounds, Evangelist John, nimbed, raises his left hand, holds a book in his right hand, and stands behind tonsured Apostle Peter, nimbed. The apostle holds book in his left hand, and with his right hand grasps right hand of lame man kneeling with hand crutch in his left hand, all beneath architectural frame. (http://corsair.themorgan.org/cgi­bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?BBID=251444)

Fol. 375v, Initial: I Peter, 1260, The Morgan Library

Apostle, Peter: Miracle of healing Lame Man (Acts 3:1­11) ­­ Apostle Peter, decorated nimbus, tonsured, raising right hand in blessing toward lame man, kneeling on one knee, exposing lame foot, left hand on hand crutch. (http://corsair.themorgan.org/cgi­bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?BBID=262032)


Bible Passage
Vulgate
Old English
Wycliffite
1599 Geneva Bible
1611 King James Bible
Leviticus 21:18
nec accedet ad ministerium ejus: si caecus fuerit, si claudus, si parvo
vel grandi, vel torto naso,
No reference available
nethir schal neiy to his seruyce; if he is blind; if he is crokid; if he is
ether of litil, ether of greet, and wrong nose; if he is `of brokun foot, ethir hond;
For whosoever hath any blemish, shall not come near: as a man
blind or lame, or that hath a flat nose, or that hath any misshapen member,
For whatsoeuer man hee be that hath a blemish, he shall not approche: a blind man, or a lame, or he that hath a flat nose, or any thing superfluous,
Deuteronomy 15:21
Sin autem habuerit maculam, vel claudum fuerit, vel caecum, aut in
aliqua parte deforme vel debile, non immolabitur Domino Deo tuo:
No reference available
Sotheli if it hath a wem, ethir is crokid, ethir is blynd, ethir is foul, ethir
feble in ony part, it schal not be offrid to thi Lord God;
But if there be any blemish therein, as if it be lame, or blind, or
have any evil fault, thou shalt not offer it unto the Lord thy God,
And if there be any blemish therein; as if it be lame, or
blinde, or haue any ill blemish, thou shalt not sacrifice it vnto the Lord thy God.
Judges 3:15
Et postea clamaverunt ad Dominum, qui suscitavit eis salvatorem
vocabulo Aod, filium Gera, filii Jemini, qui utraque manu pro dextera utebatur.
Miseruntque filii Israel per illum munera Eglon regi Moab.
Hig clipodon Þa swiðe on heora geswencednisse to Þam heofonlican Gode, his helps biddende, ך he him asende sona alysednisse Þurh heora agene mæg, se hatte Aoth ; him wæs gelice gewylde his wynstre ך his swiðre Ða gesende Þæt folc sume lac Þam cyninge Þurh ðone Aoth.
And aftirward thei crieden to the Lord; and he reiside to hem a
sauyour, Aioth bi name, the sone of Gera, sone of Gemyny, which Aioth vside
euer either hond for the riyt hond. And the sones of Israel senten bi him yiftis,
`that is, tribute, to Eglon, kyng of Moab;
But when the children of Israel cried unto the Lord, the Lord
stirred them up a savior, Ehud the son of Gera the son of Jemini, a man lame
of his right hand: and the children of Israel sent a present by him unto Eglon king of Moab.
But when the children of Israel cried vnto the Lord, the
Lord raised them vp a deliuerer, Ehud the sonne of Gera, a Beniamite, a man left
handed: and by him the children of Israel sent a Present vnto Eglon the king of
Moab.
2 Samuel 4:4
Erat autem Jonathae filio Saul filius debilis pedibus: quinquennis enim
fuit, quando venit nuntius de Saul et Jonatha ex Jezrahel. Tollens itaque eum
nutrix sua, fugit: cumque festinaret ut fugeret, cecidit, et claudus effectus est:
habuitque vocabulum Miphiboseth.
No reference available
Forsothe a sone feble in feet was to Jonathas, the sone of Saul; forsothe he was fyue yeer eld, whanne the messanger cam fro Saul and Jonathas, fro Jezrael. Therfor his nurse took hym, and fledde; and whanne sche
hastide to fle, sche felde doun, and the child was maad lame; and `he hadde a name Myphibosech.
And Jonathan Saul’s son had a son that was lame on his feet:
he was five years old when the tidings came of Saul and Jonathan out of Israel:
then his nurse took him, and fled away. And as she made haste to flee, the child
fell, and began to halt, and his name was Mephibosheth.
And Ionathan, Sauls sonne, had a sonne that was lame of
his feete, and was fiue yeeres olde when the tidings came of Saul and Ionathan
out of Iezreel, and his nource tooke him vp, and fled: and it came to passe as
she made haste to flee, that hee fell, and became lame, and his name was
Mephibosheth.
2 Samuel 5:6
Et abiit rex, et omnes viri qui erant cum eo, in Jerusalem, ad Jebusaeum
habitatorem terrae: dictumque est David ab eis: Non ingredieris huc, nisi
abstuleris caecos et claudos dicentes: Non ingredietur David huc.
No reference available
And the kyng yede, and alle men that weren with hym, in to
Jerusalem, to Jebusey, dweller of the lond. And it was seide of hem to Dauid,
Thou schalt not entre hidur, no but thou do awei blynde men and lame, seiynge,
Dauid schal not entre hydur.
The King also and his men went to Jerusalem unto the
Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land: who spake unto David, saying, Except thou
take away the blind and the lame, thou shalt not come in hither: thinking that
David could not come thither:
And the king and his men went to Ierusalem, vnto the
Iebusites, the inhabitants of the land: which spake vnto Dauid, saying, Except
thou take away the blind and the lame, thou shalt not come in hither: Thinking,
Dauid cannot come in hither.
2 Samuel 5:8
Proposuerat enim David in die illa praemium, qui percussisset
Jebusaeum, et tetigisset domatum fistulas, et abstulisset caecos et claudos
odientes animam David. Idcirco dicitur in proverbio: Caecus et claudus non
intrabunt in templum.
No reference available
For Dauid hadde `sette forth meede in that dai to hym, that hadde
smyte Jebusei, and hadde touchid the goteris of roouys, and hadde take awey
lame men and blynde, hatynge the lijf of Dauid. Therfor it is seid in prouerbe, A
blynde man and lame schulen not entre in to the temple.
Now David had said the same day, Whosoever smiteth the
Jebusites, and getteth up to the gutters and smiteth the lame and blind, which
David’s soul hateth, I will prefer him: therefore they said, The blind and the lame
shall not come into that house.
And Dauid said on that day, Whosoeuer getteth vp to the
gutter, and smiteth the Iebusites, and the lame, and the blind, that are hated of
Dauids soule, he shall be chiefe and captaine: Wherefore they said, The blind
and the lame shall not come into the house.
2 Samuel 9:3
Et ait rex: Numquid superest aliquis de domo Saul, ut faciam cum eo
misericordiam Dei? Dixitque Siba regi: Superest filius Jonathae, debilis pedibus.
No reference available
And the kyng seide, Whether ony man lyueth of the hows of Saul,
that Y do with hym the mercy of God? And Siba seide to the kyng, A sone of
Jonathas lyueth, feble in the feet.
Then the King said, Remaineth there yet none of the house
of Saul, on whom I may show the[a]mercy of God? Ziba then answered the King,
Jonathan hath yet a son lame of his feet.
And the king said, Is there not yet any of the house of
Saul, that I may shew the kindnesse of God vnto him? and Ziba said vnto the
king, Ionathan hath yet a sonne, which is lame on his feete.
2 Samuel 9:13
Porro Miphiboseth habitabat in Jerusalem: quia de mensa regis jugiter
vescebatur: et erat claudus utroque pede.
No reference available
Forsothe Myphibosech dwellide in Jerusalem; for he eet contynueli of
the kingis boord, and was crokid on either foot.
And Mephibosheth dwelt in Jerusalem: for he did eat
continually at the king’s table, and was lame on both his feet.
So Mephibosheth dwelt in Ierusalem: for hee did eate
continually at the kings table, and was lame on both his feete.
2 Samuel 19:26
Et respondens ait: Domine mi rex, servus meus contempsit me: dixique
ei ego famulus tuus ut sterneret mihi asinum, et ascendens abirem cum rege:
claudus enim sum servus tuus.
No reference available
And he answeride and seide, My lord the kyng, my seruaunt dispiside
me; and Y thi seruaunt seide to hym, that he schulde sadle the asse to me, and
Y schulde stie, and Y schulde go with the king; for Y thi seruaunt am crokid.
And he answered, My lord the King, my servant deceived me:
for thy servant said, I would have mine ass saddled to ride thereon, for to go with
the king, because thy servant is lame.
And hee answered, My lord O king, my seruant deceiued
mee; for thy seruant sayd, I will saddle me an asse that I may ride thereon, and
goe to the king, because thy seruant is lame:
Job 29:15
Oculus fui caeco, et pes claudo,
No reference available
Y was iye `to a blynde man, and foot to a crokyd man.
I was the eyes to the blind, and I was the feet to the lame.
I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the lame.
Psalm 108:22 (109:22)
Libera me, quia egenus et pauper ego sum, et cor meum conturbatum est intra me.
Alys me, lifes weard, forþan ic eom lama þearfa; is me heorte on hearde gedrefed.
Delyuere thou me, for Y am nedi and pore; and myn herte is disturblid with ynne me.
deliver me, (for thy mercy is good). Because I am poor and needy, and mine heart is wounded within me.
because thy mercy is good, deliver me. For I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me.
Proverbs 26:7
Quomodo pulchras frustra habet claudus tibias, sic indecens est in ore
stultorum parabola.
No reference available.
As an haltinge man hath faire leggis in veyn; so a parable is vnsemeli
in the mouth of foolis.
As they that lift up the legs of the lame, so is a parable in a
fool’s mouth.
The legges of the lame are not equall: so is a parable in
the mouth of fooles.
Isaiah 33:23
Laxati sunt funiculi tui, et non praevalebunt; sic erit malus tuus ut
dilatare signum non queas. Tunc dividentur spolia praedarum multarum; claudi
diripient rapinam.
No reference available.
Thi roopis ben slakid, but tho schulen not auaile; thi mast schal be so,
that thou mow not alarge a signe. Thanne the spuylis of many preyes schulen be
departid, crokid men schulen rauysche raueyn.
Thy cords are loosed: they could not well strengthen their
mast, neither could they spread the sail: then shall the prey be divided for a
great spoil: yea, the lame shall take away the prey.
Thy tacklings are loosed: they could not well strengthen
their mast, they could not spread the saile: then is the praye of a great spoile
diuided, the lame take the praye.
Isaiah 35:6
tunc saliet sicut cervus claudus, et aperta erit lingua mutorum: quia
scissae sunt in deserto aquae, et torrentes in solitudine;
No reference available.
Thanne a crokid man schal skippe as an hert, and the tunge of doumbe men schal be openyd; for whi watris ben brokun out in desert, and stremes in wildirnesse.
Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the dumb man’s
tongue shall sing: for in the[a]wilderness shall waters break out, and rivers in the
desert.
Then shall the lame man leape as an Hart, and the tongue
of the dumbe sing: for in the wildernesse shall waters breake out, and streames
in the desert.
Jeremiah 31:8
Ecce ego adducam eos de terra aquilonis, et congregabo eos ab
extremis terrae: inter quos erunt caecus et claudus, praegnans et pariens simul,
coetus magnus revertentium huc.
No reference available.
Lo! Y schal brynge hem fro the loond of the north, and Y schal gadere
hem fro the fertheste partis of erthe; among whiche schulen be a blynd man,
and crokid, and a womman with childe, and trauelynge of child togidere, a greet
cumpeny of hem that schulen turne ayen hidur.
Behold, I will bring them from the North country, and
gather them from the coasts of the world, with the blind and the lame among
them, with the woman with child, and her that is delivered also: a great company
shall return hither.
Behold, I will bring them from the North countrey, and
gather them from the coasts of the earth, and with them the blind and the lame,
the woman with child, and her that trauelleth with child together, a great company
shall returne thither.
Malachi 1:8
Si afferatis caecum ad immolandum, nonne malum est? et si offeratis
claudum et languidum, nonne malum est? offer illud duci tuo, si placuerit ei, aut
si susceperit faciem tuam, dicit Dominus exercituum.
No reference available.
If ye offren a blynd beest to be sacrifisid, whether it is not yuel? And if
ye offren a crokid and sike beeste, whether it is not yuel? Offre thou it to thi duyk,
if it schal plese hym, ether if he schal resseyue thi face, seith the Lord of oostis.
And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, it is not evil: and if
ye offer the lame and sick, it is not evil: offer it now unto thy princes: will he be
content with thee, or accept thy person, saith the Lord of hosts?
And if hee offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not euill? and if
yee offer the lame and sicke, is it not euill? offer it now vnto thy gouernour: will he
be pleased with thee, or accept thy person, saith the Lord of hostes?
Malachi 1:13
Et dixistis: Ecce de labore, et exsufflastis illud, dicit Dominus
exercituum: et intulistis de rapinis claudum et languidum, et intulistis munus:
numquid suscipiam illud de manu vestra? dicit Dominus.
No reference available.
And ye seiden, Lo! of trauel; and ye han blowe it a wei, seith the Lord
of oostis. And ye brouyten in of raueyns a crokid thlng and sijk, and brouyten in a
yifte; whether Y schal resseyue it of youre hond? seith the Lord.
Ye said also, Behold, it is a weariness, and ye have snuffed
at it, saith the Lord of hosts, and ye offered that which was torn, and the lame,
and the sick: thus ye offered an offering: should I accept this of your hand, saith
the Lord?
Yee said also; Behold what a wearinesse is it, and yee
haue snuffed at it, saith the Lord of hostes, and yee brought that which was
torne, and the lame, and the sicke: thus yee brought an offring: should I accept
this of your hand, saith the Lord ?
Matthew 4:24
Et abiit opinio ejus in totam Syriam, et obtulerunt ei omnes male habentes, variis languoribus, et tormentis comprehensos, et qui daemonia habebant, et lunaticos, et paralyticos, et curavit eos:
& ða ferde hys hlisa into ealle Syriam; & hi brohton him ealle yfelhæbbende missenlicum adlum & on tintregum gegripene & þa ðe deofelseocnyssa hæfdon & monoðseoce &laman, & he þa gehælde.
And his fame wente in to al Sirie; and thei brouyten to hym alle that weren at male ese, and that weren take with dyuerse languores and turmentis, and hem that hadden feendis, and lunatike men, and men in palesy, and he heelide hem.
And his fame spread abroad through all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people, that were taken with divers diseases, and torments, and them that were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatic, and those that had the palsy: and he healed them.
And his fame went thorowout all Syria: and they brought vnto him all sicke people that were taken with diuerse diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with deuils, and those which were lunaticke, and those that had the palsie, and he healed them.
Matthew 8:6
Et dicens: Domine, puer meus jacet in domo paralyticus, et male torquetur
& þus cweðende, Drihten, min cnapa lið on minum huse lama & mid yfle geðread.
and seide, Lord, my childe lijth in the hous sijk on the palesie, and is yuel turmentid.
And said, Master, my servant lieth sick at home of the palsy, and is grievously pained.
And saying, Lord, my seruant lieth at home sicke of the palsie, grieuously tormented.
Matthew 9:2
Et ecce offerebant ei paralyticum jacentem in lecto. Et videns Jesus fidem illorum, dixit paralytico: Confide fili, remittuntur tibi peccata tua.
Ða brohton hig hym ænne laman on bedde licgende; þa geseah se Hælend hyra geleafan & cwæð to þam laman, la bearn gelyfe; þe beoþ þine synna forgyfene.
And lo! thei brouyten to hym a man sike in palesie, liggynge in a bed. And Jhesus saw the feith of hem, and seide to the man sike in palesye, Sone, haue thou trist; thi synnes ben foryouun to thee.
And lo, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy laid on a bed. And Jesus seeing their faith, said to the sick of the palsy, Son be of good comfort: thy sins are forgiven thee.
And behold, they brought to him a man sicke of the palsie, lying on a bed: and Iesus seeing their faith, said vnto the sicke of the palsie, Sonne, be of good cheere, thy sinnes be forgiuen thee.
Matthew 9:6
Ut autem sciatis, quia Filius hominis habet potestatem in terra dimittendi peccata, tunc ait paralytico: Surge, tolle lectum tuum, et vade in domum tuam.
Þæt ge soþlice witon þæt mannes sunu hæfð anweald on eorþan synna to forgyfenne þa cwæð he to þam laman, aris & nym þin bedd & gang on þin hus.
But that ye wite that mannus sone hath power to foryyue synnes in erthe, thanne he seide to the sijk man in palesie, Rise vp; take thi bed, and go in to thin hous.
And that ye may know that the Son of man hath authority in earth to forgive sins (then said he unto the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go to thine house.
But that yee may know that the sonne of man hath power on earth to forgiue sinnes, (Then saith hee to the sicke of the palsie) Arise, take vp thy bed, and goe vnto thine house.
Matthew 11:5
Caeci vident, claudi ambulant, leprosi mundantur, surdi audiunt, mortui resurgunt, pauperes evangelizantur:
blinde gesēoþ, healte gāð, hrēofe synt āclǣnsude, dēafe gehȳraþ, dēade ārīsað, þearfan bodiað.
Blynde men seen, crokid men goon, meselis ben maad clene, deefe men heren, deed men rysen ayen, pore men ben takun to `prechyng of the gospel.
The blind receive sight, and the halt do walk: the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor receive the Gospel.
The blind receiue their sight, and the lame walke, the lepers are cleansed, and the deafe heare, the dead are raised vp, and the poore haue the Gospel preached to them.
Matthew 15:30
Et accesserunt ad eum turbae multae, habentes secum mutos, caecos, claudos, debiles, et alios multos: et projecerunt eos ad pedes ejus, et curavit eos
Þā genēalǣhton him tō mycele menegu, mid him hæbbende manega healte, and blinde, and wanhāle, and manega ōþre, and ālēdon tō hys fōtum; and hē gehǣlde þā:
And myche puple cam to hym, and hadden with hem doumbe men and crokid, feble and blynde, and many other; and thei castiden doun hem at hise feet. And he helide hem,
And great multitudes came unto him, having with them, halt, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down, at Jesus’ feet, and he healed them.
And great multitudes came vnto him, hauing with them those that were lame, blinde, dumbe, maimed, and many others, and cast them downe at Iesus feet, and he healed them:
Matthew 15:31
Ita ut turbae mirarentur, videntes mutos loquentes, claudos ambulantes, caecos videntes: et magnificabant Deum Israel.
swā þæt þā mænegu wundredon, gesēonde dumbe specende, healte gangende, blinde gesēonde ; and hig mǣrsodon Israhela God.
so that the puple wondriden seynge doumbe men spekynge, and crokid goynge, blynde men seynge; and thei magnyfieden God of Israel.
Insomuch that the multitude wondered, to see the dumb speak, the maimed whole, the halt to go, and the blind to see: and they glorified the God of Israel.
Insomuch that the multitude wondred, when they saw the dumbe to speake, the maimed to be whole, the lame to walke, and the blind to see: and they glorified the God of Israel.
Matthew 21:14
Et accesserunt ad eum caeci, et claudi in templo: et sanavit eos.
Ðā ēodan tō him þā blindan and þā healtan; and hē hī gehǣlde.
And blynde and crokid camen to hym in the temple, and he heelide hem.
Then the blind, and the halt came to him, in the Temple, and he healed them.
And the blind and the lame came to him in the Temple, & he healed them.
Mark 2:3
Et venerunt ad eum ferentes paralyticum, qui a quatuor portabatur.
& hi comon anne laman to him berende, þone feower men bæron.
And there camen to hym men that brouyten a man sijk in palesie, which was borun of foure.
And there came unto him, that brought one sick of the palsy, borne of four men.
And they come vnto him, bringing one sicke of the palsie, which was borne of foure.
Mark 2:4
Et cum non possent offerre eum illi prae turba, nudaverunt tectum ubi erat: et patefacientes submiserunt grabatum in quo paralyticus jacebat.
& þa hi ne mihton hine inbringan for þære mænigu, hi openodon þone hrof þar se Hælend wæs, & hi þa inasendan þæt bed þe se lama on læg.
And whanne thei myyten not brynge hym to Jhesu for the puple, thei vnhileden the roof where he was, and openede it, and thei leten doun the bed in which the sijk man in palesie laye.
And because they could not come near unto him for the multitude, they uncovered the roof of the house where he was: and when they had broken it open, they let down the bed, wherein the sick of the palsy lay.
And when they could not come nigh vnto him for preasse, they vncouered the roofe where he was: and when they had broken it vp, they let downe the bed wherin the sick of the palsie lay.
Mark 2:5
Cum autem vidisset Jesus fidem illorum, ait paralytico: Fili, dimittuntur tibi peccata tua.
Soþlice ða se Hælend geseah heora geleafan, he cwæþ to ðam laman, Sunu, ðe synt ðine synna forgifene.
And whanne Jhesus hadde seyn the feith of hem, he seide to the sijk man in palesie, Sone, thi synnes ben foryouun to thee.
Now when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins are forgiven thee.
When Iesus saw their faith, hee said vnto the sicke of the palsie, Sonne, thy sinnes be forgiuen thee.
Mark 2:9
Quid est facilius dicere paralytico: Dimittuntur tibi peccata tua: an dicere: Surge, tolle grabatum tuum, et ambula?
Hwæðer is eðre to secgenne to þam laman, þe synd ðine synna forgyfene, hwæðer þe cweðan, aris, nim ðin bed & ga?
What is liyter to seie to the sijk man in palesie, Synnes ben foryouun to thee, or to seie, Ryse, take thi bed, and walke?
Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins are forgiven thee? or to say, Arise, take up thy bed, and walk?
Whether is it easier to say to the sicke of the palsie, Thy sinnes be forgiuen thee: or to say, Arise, and take vp thy bed and walke?
Mark 2:10
Ut autem sciatis quia Filius hominis habet potestatem in terra dimittendi peccata (ait paralytico),
Þæt ge soðlice witon þæt mannes sunu hæfð anweald on eorðan synna to forgyfanne, He cwæð to þam laman.
But that ye wite that mannus sone hath power in erthe to foryyue synnes, he seide to the sijk man in palesie, Y seie to thee,
But that ye may know, that the Son of man hath authority in earth to forgive sins, he said unto the sick of the palsy,
But that yee may know that the Sonne of man hath power on earth to forgiue sinnes, (Hee saith to the sicke of the palsie,)
Luke 5:18
Et ecce viri portantes in lecto hominem, qui erat paralyticus: et quaerebant eum inferre, et ponere ante eum.
And þa bæron men on anum bedde anne man se wæs lama (19) and hig ne mihton hine in bringan and alecgan beforan him:
And lo! men beren in a bed a man that was sijk in the palsye, and thei souyten to bere hym in, and sette bifor hym.
Then behold, men brought a man lying in a bed, which was taken with a palsy, and they sought means to bring him in, and to lay him before him.
And behold, men brought in a bed a man which was taken with a palsie: and they sought meanes to bring him in, and to lay him before him.
Luke 5:24
Ut autem sciatis quia Filius hominis habet potestatem in terra dimittendi peccata, (ait paralytico) tibi dico, surge, tolle lectum tuum, et vade in domum tuam.
þæt ge witon þæt mannes sunu on eorðan <anweald> hæfð synna to forgyfanne; And he sæde þam laman, þe ic secge aris, nim þin bed & ga on þin hus.
But that ye wite, that mannus sone hath power in erthe to foryyue synnes, he seide to the sijk man in palesie, Y seie to thee, ryse vp, take thi bed, and go in to thin hous.
But that ye may know that the Son of man hath authority to forgive sins in earth, (he said unto the sick of the palsy) I say to thee, Arise: take up thy bed, and go into thine house.)
But that ye may know that the Sonne of man hath power vpon earth to forgiue sinnes (he said vnto the sicke of the palsie,) I say vnto thee, Arise, and take vp thy couch, and go into thine house.
Luke 7:22
Et respondens, dixit illis: Euntes renuntiate Joanni quae audistis et vidistis: quia caeci vident, claudi ambulant, leprosi mundantur, surdi audiunt, mortui resurgunt, pauperes evangelizantur
Ða cwæþ sē Hǣlend, Faraþ, and cȳþað Iohanne þā ðing þe gē gesāwon and gehȳrdon ; þæt blinde gesēoð, and healte gāþ, hrēoflan synt gehǣlede, dēafe gehȳrað, dēade ārīsaþ, þearfan bodiað.
And Jhesus answerde, and seide to hem, Go ye ayen, and telle ye to Joon tho thingis that ye han herd and seyn; blynde men seyn, crokid men goen, mesels ben maad cleene, deef men heren, deed men risen ayen, pore men ben takun to prechyng of the gospel.
And Jesus answered, and said unto them, Go your ways and show John, what things ye have seen and heard, that the blind see, the halt go, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor receive the Gospel.
Then Iesus answering, said vnto them, Go your way, and tell Iohn what things ye haue seene and heard, how that the blind see, the lame walke, the lepers are clensed, the deafe heare, the dead are raised, to the poore the Gospel is preached.
Luke 14:13
sed cum facis convivium, voca pauperes, debiles, claudos, et caecos:
Ac þænne þū gebēorscype dō, clypa þearfan and wanhāle and healte and blinde.
But whanne thou makist a feeste, clepe pore men, (14) feble,
crokid, and blynde,
But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the
lame and the blind,
But when thou makest a feast, call the poore, the maimed,
the lame, the blinde,
Acts 3:2
Et quidam vir, qui erat claudus ex utero matris suae, bajulabatur: quem ponebant quotidie ad portam templi, quae dicitur Speciosa, ut peteret eleemosynam ab introeuntibus in templum.
No reference available.
And a man that was lame fro the wombe of his modir, was borun, and was leid ech dai at the yate of the temple, that is seid feir, to axe almes of men that entriden in to the temple.
And a certain man which was a cripple from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the Temple called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the Temple,
And a certaine man lame from his mothers womb was caried, whom they laide daily at the gate of the Temple which is called Beautifull, to aske almes of them that entred into the Temple.
Acts 3:11
Cum teneret autem Petrum et Joannem, cucurrit omnis populus ad eos ad porticum quae appellatur Salomonis, stupentes.
No reference available.
But whanne thei sien Petre and Joon, al the puple ran to hem at the porche that was clepid of Salomon, and wondriden greetli.
And as the cripple which was healed, held Peter and John, all the people ran amazed unto them in the porch which is called Solomon’s.
And as the lame man which was healed, helde Peter and Iohn, all the people ranne together vnto them in the porch, that is called Solomons, greatly wondring.
Acts 8:7
Multi enim eorum qui habebant spiritus immundos, clamantes voce magna exibant. Multi autem paralytici et claudi curati sunt.
No reference available.
For manye of hem that hadden vnclene spirits, crieden with a greet vois, and wenten out.
For unclean spirits crying with a loud voice, came out of many that were possessed of them: and many taken with palsies, and that halted, were healed.
For vncleane spirits, crying with lowd voyce, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed.
Acts 8:7
Multi enim eorum qui habebant spiritus immundos, clamantes voce magna exibant. Multi autem paralytici et claudi curati sunt.
No reference available.
(8) And manye sijk in the palsi, and crokid, weren heelid.
For unclean spirits crying with a loud voice, came out of many that were possessed of them; and many taken with palsies, and that halted, were healed.
For vncleane spirits, crying with lowd voyce, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed.
Hebrews 12:13
Et gressus rectos facite pedibus vestris: ut non claudicans quis erret, magis autem sanetur.
No reference available.
and knees vnboundun, and make ye riytful steppis to youre feet; that no man haltinge erre, but more be heelid.
And make straight steps unto your feet, lest that which is halting, be turned out of the way, but let it rather be healed.
And make straight paths for your feete, lest that which is lame bee turned out of the way, but let it rather bee healed.

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Roberts, Jane. "Some Thoughts on the Expression of 'Crippled' in Old English." Essays for Joyce Hill on Her Sixtieth Birthday. Ed. Mary Swan. Leeds Studies in English, n.s. 37. Leeds: Univ. of Leeds, School of English, 2006. 365­-78. Old English Newsletter Bibliography. Web. 10 Sept. 2013.

Submitted by:
Cameron Hunt McNabb, Southeastern University

Contributors: Andrea S. Browning, Brittany Burge, Emily Faison, Christopher Giles, Breanna Jones, Keith A. Kelso, Emily Miller, Alexandra Vittetoe, and Beth Wilsman, all of Southeastern University.