Thursday, February 14, 2013


reck [rɛk] v. i.

1.) To make account; to take heed; to care; to mind;—often followed by of.

reck [rɛk] v. t.

1.) To make account of; to care for; to heed; to regard.
2.) To concern;—used impersonally (Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary).

Etymology: Middle English recken, from Old English reccan.

"I kepe noght of armes for to yelpe,
Ne I ne axe nat tomorwe to have victorie,
Ne renoun in this cas, ne veyne glorie
Of pris of armes blowen up and doun;
But I wolde have fully possessioun
Of Emelye, and dye in thy servyse.
Fynd thow the manere hou and in what wyse:
I recche nat but it may bettre be
To have victorie of hem, or they of me,
So that I have my lady in myne armes
("The Knightes Tale", Geoffrey Chaucer, ~1386)

"I care not to boast of arms
Nor do I ask to have victory tomorrow,
Nor renown in the event, nor vain glory
Of praise of arms proclaimed up and down;
But I would fully have possession
Of Emelye, and die in thy service.
Find thou the manner how and in what way:
I reck not if it may better be
To have victory over them, or they over me,
Just that I have my lady in my arms."
("The Knight's Tale", Geoffrey Chaucer, ~1386)

(Sogno del cavaliere, Raffaello Sanzio, ~1504)

You'll notice that I included a little "translation" from the Middle English in case there are any babies out there who don't want to read it. Thanks for reading!


Debra She Who Seeks said...

I RECKON you're right about the babies thing.

Poke The Rock said...

so sort of the opposite of wreck

Bibi said...

I'm a baby, so thank you for the translation. Well, not really a baby. Tried and failed, let's put it that way.

So, is this "reck" the same as "reckon", as Debra suggested?

-E- said...

@Bibi No, but they're both from the same root in Indo-European.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

How about reckLESS? Behaving without thought or knowledge? Is that related?

-E- said...

@Debra Yep, the suffix "-léas", which became "-less" goes all the way back to Old English. So "reckless" is just "reccan" + "-léas".

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