Words related to -en

golden (adj.)

c. 1300, "made of gold," from gold (n.) + -en (2); replacing Middle English gilden, from Old English gyldan. Gold is one of the few Modern English nouns that form adjectives meaning "made of ______" by adding -en (as in wooden, leaden, waxen, olden); those that survive often do so in specialized senses. Old English also had silfren "made of silver," stænen "made of stone," etc.

From late 14c. as "of the color of gold." Figurative sense of "excellent, precious, best, most valuable" is from late 14c.; that of "favorable, auspicious" is from c. 1600. Golden mean "avoidance of excess" translates Latin aurea mediocritas (Horace). Golden age "period of past perfection" is from 1550s, from a concept found in Greek and Latin writers; in sense of "old age" it is recorded from 1961. San Francisco Bay's entrance channel was called the Golden Gate by John C. Fremont (1866). The moralistic golden rule earlier was the golden law (1670s).

Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them [Matthew vii.12]
Do not do unto others as you would that they should do unto you. Their tastes may not be the same. [George Bernard Shaw, 1898]
oaken (adj.)

"made of, or consisting of, the wood of the oak," late 14c. (12c. in surnames and place-names), oken, from oak + -en (2). Similar formation in Old Frisian eken, Dutch eiken, Old High German eichen, German eichen, Old Norse eikinn.

woolen (adj.)

also woollen (chiefly British English), Old English wullen, wyllen "made of wool," from wool + -en (2). Related: Woolens; woollens.

brazen (adj.)

Old English bræsen "of brass," from bræs "brass" (see brass (n.)) + -en (2). The figurative sense of "hardened in effrontery" is from 1570s (in brazen-faced), perhaps suggesting a face unable to show shame. To brazen it "face impudently" is from 1550s. Related: Brazenly.

wooden (adj.)

1530s, from wood (n.) + -en (2). Figurative use by 1560s. Wooden nickel "counterfeit coin, worthless token" is from 1916, American English. Related: Woodenly; woodenness.

darken (v.)

c. 1300, derken, "to make dark or darker, deprive of light;" early 14c. (intransitive), "to grow or become dark," from dark (adj.) + -en (1). The more usual verb in Middle English in both senses was simply dark, as it is in Chaucer and Shakespeare, and darken did not predominate until 17c. The Anglo-Saxons also had a verb sweorcan meaning "to grow dark."

Meanings "grow less white or clear, turn a darker color" and "render less white or clear" are from late 14c. Figurative sense of "render gloomy, sadden" is from 1742. To darken(one's) door (usually with a negative) "enter one's house as a visitor," usually with an implication of unwelcomeness, is attested from 1729.

weaken (v.)

late 14c., "to become feeble," from weak + -en (1). Transitive sense from 1560s. Related: Weakened; weakening.

ashen (adj.2)

"made of ash wood," c. 1300; see ash (n.2) + -en (2). The meaning "pertaining to the ash tree" is from 1560s.

ashen (adj.1)

"ash-colored, whitish-gray, deadly pale," 1807, from ash (n.1) + -en (2).

aspen (n.)

European tree of the poplar family, late 14c., from adjectival or genitive form of Old English æspe "aspen tree, white poplar," from Proto-Germanic *aspo, adjective aspin- (source also of Old Norse æsp, Middle Dutch espe, Old High German aspa, German Espe), from PIE *aps- "aspen" (source also of Lithuanian epu, Latvian apsa, Old Prussian abse, Russian osina), perhaps a northern European substratum word.

The current form in English probably arose from phrases such as aspen leaf, aspen bark (see -en (2)). Its leaves have been figurative of tremulousness and quaking at least since early 15c. (an Old English name for it was cwicbeam, literally "quick-tree").