Words related to song

sing (v.)

Middle English singen, from Old English singan "to chant, sing," especially in joy or merriment; "celebrate, or tell in song" (class III strong verb; past tense sang, past participle sungen), from Proto-Germanic *sengwan (source also of Old Saxon singan, Old Frisian sionga, Middle Dutch singhen, Dutch zingen, Old High German singan, German singen, Gothic siggwan, Old Norse syngva, Swedish sjunga), from PIE root *sengwh-"to sing, make an incantation." Also used in late Old English of birds and wolves, and sometimes in Middle English also "play on a musical instrument."

There are said to be no related forms in other languages, unless perhaps it is connected to Greek omphe "voice" (especially of a god), "oracle;" and Welsh dehongli "explain, interpret." The typical Indo-European root for "to sing" is represented by Latin canere (see chant (v.)). Other words meaning "sing" derive from roots meaning "cry, shout," but Irish gaibim is literally "take, seize," with sense evolution via "take up" a song or melody.

The sense of "utter enthusiastically" (of praises, etc.) is from 1560s. The criminal slang sense of "to confess to authorities" is attested as early as 1610s, but modern use probably is a fresh formation early 20c. To sing for one's supper, implying lack of funds, is by 1745.

Every child should be taught, from its youth, to govern its voice discreetly and dexterously, as it does its hands ; and not to be able to sing should be more disgraceful than not being able to read or write. For it is quite possible to lead a virtuous and happy life without books, or ink ; but not without wishing to sing, when we are happy ; nor without meeting with continual occasions when our song, if right, would be a kind service to others. [Ruskin, "Rock Honeycomb"]
evensong (n.)

the native word for vespers, Old English æfensang; see even (n.) + song.

love-song (n.)

early 14c., from love (n.) + song (n.).

part-song (n.)

"vocal composition for two or more independent voices," usually sung without accompaniment, by 1824, from part (n.) in the musical sense + song (n.).

plain-song (n.)

also plainsong, unisonous vocal music used in the Christian churches in the earliest centuries, mid-15c., translating Latin cantus planus, French plain chant; see plain (adj.) + song (n.).

sing-song (adj.)

also singsong, of music, prayers, etc., "monotonously repetitive and unvarying," 1734, from earlier use as a noun meaning "a jingling ballad" (c. 1600), from sing (v.) + song (n.).

song-bird (n.)

1774, from song (n.) + bird (n.1).

songbook (n.)

Old English sangboc "church service book;" see song (n.) + book (n.). Meaning "collection of songs bound in a book" is from late 15c.

songcraft (n.)

Old English sangcræft "art of singing, composing poetry, or playing an instrument," from song (n.) + craft (n.). Modern use (1855) is a re-formation.

songster (n.)

Old English sangystre "female singer;" see song (n.) + -ster. Also of men skilled in singing by mid-14c. Separate fem. form songstress is attested from 1703.