The First King of England

Here’s a question sent in by a recent visitor to the site: “who was the first king of England?”. The answer to this question is, however, not as simple as it might appear. Some historians will say it was King Alfred, others Cnut the Great, and still others Henry II. Here’s my answer.

first king of England

Athelstan (c.894 – 939 AD), the son of Edward the Elder and grandson of Alfred the Great, was the first king to rule all of England. It was Athelstan who first united the kingdoms of Mercia and Northumbria with his kingdom Wessex to create a united English kingdom. During his lifetime Athelstan was usually referred to as ‘King of the English’ (rex Anglorum), and on occasion as ‘King of all Britain’ (rex totius Britanniae). Althelstan reigned from 925 to his death at the age of 45 in 939.

However, to muddy the waters, it should be noted that Athelstan’s grandfather, Alfred the Great, was the first to be crowned ‘King of the English’, but, his kingdom did not include all of present-day England.

We’ll look at the equally contentious answer to the question ‘who was the first Queen of England?’ at a later date!

Disheveled / Dishevelled


My word of the day is:

Disheveled / dishevelled

Dishevelled is an adjective meaning in disarray, unkempt or disorderly.

If you describe someone’s hair or appearance as dishevelled, you mean that it is untidy.

Synonyms of the word dishevelled include: disarranged, disordered, messy, scruffy, untidy, unkempt.

Example of the word dishevelled in use in a sentence:

“His appearance was dishevelled and he was wearing light-coloured clothing, possibly beige.”

Click here to listen the word dishevelled being spoken by a native speaker of English from the south-west of England.

Note: In American English the word is generally spelled disheveled. Whereas, in British English the more usual spelling is dishevelled.

Come back soon to discover another beautiful English word.

Happy New Year!

anglik englishman

To mark the arrival of new year we’ve decided to completely revamp the anglik website! Instead of the old, fixed html webpages all new content will use this easy to use, mobile-friendly WordPress system.  One of us will post content related to either English as a second or foreign language, British Culture, or the History of English-speaking countries on a regular basis, so please come back soon and have a look.

esl efl

The old site can still be accessed via the English index page.

Today’s language point …

Want to know how to say ‘Happy New Year’ in another language?

Here are a few ways:

Dutch – Gelukkig nieuwjaar.
French – Bonne Année.
German – Ein frohes neues Jahr / Ein gutes neues Jahr.
Polish – Szczesliwego Nowego Roku.

Feel free to add any other ways of saying Happy New Year in other languages to the comments section!