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(Historical Terms) a variant spelling of thane



1. (in Anglo-Saxon England) a person ranking between an earl and an ordinary freeman, holding land of the king or a lord in return for services.
2. (in medieval Scotland) a person holding land of the king; a baron.
[before 900; late Middle English, Scots variant of Middle English thain, thein, Old English thegn, c. Old Saxon thegan man, Old High German degan servant, warrior, Old Norse thegn subject; akin to Greek téknon child]
References in periodicals archive ?
Yet the apparent newness of The Vale should not belie its links with later Medieval Birmingham, for along with the rest of the parish of Curdworth it once belonged to a powerful Anglo-Saxon thegn called Turchill.
Bouncy Castle fun for Year 6 pupils Thegn Edgar, Emma Higginson and Rhys Morgan.
Harold had to seize the throne quickly because not only was there a legitimate, albeit weak, successor to it; but the culture of pre-medieval England was one of fierce independence, and most every Earl and Thegn wanted that same crown placed upon his own head.
Guthlac B" contrasts transient earthly bonds between thegn and lord to the eternal bonds between a saint and God, portraying Guthlac purely as warrior of Christ and omitting almost entirely his career as soldier.
The Anglo-Saxon equivalent of the baron was commonly known as a "thegn," or "thane" by the time of Shakespeare, but the thegns occupied a similar place in the hierarchy as the later barons.