• synonyms


[sas-uh-nuhkh, -nak]
noun Often Disparaging.
  1. a term used by the Gaelic inhabitants of the British Isles to refer to the English inhabitants.
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Origin of Sassenach

1765–75; < Scots Gaelic Sasunnach, Irish Sasanach English, English person, Protestant, Middle Irish Saxanach, derivative of Saxain, Sagsuin, Sachsain the Saxons, England ≪ Late Latin Saxonēs; see Saxon
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for sassenach

Historical Examples of sassenach

  • Sassenach that you are, I hear you muttering, "What is that?"

    Confessions Of Con Cregan

    Charles James Lever

  • Know you not that McDonnell is an exile, and that the hated Sassenach holds his castle?

    Sir Ludar

    Talbot Baines Reed

  • Thus it was the McDonnell made his peace with the Sassenach.

    Sir Ludar

    Talbot Baines Reed

  • The Sassenach was indeed out of his element on the Scotch hills.

  • The old soldier turns himself towards the voice of the Sassenach, and, with the bold courtesy of the camp, bids him enter the hut.

British Dictionary definitions for sassenach


  1. Scot and sometimes Irish an English person or a Lowland Scot
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Word Origin for Sassenach

C18: from Scot Gaelic Sasunnach, Irish Sasanach, from Late Latin saxonēs Saxons
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for sassenach



Gaelic for "English person," 1771, Sassenaugh, literally "Saxon," from Gaelic Sasunnach, from Latin Saxones, from a Germanic source (cf. Old English Seaxe "the Saxons;" see Saxon). The modern form of the word was established c.1814 by Sir Walter Scott, from Scottish Sasunnoch, Irish Sasanach, Welsh Seisnig.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper