The english language has been variously divided into periods by different writers. In the division most commonly recognised, the first period dates from about 450 to 1150. This is the period of full inflection, and is called Anglo-Saxon, or, by many recent writers, old english. The second period dates from about 1150 to 1550 (or, if four periods be recognised, from about 1150 to 1350), and is called early english, middle english, or more commonly (as in the usage of this book), old english. During this period most of the inflections were dropped, and there was a great addition of french words to the language. The third period extends from about 1350 to 1550, and is middle english. During this period orthography became comparatively fixed. The last period, from about 1550, is called Modern english.
(Science: botany) see walnut.