I've been working on translating Old English a bit recently, including the poem The Dream of the Rood. It has a delicious compound verb in it, ŝurhdrifan, used in the phrase "ŝurhdrifan hi me mid deorcum nĉglum" which translates to "they drove (with) dark/black/iron-colored nails through me" - interesting because the verb in modern English requires separation to clearly express the instrumental.

But the preposition of the phrasal verb is a full part of the verb itself - it's a true compound as opposed to the modern phrasal that's taken its place - "To drive through" as opposed to "to throughdrive."

I rather like the old-fashioned verb, so I like to translate it as "they throughdrove me with blackiron nails," which gives the original compound and compounds a couple of senses of "deorcum" into the translation as well.


Basically, I love compounds. They're fun to play with.