I was watching a history show about England when the presenter held up a beautiful object which he said belonged to King Alfred. The proof was in the inscription which read,
"Alfred mec heht gewyrcan"
This means Alfred had me (ordered me to be) made.
Instantly my curiosity was piqued by the word "gewyrcan' or made. After some research my suspicions that this verb was similar to other Germanic words for to work or to make were confirmed.
English: worked or made
Old English: gewyrcan
German: gewerk is used in the term of a craft or a guild.
The next question I asked myself was how far this ge- prefix survived into English, as obviously we don't use it to form the past tense today.
There's a good article about it here : http://english.stackexchange.com/questions/22700/why-doesnt-english-use-the-prefix-ge
…which show that Old English did use a ge- prefix which turned into y-, i- or