Poets in Anglo-Saxon literature are often referred to as scops (sc was pronounced sh), for example in Beowulf: Scop hwilum sang hador on Heorote (a bard at certain times sang clearly in Heorot). Scops would usually recite epic poetry at large gatherings and so are closely connected with the oral poetry tradition. Scop is a cognate of the Old High German scoph, translated in the OED as poetry, fiction, sport, jest and derision. There is also an Old Norse cognate, skop, meaning railing or mocking. The modern English word scoff, meaning to mock or jeer, is thus related to the Old English word for poet, scop.
Scop was replaced by the word poet, a French word which goes back to the Greek for to make, create or compose. The word bard has an Old Celtic root – a bardos was a poet-singer or minstrel. The word minstrel comes from Old French and a minstrel would sing songs, play musical instruments and otherwise entertain his patron and his patron’s guests. Originally minstrel had the meaning servant or functionary as well as good-for-nothing or rogue.