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What's the difference between morrow and tomorrow? Why are there two similar words for the same meaning?

I noticed it in the title of a song of Michael Nyman, "Second Morrow", on Gattaca OST.

There is no sign that it was an ancient word.

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closed as general reference by Robusto, MετάEd, Kristina Lopez, Bill Franke, Jon Hanna Jan 31 '13 at 11:56

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

    
Morrow is archaic, or no longer used –  mattacular Jan 30 '13 at 13:36
    
    
@mattacular “At last wearied with his cares Sam drowsed, leaving the morrow till it came; he could do no more.” —J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings –  tchrist Jan 30 '13 at 13:43
    
@tchrist Thank you for sharing an actual example! –  Digerkam Jan 30 '13 at 13:49
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Morrow is archaic. While that doesn't mean "no longer used," it does indicate only a specialised application. [No longer used would be obsolete] –  Andrew Leach Jan 30 '13 at 13:54

2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Morrow is "the day after"; All Souls' Day is the morrow of All Saints' Day. Tomorrow is simply 'today's morrow', as today was yesterday's morrow.

But, as others have said, morrow is currently little used compared with tomorrow.

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This Google N-Gram is interesting: look at the crossing point. Hmm, it might be better to use “the morrow” there; not sure. –  tchrist Jan 30 '13 at 14:22

Morrow can be preceded by "Good" to form the phrase "Good Morrow" meaning "Good Morning".

It is still used today, but normally when the user wants to convey the impression of age, in a similar vein to how you would describe something as olde worlde.

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Yes, morrow can meaning morning. We did not used to have to resort to such reduplications as “tomorrow morning”, because the morrow sufficed. –  tchrist Jan 30 '13 at 14:03

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