I've used "beknownst" and "unbeknownst" a couple times but I never really bothered to look it up until now. But it's not in most of the online dictionaries websites I frequent. I'm under the impression that this word is old school; if so, is it still appropriate to use? Or am I better off using some other word that means the same thing?
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Technically there is no such word as 'beknownst' other than as a back-formation of 'unbeknownst' (unbeknown exists and in fact pre-dates unbeknownst. Beknown also exists). It is rather old-fashioned which is probably why some online dictionaries don't list it.
They have essentially been superceded by 'known' and 'unknown', which have equivalent meanings. Nevertheless it is not uncommon to hear:
Or the like. It is perfectly appropriate to use.
beknownst is an archaic word, as it is beknown; the meaning of beknown is known.
The word that is used in Modern English is unbeknown (or unbeknownst), which has its origin from beknown.
Unbeknownst is strictly an adverb may not be benoted as much as unknown since unknown is a noun and an adjective.
However, it is hardly "archaic" ... I eathly found samples of being in magazines and books in the last decade.
And it is benoted much more than unbeknown: Ngram (Sorry, I couldn't get it to load here.)
'Beknownst', not archaic at all. Abbreviated from, 'as be known to me'. To simply use known in its stead would cause the confusion as to 'known to whom?'. To imply that it should be understood that one would be referring to oneself is vulgarity.
protected by tchrist Jan 30 '15 at 0:24
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