Sign up ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Is "as oft" a valid contraction of "as often"? If it is, then why doesn't it have an apostrophe at the end?

share|improve this question

1 Answer 1

up vote 10 down vote accepted

according to, "oft" is the original form of "often"; it was lengthened around 1300, presumably as a parallel to "selden" (which later mutated spelling slightly to "seldom").

So no, "oft" is not a contraction, and therefore has no need of an apostrophe; but it does mean exactly the same thing as "often", it's simply the archaic form of the word.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.