What is the meaning of “runneth” in My Cup Runneth Over?
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“runneth” is the Early Modern English third person singular of “run” (suffix -th, written -eth after consonants, and the consonant doubled). So, it would be “runs over” in Modern English, i.e. “overflows”. As noted in the link in your question, this quotation means “I have more than I need”.
In the context, ‘runneth’ has no meaning as a word on its own, since it is simply the verb component of the phrasal verb ‘runneth over’. Phrasal verbs are constructions formed of verb plus adverb (and/or preposition) which, together, convey a meaning other than is derived from the individual components on their own.
‘Runneth over’, is a phrase perhaps most well-known in the King James, or Authorised, translation of Psalm 23:5 in the Bible. Its modern-day equivalent phrasal verb would be ‘runs over’ describing the way that fluid spills out of its container when the container is being overfilled. Modern-day translations of Psalm 23:5 commonly use the verb ‘overflows’, to convey the same meaning which is intended to describe an abundance, or excess, of provision.
protected by Rathony Mar 8 at 13:07
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