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I asked a question on the origin of the word aforementioned. To me, it would seem that this word should be beforementioned instead. Why does it begin with afore-?

Also, does this mean afore can be used as a substitute for before?

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closed as general reference by Hugo, JSBձոգչ, z7sg Ѫ, aedia λ, FumbleFingers Oct 24 '11 at 14:18

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.

Did you check any of there words in a dictionary? You'll find afore and before there, and can check the etymology of aforementioned. – Hugo Oct 23 '11 at 11:04
Afore also forms part of the word aforesaid, and possibly other composites. So far as I know, there are no compound words that use before. – FumbleFingers Oct 24 '11 at 13:26
@FumbleFingers: beforehand – Mr. Shiny and New 安宇 Oct 24 '11 at 13:39
Are you asking why a particular word formation is more popular than the one you feel is more logical? Or are you asking for the definition of "afore"? The first is probably unanswerable and the second is general reference. – Mr. Shiny and New 安宇 Oct 24 '11 at 13:40
up vote 3 down vote accepted

The OED’s earliest citation is dated 1587, in a work by Sir Philip Sydney. Afore is from Old English on foran, with the second element meaning in front, in advance. In the OED’s words, ‘Afore is now mostly obsolete in literature, its place being taken by before, but it is retained in the Bible and Prayer-book, is common in the dialects generally, as well as in "vulgar" London speech, and in nautical language.’ The earliest occurrence of before predates that of afore, despite its Old English origin, by several centuries.

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