Archaic or obsolete vocabulary and grammar.

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Explanation of the English in this University of Cambridge graduation certificate

I recently came upon this certificate of award of a BA degree at the University of Cambridge, which was written in a strange form of English which I didn't find very grammatical or logical according ...
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3answers
128 views

Adam lay ybounden. Any ys around these days?

thanks for pointing out the similar question. Great, but note that I'm trying to find ... • is there any SPECIFIC examples/evidence around of yword yusage TODAY? if so is it only jokey, is there any ...
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43 views

Bleak House language

I've been reading Bleak House, and I came across this sentence: Still the woman follows, crying, "Stop him, sir, pray stop him!" Allan, not knowing but that he has just robbed her of her money, ...
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1answer
8k views

Archaic conjugation of common verbs? [closed]

I'm looking for an online resource to list conjugation of some of most common English verbs (to be, to get, to do, to have etc.) in their archaic (Early Modern) forms. In particular, I'd be interested ...
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23 views

Archaic verb conjugation: knowest vs know'st

When using the archaic 2sg-present conjugation for English verbs, when would you use the longer form (eg knowest) and when would you use the shorter form (`know'st')? Is it like contemporary English ...
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87 views

Did 'the' in 'the which' mean anything?

Because OED's entries for this archaic definite article + relative pronoun 'the which' only redirect to definitions of 'which', am I correct to infer that 'the' meant nothing semantically in 'the ...
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2answers
104 views

Variety of English used by the Romantic poets| -eth/-s for the third person singular in particular

I have recently been reading poetry by John Keats and Rabindranath Tagore. Both these poets, being active in the 19th century, by which time I think English was quite as it is today, wrote still in ...
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28 views

What was the purpose of the ethical dative?

I can find examples of its use, but not a rationale. Presumably there was one at some point. What was it for?
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1answer
40 views

“Would that of this journey I had heard…”?

This is a translation of a Heian period poem: Would that of this journey I had heard. So had my heart been with you when you sought the cuckoo's song. What does 'Would that of this journey I had ...
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4answers
129 views

Is use of “shall” archaic?

A friend of mine, pursuing BA(Hons) in English corrected me that no one uses shall now and often it is advised to prefer the use of should, would, etc. Although Downton Abbey is set upon a time ...
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41 views

Archaic verb form “bare”, its semantics

In King James Bible, John 12:6 we read: This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein. As said here, bare is archaic ...
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39 views

How to properly use conjugate verbs using -est

Recently I have been confused on conjugating verbs in the 2nd person. I understand the 3rd person, -eth, but -est is a bit odd. example: He flies south / He flyeth south. But 2nd person? You fly ...
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Why is the term “touched” no longer commonly used?

I’ve heard the term touched used to refer to someone who is “not quite right”. I’m curious as to where this term came from, what it really means, and why it doesn’t tend to be used often anymore. Is ...
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1answer
90 views

“Before” is to “ere”, as “after” is to …? [closed]

Are there any literary, poetic, or archaic form of "after" or "beyond"? I am especially interested in monosyllabic forms. Both "aft" and "yon" won't work, because they have quite different meanings.
4
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337 views

Is there a specific name for the activity of blowing the bellows?

In a few European languages, there are words derived from latin calcare - literally to tread, in these words it means to blow bellows, for example in church organs; in Polish it's kalikować - a nearly-...
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3answers
18k views

What does the term 'divers places' mean?

In the King James Bible, Matthew 24:7 states: For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers ...
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1answer
121 views

“something come something”, or foo-come-bar

Is the bold construct below valid? Does it have a name? What sort of punctuation would you use for it? Fnord, the something-come-such-and-so, was under development for a year or so. It suffered a ...
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5answers
177 views

A Noun which describes an ignorant person accusing a well-informed opponent of ignorance?

I am looking for a word which describes a blatantly ignorant person (not knowing much about certain topic) who in a debate accuses of ignorance his opponent, who knows more about the topic of ...
3
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1answer
59 views

Is “agone” still a current dialectal expression?

Agone is defined in dictionaries as an archaic form of "gone" (TFD) but according to Etymonline the term is still used as a dialectal variant: Ago: ago (adj.) early 14c., shortened form ...
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5answers
198 views

“Forbidden” / “permitted” directly followed by object

Is it correct to say "He is forbidden wine" or "Wine is forbidden him"? Most often these would be expressed as "He is forbidden to drink wine" or "Wine is forbidden to him," but I occasionally see the ...
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1answer
121 views

Reason why tantalium became obsolete

A search in google clearly shows that the word tantalum is the correct spelling of the word and is widely used today. What made me curious was this Wikipedia entry wrote: Previously known as ...
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2answers
885 views

Older ways to say “Dear” when writing a letter

"Dear" has become a polite introductory word from the 15c. I would like to know of older, archaic words that were, perhaps, used in its stead or alongside it. From the old letters I reviewed I found ...
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1answer
52 views

Meaning of “not so apt to be solicited”

In 1852, a US senator complained that the head of the census bureau presented medical statistics to congress when he lacked expertise in the field. When the bureau chief told the senator of the ...
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141 views

“Olórin I was in my youth in the West that is forgotten”: what is forgotten?

Inspired by this question (which in turn was inspired by that one), to what name does "that is forgotten" apply to? Many are my names in many countries: Mithrandir among the Elves, Tharkûn to the ...
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10answers
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Are older senses of “anent” still alive in any dialect?

The obscure preposition anent has a long history, going back as far as Beowulf: him on efn ligeð ealdorgewinna [line 2903] ("beside him lies his great enemy") It has carried many meanings, ...
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What is the name for the grammatical device of putting “not” after a verb to negate it?

Here's a passage (more or less taken randomly) from the American Standard Version of the Bible from 1901: 1 Peter 3:14 (ASV) 14 But even if ye should suffer for righteousness' sake, blessed are ...
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1answer
149 views

In old books, why is the first letter of the word after the exclamation mark not capitalised?

I was reading Frankenstein and I've noticed that the word after the exclamation mark usually isn't capitalised (unless it's a noun). Some of the quotes I've found: Alas! who is safe, if she be ...
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2answers
93 views

One word for a wandering scholar

So I'm looking for a single word to describe someone or something such as a wandering scholar, or a person who travels to obtain knowledge, or even a mobile repository of information. Preferably ...
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1answer
105 views

Pronunciation of ‘an hundred’ [duplicate]

I just saw a number of comments complaining about the first n in the phrase ‘an Herculean task’, claiming it implied a mute h. But is that true? My impression has been that earlier all words on h + ...
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1answer
193 views

Why is ‘such an one’ obsolete?

One begins with a vowel and should therefore have an and not a in front of it. Why is it, then, that ‘such a one’ is what is actually said? It appears to have been the case when the King James Bible ...
9
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2answers
704 views

“Contesting the palm” — looking for a definition and possible origin of this archaic phrase

I recently ran across an odd phrase—"contest the palm"—and after doing some Google searches found it used by a number of individuals in England during the 1800s but I cannot seem to find it defined ...
2
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1answer
79 views

G.B. Shaw and Phonetics

G.B. Shaw (the playwright) campaigned for a "universal alphabet," on and off, throughout his career. He (and some others) did have a point when they said that the English alphabet is anything but ...
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79 views

Meaning of archaic “unto” [closed]

What is the Biblical meaning of unto? I have looked it up in Dictionary.com. But I am not satisfied with the answer. Jesus said in the New Testament Come unto me, all ye that labour and are ...
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152 views

Is afeast or possibly affeast, afeest etc. a word?

My English (vai Liverpool)-Canadian mother used this word to mean 'disgusted by' or 'repulsed by.' Example: "he is afeast of mixed foods." meaning you think mixed foods are disgusting or inedible. I ...
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399 views

Is “were I you” archaic?

Would the following usage be considered archaic? Were I you, I would ask her for a date.
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93 views

“Take a break of unknown duration” in formal language

I would like to express the following idea in a more fashionable and eloquent manner: leave on a break of unknown duration / take a break... / leave on hiatus... Use of the highest linguistic ...
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1answer
98 views

What does David Hume mean by the word “dull” in this quote?

In his essay "The Skeptic," 18th-century English philosopher David Hume concludes: In a word, human life is more governed by fortune than by reason; is to be regarded more as a dull pastime than ...
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52 views

Unto: an unusual usage

In the King James version, Luke 23:15 says No, nor yet Herod: for I sent you to him; and, lo, nothing worthy of death is done unto him. It is clear from the context that Pilate is here telling ...
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281 views

Unease vs uneasiness

Is the word unease more archaic or formal than the word uneasiness? I am used to the latter, but the former surprises me. Is there a rule how to choose the best one in similar pairs of words?
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159 views

Thanking someone

I have two questions: Does thank you become archaically thank thee? Are there alternative ways, archaic or not, of saying thank you other than thanks?
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Tolkien and archaic English

I once read that JRR Tolkien, a linguist by profession and of The Lord of the Rings fame, wrote his masterpiece using elements of archaic English to emulate the Bible. Following a question on writers....
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1k views

“That heresies should arise, we have the prophesie of Christ…”

That heresies should arise, we have the prophesie of Christ; but that old ones should be abolished, we hold no prediction. This is a quote from Religio Medici (1643) by Thomas Browne. It's quoted in ...
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What is the origin and use of “remember me to her/him”?

Is anybody familiar with the use of remember as in remember me to her/him? I think I've see it in 19th century literature. Most likely it's archaic. I believe the speaker is commanding someone to ...
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189 views

Proper way to say is that so in its negative form

If someone were to say, "I like carrots." A possible -though slightly archaic- responce to that could be, "Is that so?" But what if someone says, "I dont like peas." A possible responce could be, "Isn'...
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1answer
146 views

Replacing “do you have” with “have you”

Found a similar question here, but with some minor differences. Is it archaic to use have you in sentences such as this: John : I think we can see it with a specially crafted telescope. Mary : ...
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300 views

Word that means “Sneak and Steal”?

I'm looking for a word that combines "Sneak" with "Steal", like: To sneak and steal It would be best if it were archaic, but I'd love to hear all possibilities of course. Thank you! EDIT: Thanks ...
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Was the “Ye Olde Shoppe” ever used or is it just an ancient-looking construct of modern times?

Surely, if I were the owner of a shop selling archery goods and wanted to portray my shop as some kind of old-fashioned, high-quality traditional outlet, I might be tempted to call it “Ye Olde Archery ...
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1answer
122 views

'Might' is the subjunctive inflection of 'may'; was there ever a subjunctive inflection of 'must'?

I acknowledge that there is no subjunctive mood in English. However, there are variants of some words that we might regard as subjunctive variants. For example, 'might' is the, if you will, ...
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1answer
239 views

Second Person Singular conjugation of words ending in Y

I know that most regular verbs would be conjugated in Second Person Singular by adding "est" (Thou makest), and Third Person Singular by adding "eth" (She maketh), but what if the verb ends with a Y? ...
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1answer
112 views

What is the meaning “It is permitted us to know …”

I saw a sentence It is permitted us to know respecting the signs, which are spoken by the prophets, for they foretold signs by which the consummation of the times is to be expected by us from day ...