as regards = concerning; in respect of

2. regard [with object] {archaic} = (Of a thing) relate to; concern

As per the above, because regard = concern, this question also applies to 'as concerns'.

I am guessing that as operates as a conjunction here, and regards a conjugated verb, but how did as + regards combine to mean the above?

Please help me dig deeper than the definition, which I already understand and so ask NOT about. I heed the Etymological Fallacy, but what are some right ways of interpreting the combination of the 2 bolded words, to make it feel reasonable and intuitive?

  • 1
    My intuition says "as regards" is a contraction of "as it regards", with the "it" referring to whatever the sentence mentions earlier.
    – bcc32
    Apr 21, 2015 at 19:27
  • 1
    Pursuant to bbc32's comment, I would guess that it's the same construction as the one in, say, My grandparents attended church on Sunday, as was the custom.
    – Anonym
    Apr 21, 2015 at 19:44
  • Etymology is not the same as expression origin. etymologies are for words, not expressions.
    – Lambie
    Mar 30, 2021 at 19:15

1 Answer 1


The OED does not supply any pointers as regards etymology. But this is the entry which provides some interesting examples of its use.

It seems to begin in the late 18th century.

I am thinking that as pertaining to is a very similar expression.

b. as regards, as regarded (now rare), †as regarding: with respect or reference to.

1797 Treat. Police Metropolis (ed. 4) iv. 73 A distinction is made, as regards moral rectitude, in the minds of many individuals.

1824 R. Southey Bk. of Church (1841) 408 That Church, and the Queen, its refounder, are clear of persecution, as regards the Romanists.

1848 H. Hallam Suppl. Notes View Europe Middle Ages ii. 78
Especially as regards the Visigothic and Burgundian partitions.

1884 R. Browning Ferishtah's Fancies 111, I am in motion, and all things beside That circle round my passage through their midst,—Motionless, these are, as regarding me.

1885 Law Times Rep. 52 651/1 He was in a thoroughly sound condition as regards intellect.

1920 R. Macaulay Potterism i. i. 5 He was one up on her as regards life, owing to that awful business sex.

1937 Times 16 Apr. 23/6 And this in spite of the fact that they were especially unfortunate as regarded the weather during the holiday periods.

1976 J. Lukasiewicz Railway Game 120 As regards the maximum rates, these are prescribed when there is no competitive mode of transport.

2005 M. Roach Spook 13 For millions of people, religion will turn out to have been a bum steer as regards the hereafter.

  • Similar idio- and enigmatic constructions: with regard/respect to, *with concern to, as it happens/happened, as a matter of fact, and many more. All seem to have the discourse function of subject-changers and/or subject-reintroducers. Mar 30, 2021 at 17:44
  • 1
    @John Lawler Contributors have been suspended for less. Mar 30, 2021 at 18:05
  • @EdwinAshworth Not sure I follow what is going on here. An answer I supplied six years ago seems suddenly to have attracted the site's glitterati. And what's the point about being "suspended for less"?
    – WS2
    Mar 31, 2021 at 8:21
  • Idio- and enigmatic .... Mar 31, 2021 at 17:52
  • @JohnLawler If I say "I hold no views as regards what happened on Thursday", I would accept that "as regards" can simply be replaced with "about". But I am not clear as to how it is a "subject-changer" or "subject re-introducer".
    – WS2
    Mar 31, 2021 at 18:18

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