As in the title. Does it mean anything? Does it mean the same thing in all of these words? What is its origin? Are there any other words with "to-"?
It is a prefix that in some cases ( like today ) has survived from Middle English usage in words with reference to time meaning on ( this day):
- Old English todæge, to dæge "on (this) day," from to "at, on" (see to) + dæge, dative of dæg "day" (see day). Meaning "in modern times" is from c. 1300. As a noun from 1530s. Generally written as two words until 16c., after which it usually was written to-day until early 20c.
Old English to "in the direction of, for the purpose of, furthermore," from West Germanic *to (cognates: Old Saxon and Old Frisian to, Dutch too, Old High German zuo, German zu "to"), from PIE pronominal base *do- "to, toward, upward" (cognates: Latin donec "as long as," Old Church Slavonic do "as far as, to," Greek suffix -de "to, toward," Old Irish do, Lithuanian da-), from demonstrative *de-.
Commonly used as a prefix in Middle English (to-hear "listen to," etc.), but few of these survive (to-do, together, and time references such as today, tonight, tomorrow -- Chaucer also has to-yeere). To and fro "side to side" is attested from mid-14c. Phrase what's it to you "how does that concern you?" (1819) is a modern form of an old question: