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Collins:

you should feel ashamed

Why does ‘for shame’ mean that? ‘Shame’ there is easily understandable, but I can’t understand why ‘for’ is used there for that function. Did it originate in a longer phrase?

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Probably from forshame:

From Middle English forshamen, from Old English forscamian (“to make ashamed, be ashamed, be modest”); equivalent to for- +‎ shame.

(Wiktionary)

the expression "for shame" dates back to the 14th century as suggested by Dictionary.com

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  • I suppose this makes the most sense. I dithered over accepting/upvoting this, because how would it (whether in an imperative sense or not) change from something with an object (‘forshame yourself!’ or ‘that forshames you!’ or something; obviously not correct in the 14th century, but you get my point) to just the word, but I guess it’s analogous to the german ‘danke’ coming from ‘ich danke dir/Ihnen/euch’. – Fivesideddice Jun 17 at 9:16

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