Questions tagged [archaicisms]

Archaic or obsolete vocabulary and grammar.

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1answer
42 views

Should I use [sic] when quoting the KJV 1611?

I am currently working on a project for my Grade 12 religion class, and it requires (surprise, surprise) Biblical quotations. I have decided to use the 1611 KJV Bible and quote verses with very ...
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0answers
33 views

How should this line from an old folk ballad be interpreted?

From this Wikipedia page: Herr Mannelig (also known as Bergatrollets frieri, "The Courting of the Mountain Troll") is a Swedish folk ballad (SMB 26; TSB A 59) that tells the story of a female ...
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1answer
112 views

Meaning of “Friday face” in 1592

I was reading a pamphlet from the year 1592, published in London, and came across a rather obsolete and bewitching phrase: "The Foxe on a time came to visit the Gray, partly for kindered cheefly ...
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0answers
43 views

Resource for grammatical rules pertaining to mid-17th century English [migrated]

Salutations to all during this tragic time where all feels quite, quite down, Firstly I hope all are well. Now, onward to my question: I have, for the past half-year or so writ a play based in ...
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2answers
80 views

Is Dun / dunning archaic?

verb (used with object), dunned, dun·ning. to make repeated and insistent demands upon, especially for the payment of a debt. noun a person, especially a creditor, who duns another. a ...
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49 views

'MURDER“ or ”MURTHER" ? — Question on when distinct (archaic) spellings for words were used and when not

Salutations, I am currently writing a play that is being regulated to the very distinct notions of authentically replicating the English language and its archaic spellings during its usage in London, ...
3
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1answer
133 views

Expression: “To wish sb./sth. at the devil” meaning?

"Sancho Panza, who was wishing the goatherd's loquacity at the devil,..." Context: The goatherd was relating a lengthy story to Don Quixote, it was late at night and Sancho Panza, Don Quixote's ...
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1answer
48 views

“Here am I” vs “here I am”

Is my understanding correct that here am I is just an archaic form of saying here I am? That is what Google seems to tell me.
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12answers
5k views

Does English use the word ‘thou’ in any situations nowadays? [closed]

Does English use the word thou in situations nowadays? For example, to humiliate an opponent by being overly familiar?
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1answer
234 views

Difference yea/nay and yes/no - four-form system [duplicate]

So, my brother is watching on tv a vote a in the American Congress. He says that the members are asked to vote with yea/nay (I have heard that from the Chamber of Commons in the UK as well). Now we ...
4
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1answer
161 views

Thirty days hath September, April, June and November?

According to everything I can find1,2, and all usages I can remember ever coming across, hath is the 3rd person singular present tense of have, and not the plural. So why does the rhyme go as follows?...
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3answers
127 views

Should 'dotard' be considered archaic?

I don't think I've ever heard or seen it used by anyone except N. Korea.
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1answer
80 views

What literary or author's style is this writer channeling?

In The Washington Post, Alexandra Petri wrote a satirical opinion piece criticizing anti-abortion laws in the United States by parodically lamenting the routine death of spermatazoa. I was struck by ...
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0answers
75 views

In my pronouns god me defend

The motto of the UK monarch is apparently not the same in all parts of the kingdom: In Scotland, it is: In My Defens God Me Defend Ok, but - how do I pronounce this? Is "defens" pronounced like ...
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1answer
92 views

What is an archaic, rare noun or word for an archetypal, vengeant, past tensive male character who is of the past that many aspire to be like?

What I mean is "someone of old" that people could be drawn to. One who is stuck in the past and in his ways and dislikes the future. Something like: • an originator • an innovator • a predecessor • ...
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2answers
2k views

In the old name Dreadnought, is nought an adverb or a noun?

The name Dreadnought, a class of naval ship, originates from the eponymous HMS Dreadnought. Wikipedia indicates that Dreadnought's name, and the class of battleships named after her, means "a ...
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1answer
53 views

auxiliary do-support: do murder

The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language, page 98, reads Auxiliary do was used more widely in earlier stages of the language, and in certain genres one comes across archaic uses that go ...
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5answers
6k views

In 1700s, why was 'books that never read' grammatical?

Naomi Baron, in Words Onscreen: The Fate of Reading in a Digital World (1 edn 2015). p. 16, quoted Daniel Defoe's The Compleat English Gentleman, composed in the early 1700s: I hate any thing that ...
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4answers
120 views

Stitched applications

In old cartoons there is often _____ hanging on the wall, reading "home, sweet home" and the like, often framed. As far as this question is concerned, this stuff is sewen, stiched, knitted, you tell ...
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0answers
38 views

17th Century term for Mother [duplicate]

I'm writing a story where my main character calls out for her mother, and I'm having trouble with what word I should be using. The story is set around the 1660s London, my main character is of low ...
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2answers
306 views

The popularity of the word “coeval” has been declining for over 100 years now. Why? [closed]

According to Ngram, anyway. The vast majority of English speakers seem to have no idea what the word means. Now why is that? UPDATE: After reading some of the responses: As a noun.
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2answers
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Salute usage as Firecracker

Recently, I learned about another meaning for the word "Salute": A firecracker. However, I could find this definition in only one online dictionary (M-W): firecracker (q.v.) ... together ...
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1answer
80 views

Are any two words that are synonyms and homonyms of each other

Are there any examples of any English words that are both synonyms and homonyms of each other? I would guess that over time one would become considered an alternate spelling and die out, so perhaps ...
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1answer
85 views

Meaning of “throe” in context (“throe inheritance”) [closed]

I came across this passage in chapter 12 of David Eddings' Pawn of Prophecy: "Hail, greatest of Lords," she crooned, bowing deeply. "When thou comest into throe inheritance, remember that it was ...
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1answer
476 views

What is the possesive form of “ye”?

"Ye" is an archaic pronoun that is a plural form of "you". The possessive form of "you" is "your". The possessive form of "thou" is "thy" (or "thine" before an adjective). What is the possessive ...
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23 views

Usage of “[Name] of [Company]”

I believe I've heard a phrase such as Steven Stevenson of Microsoft or Kylie Kyleson of StackExchange How frequent is it to refer to someone in this way, or in other words, does it sound too ...
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0answers
42 views

As for you, Frodo, in so far as lies in me

It's from The Lord of the Rings: ‘Then I will declare my doom,’ said Faramir. ‘As for you, Frodo, in so far as lies in me under higher authority, I declare you free in the realm of Gondor to ...
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5answers
5k views

Sad and Melancholy yet Beautiful

I have been struggling to find a word that I, at one time, had seen in my vocabulary lessons. I am trying to describe something that is "beautiful or attractive" yet also possessing "sadness or ...
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3answers
2k views

Is “Who art” correct?

I came across these lines in a hymn: Cherubim and seraphim falling down before Thee,Which wert and art, and ever more shalt be. I noticed that "wert", "art", and "shalt" were used with the subject ...
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0answers
46 views

Is the term “carriage return” outdated in a (near) post-typewriter world?

When we say "Return key" or "Enter key", either are clear in meaning to those with even very light keyboarding experience. But "Return" is a diminutive of "Carriage Return". Fully saying/writing "...
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2answers
89 views

Is this archaic usage or a mistake in the gutenberg version?

In the version of "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" available on gutenberg.org here, this appears: "she told him at last that if he didn't quit using around there" Is the use of the word "using" here ...
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1answer
44 views

Is the use of “affect” to mean take on or assume archaic?

Recently came across the usage of "affect" in the context of assuming an appearance. Here is an example Google gives: an American who had affected a British accent How would this usage come across ...
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1answer
560 views

Meaning of “In an ill hour”

To all these words which Don Quixote said, a certain Biscaine squire, that accompanied the coach, gave ear; who, seeing that Don Quixote suffered not the coach to pass onward, but said that it must ...
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4answers
671 views

Archaic phrase similar to “not give a damn”

I'm looking for a phrase that would mean I don't give a damn about it but could be used by a girl in the 1930s. It needs it to be very informal but not vulgar.
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1answer
1k views

'Amidst of' vs. 'Amidst'

I'm reading 'The Well at the World's End' by William Morris. I'm curious about some of the syntax he's used to invoke an archaic style. For instance, 'amidst of': '. . . he came on a shepherd lying ...
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2answers
2k views

Shakespeare's “say sooth” vs. “tell truth”

The noun sooth, pronounced /suːθ/, is now archaic and means ‘fact’,‘reality’ and ‘truth’. Its legacy persists in the words soothe /suːð/, and soothsayer meaning someone who sees the truth, a synonym ...
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2answers
157 views

Is the word “saboteuse” archaic?

Is it the word saboteuse considered archaic (or not fully added from French)? Should all saboteurs be referred to as such regardless of sex?
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2answers
824 views

Shakespeare's Macbeth “Conduct me to (mine) host” Mine host vs My Host

The first time I heard "mine host" in Shakespeare's Macbeth, I went to Wiktionary to see if it once was used instead of "my," however, I ended up with that it should not be followed by a noun but ...
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1answer
84 views

Was “famous” once used like how “awesome” is used colloquially in modern times?

Naomi Novik's His Majesty's Dragon series of modern fiction book, set in the early 19th century, uses a somewhat archaic form of English to help communicate the setting. I must say that it works quite ...
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1answer
1k views

Medieval term for sister and brother in-law

Is there a medieval term for sister/brother-in-law? The only example I could find was in GRR Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series where he uses the terms goodsister and goodbrother. Are those rooted ...
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1answer
2k views

How bad is it if I use inable rather than unable?

Reading on wikitionary as well as many other dictionary sites, the word inable is "obselete" or "rare". However, just in my internal monologue I use that word all the time, and to me it sounds better ...
2
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1answer
178 views

Is there a connection between wans't/wanst and wasn't?

Wasn't is the contracted form of was not. But wanst/wans't was an archaic adverb meaning once: "Be the bye, I wanst knew art ould woman of that name. She was my darling Tibbie, but a notorious ...
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1answer
92 views

What is the meaning of “mark” in this (probably archaic) usage?

In the script for Stanley Kubrick's film Barry Lyndon, which is set in Europe in the late 1700s, there's a use of the word "mark" that I didn't understand. CAPTAIN GROGAN Well, if it must be, ...
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1answer
95 views

What does “werewith” mean in this context?

“You may remember the inquiries I made, when you werewith me in England, among such of my relations as were then living; and the journey undertook for that purpose.” — Quoted in Benjamin ...
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2answers
178 views

Is the sentence “What to do?” very old fashioned idiomatic English, or is it simply ungrammatical?

On a foreign-language-learning forum there is a question that's given the English translation "What to do?" My impression is that that's an example of very old fashioned English. Maybe something I'd ...
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2answers
4k views

Meaning of “thou thee”?

What is the meaning of "thou thee" from the quotation below from this post. (Attributed to the attorney-general at Sir Walter Raleigh’s trial.) "All that he did was at thy instigation, thou viper; ...
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1answer
11k views

Is there a pattern between “thou and thee” when used in a sentence [duplicate]

For the past months, I've been trying to add thou, thee, thy, thine, and other archaic words in my everyday vocabulary; I just love archaic English words — and the Early Modern English grammar for a ...
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3answers
1k views

Is “acediast” too rarefied to be acceptable in literature? [closed]

I'm editing a manuscript where the word "acediast" appears a perfect fit, but Merriam-Webster is the only online dictionary I can find that lists it as a word, with the exception of a few scrabble ...
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1answer
697 views

Is it common for a female to refer to her fellows as “brethren” ?

I know that "brethren" can mean "fellow members", but I have usually heard it used when a man is referring to his fellows or brothers. But can a female do that ? Let's assume I am the sole female in a ...
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0answers
110 views

Opposite of Therewithal

Below is the definition of therewithal according to google and several other sources. Therewithal: together with that; besides. "he was to make a voyage and his fortune therewithal" I was searching ...

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