Tag Archives: Charles Dickens

Th is for Ye

Ye old. Ye olde. Ye Olde Curiosity Shop. Olde is an affected way to make the word old look old. Olde looks old but it’s really not.

Why add the E to the end of old? An E on the end of an Old English word makes it subjunctive: it might be old, maybe it’s old. Or it makes the word a plural adjective. Multiples of old. Olds. Old squared.

Ye Olds Curiosity Shop. In Old English “ye” which looked like “ðe” (there was no Y in Old English) used to be strictly nominative plural. Y’all with me? Then it morphed to personal pronoun: second person dative singular. To you. I say this to you, Olds Curiosity shop. Old2 Curiosity Shop, this is for you.

And. Also. Sometimes “ye” is a conjunction. You’d find it in pairs spelled with one of the letters that became g: Ȝ ȝ or Ᵹ ᵹ. Thats an upper … More