Nursery rhyme

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23 points
  • Daemonius

    Funny thing about the phrase “ye olde”: you’re probably pronouncing it wrong. Originally, the English word “ye” was spelled “þe.” The symbol þ represents the letter thorn, a letter which no longer exists in English. It had a sound somewhat similar to the Greek letter θ, which is to say a th- sound. The word “þe” is an early spelling of “the.”

    Over time, the writing of þ changed, so that it looked more and more like another letter, wynn (ƿ), and eventually because indistinct from the letter y. So, you can pronounce the “ye” in “ye olde” as “the.” There is, after all, an English word “ye” that functions as a plural form of “you.” On the other hand, you could simply go ahead and keep pronouncing it “ye” with a y-sound, while acknowledging that the word made a comeback thanks to a cheesy bit of marketing.

    • perthaussieguy

      Thank ye

    • Shivers

      Fascinating, thank you!

      And here I’ve only ever been using that letter as part of an emoticon, :þ

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