Etymologie, Etimología, Étymologie, Etimologia, Etymology
UK Vereinigtes Königreich Großbritannien und Nordirland, Reino Unido de Gran Bretaña e Irlanda del Norte, Royaume-Uni de Grande-Bretagne et d'Irlande du Nord, Regno Unito di Gran Bretagna e Irlanda del Nord, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Fragen und Antworten, Preguntas y Respuestas, Questions et Réponses, Domanda e Risposta, Questions and Answers


answer (W3)



"answer", n.
[OE. "andswaru", cogn. with OS. "antswôr", OFris. ("ontswer") "ondser", ON. "andsvar", "annsvar", Dan. and Sw. "ansvar", OTeut. "*andswarâ-"; f. "and-" "against", "in reply" + "*swarâ-" "affirmation", "swearing", f. OTeut. "*swarjan", Goth. "swaran", OE. sw rian "to affirm", "swear". The original meaning was thus a "solemn affirmation" (= "formelle Zusage") made to rebut a charge.]
So it's clear that the "w" comes in from the root "swarjan" "to swear" - so "answer" and "swear" share a common source. It's just that the "w" is now silent. I can't help you with when that happened, but many Elizabethan pronunciations were much more literal than now - which is why they were spelled that way ...
Simon Elmes, Exec Producer

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Type in your question in English, French, Spanish, German, Italian or Portuguese.
Beliebige Frage in einer der angegebenen Sprachen eingeben und der "Answer Bus" spuckt aus, was er dazu weiss.


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ask (W3)

Engl. "ask" = dt. "fragen" geht, gemeinsam mit dt. "heischen" = dt. "fordern", "fragen", auf eine Wurzel ide. " *ais-" = dt. "suchen", "trachten nach", "verlangen" zurück. Als Vorformen und Verwandte findet man mhdt. "eischen", "heischen", ahdt. "eiscon" = dt. "fordern", "fragen", altsächs. "eskon" = dt. "fordern", "fragen", engl. "to ask" = dt. "fragen", "bitten", baltoslaw., russ. "iskat" = dt. "suchen", "trachten", "fordern" und altind. "iccháti" = dt. "sucht", "wünscht".

Das anlautende "h-" in dt. "heischen" beruht wohl auf Anlehnung an das Verb "heißen". Das Verhältnis von dt. "heischen" und dt. "heißen" ist (für mich) etwas verwirrend. Das dt. "anheischig" = dt. "sich erbieten" geht wohl auf ein ahdt. "antheiz" zurück, das als dt. "Entgegenrufen" zu interpretieren ist.


The Taxing Etymology of Ask

A couple of months back, I learned that "task" arose as a variant of "tax", with the /s/ and /k/ metathesized. This change apparently happened in French before the word was borrowed into English. That is, French had the word "taxa", which came from Latin, and then the variant form "tasca" arose and evolved into a separate word with an independent meaning.

I thought this was an interesting little bit of historical linguistics, and as a side note, I mentioned on Twitter that a similar phonological change gave us the word "ask", which was originally "ax" (or "acs" or "ahs" — spelling was not standardized back then). Beowulf and Chaucer both use "ax", and we didn’t settle on "ask" as the standard form until the time of Shakespeare.

But when I said that “it was ‘ax’ before it was ‘ask'”, that didn’t necessarily mean that "ax" was the original form — history is a little more complicated than that.


"ask" (v.)

Old English "ascian" = "ask", "call for an answer"; "make a request", from earlier "ahsian", from Proto-Germanic "*aiskojanan" (source also of Old Saxon "escon", Old Frisian "askia" = "request", "demand", "ask", Middle Dutch "eiscen", Dutch "eisen" = "to ask", "demand", Old High German "eiscon" = "to ask (a question)", German "heischen" = "to ask", "demand"), from PIE "*ais-" "to wish", "desire" (source also of Sanskrit "icchati" = "seeks", "desires", Armenian "aic" = "investigation", Old Church Slavonic "iskati" = "to seek", Lithuanian "ieškau", "ieškoti" = "to seek").

Form in English influenced by a Scandinavian cognate (such as Danish "æske"; the Old English would have evolved by normal sound changes into "ash", "esh", which was a Midlands and southwestern England dialect form). Modern dialectal "ax" is as old as Old English "acsian" and was an accepted literary variant until c. 1600. Related: "Asked"; "asking".

Old English also had "fregnan"/"frignan" which carried more directly the sense of "question", "inquire", and is from PIE root "*prek-", the common source of words for "ask" in most Indo-European languages (see "pray"). If you ask me "in my opinion" is attested from 1910.

Entries related to "ask"

Abfrage im Google-Corpus mit 15Mio. eingescannter Bücher von 1500 bis heute.

Engl. "ask" taucht in der Literatur um das Jahr 1510 auf.

Erstellt: 2020-06





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response (W3)

Engl. "response" (1300) (ngrams: 1580) = dt. "Antwort", "Erwiderung" geht zurück auf lat. respondere" = "antworten", lat. "responsum" = dt. "Antwort".


Abfrage im Google-Corpus mit 15Mio. eingescannter Bücher von 1500 bis heute.

Erstellt: 2011-01