Question: Why Did We Stop Saying Thou?

When did people stop saying Ye?

Old and Middle English Beginning in the 1300s thou was gradually replaced by the plural ye as the form of address for a superior person and later for an equal.

For a long time, however, thou remained the most common form for addressing an inferior person..

Why do Quakers say thee and thou?

The Quakers thus declared themselves to be, like God, “no respecter of persons.” So they thee-ed and thou-ed their fellow human beings without distinction as a form of egalitarian social protest. … This meant that everyone would soon become, effectively, entitled — at least to the honorific second-person plural.

What does thou mean in modern English?

the second person singular subject pronoun, equivalent to modern you (used to denote the person or thing addressed): Thou shalt not kill.

What language do Quakers speak?

Some Quakers will use plain speech, especially “thee”, when speaking to other Quakers but will use ordinary English when speaking to non-Quakers.

What is YES in Old English?

Yes is a very old word. It entered English before 900 and comes from the Old English word gese loosely meaning “be it.” Before the 1600s, yes was often used only as an affirmative to a negative question, and yea was used as the all-purpose way to say “yes.”

Can Quakers marry non Quakers?

For Quakers and Non-Quakers: A Special Wedding License This special license allows a couple to forgo the services of an officiant and marry themselves. While the license is typically associated with Quakerism, anyone can use the license. The license allows couples to marry on their own terms.

How do Quakers address each other?

Instead Friends tend to address each other by first and last name with no title. In many Quaker communities children address adults by either their first names, or first and last names but with no title, and in many Quaker schools teachers are called by their first names as well.

What does hast thou mean?

(hæst ) Hast is an old-fashioned second person singular form of the verb ‘have. ‘ It is used with ‘thou’ which is an old-fashioned form of ‘you. ‘

Is it true that Old English is spelled and pronounced ye?

The other 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.

What did ye mean?

Ye is an old-fashioned, poetic, or religious word for you when you are talking to more than one person. … Ye is sometimes used in imitation of an old written form of the word ‘the. ‘ …

Why did thou fall out of use?

The pronoun that had previously been restricted to addressing more than one person (ye or you) started to see service as a singular pronoun. … As a result, poor thou was downgraded, and was used primarily when referring to a person of lower social standing, such as a servant.

Why is there no formal you in English?

Yes it did, and the formal version was (drumroll, please….) you. … Plural you came to be used as a polite form of address (similar to the French vous, which is also used for the plural), but over time this polite form became more and more common, eventually displacing the singular thou altogether.

What is thou in modern English?

Thee, thou, and thine (or thy) are Early Modern English second person singular pronouns. Thou is the subject form (nominative), thee is the object form, and thy/thine is the possessive form. … thou – singular informal, subject (Thou art here. = You are here.)

What does thou stand for?


What is formal situation?

We use formal language in situations that are serious or that involve people we don’t know well. Informal language is more commonly used in situations that are more relaxed and involve people we know well. … There are also examples where spoken English can be very formal, for example, in a speech or a lecture.

Is Ye a real word?

Ye (/jiː/) is a second-person, plural, personal pronoun (nominative), spelled in Old English as “ge”. In Middle English and early Early Modern English, it was used as a both informal second-person plural and formal honorific, to address a group of equals or superiors or a single superior.

How do you say you in formal?

In Spanish there are two ways of saying “you”: There’s the informal form, tú and the more formal usted (often abbreviated as Ud.) Whether you use tú or usted depends on a variety of different factors, but it can be a bit intimidating for English speakers used to addressing everybody as “you”.

What is the formal version of you?

“You” is actually the formal version (the plural is “ye”). This corresponds to “vous” in French, for example. The singular was “thou”. This is the language used in the King James Bible, which was what was the most commonly used well into the second half of the 20th century.