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

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. Answer In Search of Lost Etymons: Stalking Cranberry Morphemes The learnèd word coeval, sometimes written coëval and formerly spelled coaeval or coæval, … Read more

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 with a Wikipedia article, which says: In pyrotechnics, a salute is a device primarily designed to make a loud report (bang), rather than have a visual effect, … Read more

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 were there ever such words? Answer You may find this page of homonyms interesting. Some homonyms: Air – oxygen / … Read more

Meaning of “throe” in context (“throe inheritance”)

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 old Martje who first greeted thee.” Source; passage above appears in the 5th paragraph from the bottom of the page. What exactly is … Read more

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 form of “ye”? Is it just “your”? Answer In Early Modern English, the nominative (subject) form of the second person … Read more

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 “which” in the last line instead of which “thou.” At first I thought this was just a grammatical mistake on … Read more

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

In the version of “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” available on 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 a mistake, or was that the actual original word used there? If the latter, what does it mean? Is it … Read more

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 of fortune teller and the French loanword clairvoyant. In Shakespeare’s plays, sooth is often used with the verb say and in the expression in … Read more

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 rather use “my” instead and I can’t find further references referring to Shakespeare’s usage. My question … Read more