I’m an American living in America, but my workplace has a lot of immigrants from India here. They all use “thrice” very commonly, which is wonderful to my ears! Thrice is such a delightful word.
Today one of them said something happened “twice or thrice”, and it got me thinking that that usage would never happen as a speaker of American English. We would say “two or three times” or, perhaps, “twice… maybe three times.”.
Why did usage of “thrice” fall off, and how long has it been since it was commonly used?
(I do apologize, I’m not a frequent user of the English stack exchange, so I’m not sure what tags to use. I would appreciate any edits to add proper tags).
Google Ngram shows the usage more or less steadily falling from 1810, when it was almost 9 times more common than now. From the shape of the graph, one gets the impression that it was more common still earlier to that.
It is a lovely word, easy on the ear.
“Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice,” is not only in the King James Version, but in other translations as well.