Posted by : Sherri Cornelius Friday, November 7, 2008

Here's an interesting tidbit for you. On my morning treadmill surfing, I had occasion to write, "hear, hear!" on another blog. I had a moment of doubt about the spelling. It could have been here instead of hear. Have never been sure. I've always thought the phrase meant, "I hear ya, dude!" But I thought it could have meant "Over here is someone who agrees!" So today I finally looked it up, and here is what I found:

hear Look up hear at
O.E. heran (Anglian), (ge)hieran, hyran (W.Saxon), from P.Gmc. *khauzjianan (cf. O.N. hegra, O.Fris. hora, Du. horen, Ger. hören, Goth. hausjan), perhaps from PIE base *(s)keu- "to notice, observe." Spelling difference between hear and here developed 1200-1550. Hearing "listening to evidence in a court of law" is from 1576; hearsay is 1532 from phrase to hear say. O.E. also had the excellent adj. hiersum "ready to hear, obedient," lit. "hear-some" with suffix from handsome, etc. Hear, hear! (1689) was originally imperative, used as an exclamation to call attention to a speaker's words; now a general cheer of approval. Originally it was hear him!

And now my indent is messed up. But anyway, now you don't have to look it up, you lazy bastards.

{ 3 comments... read them below or Comment }

  1. Nice. Another linguistic mystery, laid bare and waste.

  2. Hear hear! I've been doing it wrong!

    I had to look up bated breath yesterday too - and it's bated, not baited. (from abated)

    Thanks for setting the record straight!


  3. Hi Sherri, it's nice to see you're back!

    Etymology is fun, isn't it? Here's one of my favorite sites for checking these things out:


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