etymology

PPFF #153: Morning

Good morning,

Here’s the thing. Have you ever wondered what the connection is between the word ‘morning’ and a similar-looking word ‘morn’ that means the same thing? Here’s what I found out.

‘Morn’ historically precedes ‘morning’ as ‘morn’ was derived from an Old English word yonks ago, whereas ‘morning’ dates back to the 13th century and it is a derivative gerund of ‘morn’. These two actually meant different times of the day but this time with ‘morning’ preceding ‘morn’ in daily chronological order. ‘Morn’ originally meant ‘sunrise’. ‘Morning’ hence used to mean the ‘time just before sunrise’ or ‘sunrising’ i.e. the period of time that is ‘becoming a morn’ but not quite there yet. one could argue, perhaps the time before morning should then be called ‘morninging’ but i think we already have the word ‘dawn’, so let’s stick to readily available existing words for now.

And at this point if you’re wondering if ‘evening’ would follow the same logic, you’re absolutely right. The word ‘even’ used to mean ‘sunset’; ergo, ‘evening’, ‘sunsetting’ or the period of time that is ‘becoming an even’ but not quite there yet.

Have a good Saturdaying (or Friday)

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