Ye Olde Words in English, II

ScottsEnglishScottsEnglish Administrator Posts: 1,207 admin ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
edited June 14 in Vocabulary

You may read some words in English that are not commonly spoken today.

In some contexts you may read:

'Tis, 'Twas, 'Twere
in the offing
clad
shod
strait

While these words are old words in English, we still use them today.

'Tis, 'Twas and 'Twere simply replace 'it' with an apostrophe. So, read 'It is, It was, It were (be careful here, 'twere is a very rare form).
A famous nonsense poem by Lewis Carroll begins, "Twas brillig, and the slithy toves. Did gyre and gimble in the wabe." 

In the offing means 'soon to come, probable, in the near future', for example, "He has worked hard, and there is a promotion in the offing

Clad means 'to wear'; for example, "She was clad all in white for the party." It is used with the verb 'to be', so the form is 'to be clad in'.

Shod means 'to wear shoes', for example, "He came into the room, shod in white boots that matched nothing he was wearing."

Strait looks like the word 'straight' except that it means 'narrow, tight, closed'. A path that is strait is a narrow path which is hard to walk on. There are two modern words which use 'strait' - a straitjacket which is a very restrictive, usually leather, way to stop a person from using his or her arms. The other is strait-laced, meaning someone who is honest and correct.

Choose the correct word for the following sentences.

1. _______________ late in the evening, and the wind began to blow.

2. There are some nice gifts ____________________ if the children behave during the concert.

3. He was ________________ from head to toe in shiny armor.

4. _____________ better not to go out in the storm.

5. If you are going walking in the mud, make sure to be _________________ in your old shoes.

6. He made the statement as if ______________ true, when we knew it wasn't.

7. The entrance was so _______________________ that we had to duck and twist to go inside.



Click here for the correct answers.

1. 'Twas late in the evening, and the wind began to blow.
2. There are some nice gifts in the offing if the children behave during the concert.
3. He was clad from head to toe in shiny armor.
4. 'Tis better not to go out in the storm.*

5. If you are going walking in the mud, make sure to be shod in your old shoes.

6. He made the statement as if 'twere true, when we knew it wasn't.

7. The entrance was so strait that we had to duck and twist to go inside.

Sign In or Register to comment.