12 old words that survived by getting fossilized in idioms

Arika Okrent, a linguist, gives the fascinating background on 12 old words that survived by getting fossilized in idioms: wend, deserts, eke, sleight, dint, roughshod, fro, hue, kith, lurch, umbrage, and shrift. Here's what she says about wend:

You rarely see a "wend" without a "way." You can wend your way through a crowd or down a hill, but no one wends to bed or to school. However, there was a time when English speakers would wend to all kinds of places. "Wend" was just another word for "go" in Old English. The past tense of "wend" was "went" and the past tense of "go" was "gaed." People used both until the 15th century, when "go" became the preferred verb, except in the past tense where "went" hung on, leaving us with an outrageously irregular verb.


Read the full text here: http://mentalfloss.com/article/51150/12-old-words-survived-getting-fossilized-idioms#ixzz2W90j5HZA 

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