Gaw ate

'at (etc.)' (Modern English at)


In form ME at continues OE æt, with which cp. OIcel at (and Go at, OFris et, OS at, OHG az).  When it is used to introduce infinitives in place of OE , ME at clearly derives from ON usage, but in other uses (as in Gaw) ON input is not usually adduced. The exception is Price (1947: 11-33) whose maximalist approach to measuring semantic influence leads him to cite a wide range of senses of at as potentially owing something to analogous uses of ON at, but he has no followers.

PGmc Ancestor


Proposed ON Etymon (OIcel representative)

at 'against, towards, at, to'
(ONP at (3) (prep.))

Other Scandinavian Reflexes

Far at, Icel að, Norw ad, åt, Dan ad, Sw åt

OE Cognate

æt 'at, near, by, in (etc.)'

Phonological and morphological markers

Summary category



Very widely used across ME, in a great variety of related senses.

Occurrences in the Gersum Corpus

Gaw 464, 1006, 1474 etc.; WA 636, 872, 1103

More examples could be cited in Gaw, if including Price's other senses (1947: 11-33). The D MS of WA has to at 872 and 1103.


MED at (prep.) , OED at (prep.) , HTOED , Dance at, de Vries at (2), Mag. að (1), Orel *at, Kroonen *at, AEW æt (1), DOE æt (prep. and adv.), VEPN æt