'people of old times' (always in phrase in ~)

(Modern English ere)


A compound of the adv. are, possibly derived from ON, and the OE n. þeod. See further are (adv.).

PGmc Ancestor


Proposed ON Etymon (OIcel representative)

ár (adv) 'early'
(ONP ár (4) (adv.))

Other Scandinavian Reflexes

Far ári, Icel ár, Norw år

OE Cognate

cp. ǣr (comp.) 'before, earlier'

Phonological and morphological markers

Summary category



Only two further instances of this compound are cited by MED, both from the Thornton collection (Lincoln, Cathedral Library 91) (Degrev. and Isumb.). McGee (358) notes that er is the usual form of the adv. found in Pe and Pat (though ar, or occurs elsewhere in the Gaw MS).

Occurrences in the Gersum Corpus

Pe 711


MED ā̆re-thẹ̄de (n.) , OED arethede, arthede (n.) , HTOED ,Bj. 108, 200, SPS 73–4, 282, de Vries ár (5), Mag. ár (4), Bj-L år- (2), Orel *airi, Kroonen *airi, DOE ǣr (adv., prep. and conj.)