'amiss' (Modern English amiss)


Some input from ON is usually invoked to explain the formation of this adv., cp. OIcel (á) miss 'so as to miss', as well as the ME reflex of the n. on which it is formed. The Germanic root miss- itself is commonplace in OE in the guise of the pejorative prefix mis-, and in the v. missan ‘to miss; escape the notice of’, but as a n. it is attested only once, in the relatively late LS34 (Seven Sleepers 246 miss ‘loss’); see further mys (n.). Cognate nouns are however widespread in WGmc and late OE miss is thus often treated as an indigenous word.

PGmc Ancestor


Proposed ON Etymon (OIcel representative)

(á) miss 'so as to miss'
(ONP miss (sb.))

Other Scandinavian Reflexes

Icel mis, Norw miss

OE Cognate

cp. mis- (prefix), missan 'to miss, escape the notice of'

Phonological and morphological markers

Summary category




Common and widespread from the early 13c; mys (n.) is attested once in OE in the relatively late LS34 (Seven Sleepers), and common and widespread in ME.

Occurrences in the Gersum Corpus

WA 4326


MED amis (adv.) , OED amiss (adv., adj. and n.) , HTOED ; see further mys (n.).