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From Middle English ey, from Old English ǣġ ("egg"; ǣġru in the plural), from Proto-Germanic *ajją, *ajjaz (“egg”), from Proto-Indo-European *ōuyo-, *h₂ōwyóm (“egg”). Cognate with West Frisian aai (“egg”), Dutch ei (“egg”), German Low German Ei (“egg”), German Ei (“egg”), Danish æg (“egg”), Swedish ägg (“egg”), Icelandic egg (“egg”), Scottish Gaelic ugh (“egg”), Latin ōvum (“egg”). Was displaced by egg in the 16th century, most likely due to its clashing with the word "eye", with which it had come to be a homonym.
ey (plural eyren) (obsolete since the sixteenth century)
- (obsolete) an egg
1490, William Caxton, Prologue to Eneydos:
- And one of theym... cam in to an hows and axed for mete and specyally he axyd after eggys, and the goode wyf answerde that she could speke no Frenshe. And the marchaunt was angry, for he also coude speke no Frenshe, but wolde have hadde egges; and she understode hym not. And thenne at laste a-nother sayd that he wolde have eyren. Then the good wyf sayd that she understod hym wel. Loo, what sholde a man in thyse dayes now wryte, egges, or eyren? Certaynly it is hard to playse every man, by-cause of dyversite and chaunge of langage.
ey (plural eys)
- An island.
Coined by Christine M. Elverson by removing the "th" from they.
- (neologism) they (singular). Gender-neutral third-person singular subject pronoun, coordinate with gendered pronouns he and she.
- For more examples of usage of this term, see the citations page.
- obsolete spelling of