From Middle English til, from Northern Old English til, from or akin to Old Norse til (“to, till”); both from Proto-Germanic *til (“to, toward”), from Proto-Germanic *tilą (“planned point in time”). Not a shortening of until; rather, until comes from till with the prefix un- (“against; toward; up to”) also found in unto. Cognate with Old Frisian til (“to, till”), Danish til (“to”), Swedish till (“to, till”), Icelandic til (“to, till”). Also related to Old English til (“good”), German Ziel (“goal”), Gothic 𐍄𐌹𐌻 (til, “something fitting or suitable”).
- Until; to, up to; as late as (a given time).
- She stayed till the very end.
- It's twenty till two. (1:40)
- I have to work till eight o'clock tonight.
- 1854, Prof. John Wilson, The Genius and Character of Burns, page 194:
- Similar sentiments will recur to everyone familiar with his writings all through them till the very end.
- 1946 May and June, G. A. Sekon, “L.B.S.C.R. West Coast Section—3”, in Railway Magazine, page 148:
- The line was authorised on June 23, 1864, but not opened till July 11, 1881.
- 2019 March 14, Ramzy Baroud, “Chasing mirages: What are Palestinians doing to combat ‘Deal of the Century’?”, in Ma'an News, archived from the original on 30 March 2019:
- While the PA has not always seen eye-to-eye with US foreign policy, its survival remained, till recently, a top American priority.
- (obsolete, dialect) To, up to (physically).
- They led him till his tent
- 1806, “Lord Wa'Yates and Auld Ingram”, in Robert Jameson, editor, Popular Ballads and Songs, volume 2:
- And till the kirk she wadna gae, / nor till't she wadna ride, / Till four-and-twenty men she gat her before, / And twenty on ilka side
- 1838, “The Outlaw Murray”, in Walter Scott, editor, Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border:
- For a king to gang an outlaw till / Is beneath his state and his dignitie.
- (obsolete, dialect) To, toward (in attitude).
- 1861, E. J. Guerin, Mountain Charley, page 20:
- "Here's at you old hoss!" hiccupped I, with a friendly pitch in the way of a nod at Rice.
"Go it, young grampus, that's me! Here's till ye, my infant progidy!" replied he, as he clinked his glass against mine.
- 1902, John Buchan, The Outgoing of the Tide:
- And then she changed her voice and would be as saft as honey: 'My puir wee Ailie, was I thrawn till ye? Never mind, my bonnie. You and me are a' that's left, and we maunna be ill to ither.'
- (dialectal) To make it possible that.
The preposition till is ubiquitous in informal register in modern English; nonetheless, in formal register it is often replaced with until or to, except for in some varieties, such as Indian English. This predisposition is likely influenced by the widespread misapprehension that till is a "corruption" of 'til, although it is not. In fact 'til itself is also deprecated by some writers because its apostrophe was born of that same misapprehension.
- don't knock it till you've tried it
- don't sell the skin till you have caught the bear
- fake it till one makes it
- it ain't over till it's over
- it ain't over till the fat lady sings
- it isn't over till the fat lady sings
- six ways till Sunday
- the cow knows not the worth of its tail till it loses it
- till all hours
- till date
- till death do us part
- till death us do part
- till doomsday
- till the cow come home
- till the cows come home
- up till
- wait till the clouds roll by
- you don't miss the water till the well runs dry
- you never know what you've got till it's gone
- you never miss the water till the well runs dry
- Until, until the time that.
- Maybe you can, maybe you can't: you won't know till you try.
- 1846, Edward Lear, The Book of Nonsense:
- She twirled round and round, / Till she sunk underground, […]
- 1912, anonymous, Punky Dunk and the Mouse, P.F. Volland & Co.:
- And the Mouse sat and laughed till he cried.
From Middle English tylle (“till”), possibly from Middle English tillen (“to draw”) from Old English *tyllan (“to draw, attract”) (as in betyllan (“to lure, decoy”) and fortyllan (“to draw away”); related to *tollian > Middle English tollen). Cognate with Albanian ndjell (“I lure, attract”).
till (plural tills)
- A cash register.
- A removable box within a cash register containing the money.
- Pull all the tills and lock them in the safe.
- 2023 July 26, Pip Dunn, “Merseyrail '777s' are OK for commuters”, in RAIL, number 988, page 59:
- That said, and I'll put this down to its newness, the bin lid was a bit snappy, like Arkwright's till (google that it you're a youngster).
- The contents of a cash register, for example at the beginning or end of the day or of a cashier's shift.
- My count of my till was 30 dollars short.
- A cash drawer in a bank, used by a teller.
- (obsolete) A tray or drawer in a chest.
- (transitive) To develop so as to improve or prepare for usage; to cultivate (said of knowledge, virtue, mind etc.).
- (transitive) To work or cultivate or plough (soil); to prepare for growing vegetation and crops.
- (intransitive) To cultivate soil.
- (obsolete) To prepare; to get.
- 1614, William Browne, The Shepherd's Pipe:
- Nor knowes a trappe nor snare to till
- For quotations using this term, see Citations:till.
Unknown, but possibly via etymology 3 (the verb) because alluvial deposit is used as a fertilizer.
- glacial drift consisting of a mixture of clay, sand, pebbles and boulders
- (dialect) manure or other material used to fertilize land
till (plural tills)
- “till”, in The Century Dictionary […], New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911, →OCLC.
- “till”, in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, Springfield, Mass.: G. & C. Merriam, 1913, →OCLC.
- Until, Till, 'Til, or 'Till? in Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, 11 June 2019.
- Alternative form of
- A Pronouncing and Etymological Dictionary of the Gaelic Language (John Grant, Edinburgh, 1925, Compiled by Malcolm MacLennan)
- (archaic) til
- Välkommen till Sverige!
- Welcome to Sweden
- Ge den till mig.
- Give it to me.
- Vi behöver två till fem nya datorer.
- We need two to five new computers.
- en bra TV till ett bra pris
- a good TV for a good price
- Vad vill du ha till middag?
- What do you want for dinner?
- en present till min syster
- a present for my sister
- pengar till resan
- money for the trip
- Jag tar mjölk till mitt kaffe
- I take milk with my coffee
- at (the next, timewise)
- Till sommaren ska vi åka på semester till Island
- This summer (the upcoming summer), we're going on vacation to Iceland
- Earlier, till governed the genitive case. Remains can still be found in certain expressions: ge sig till tåls (“show patience”), tillbaka (“back”), till bords (“at the table”), till buds (“at one's disposal”), till doms (“to judgement”), tillfreds (“at peace, content”), till godo (“for good, as credit”), till fots (“on foot”), till hands (“at hand”), tillhanda (“at hand, available”), till havs (“at/to sea”), krypa till kojs (“go to bed”), till kungs (“to the king”), till lags (“of service, to please”), till lands (“on land”), till livs (“to life, to eat”), till påska (“until Easter”), till reds (“to aid”), till sjöss (“at/to sea”), till skogs (“at/to the forest”), till sängs (“to bed”), till torgs (“to the market”), till vardags (“on weekdays”), till väders (“up into the air”), gå till väga (“go about”), ta till orda (“start speaking”)
- another, more; in addition
- Jag vill ha en/två till
- I want another one / two more
- Jag ska vara här en vecka till
- I'll be here for another week
- Expresses something happening suddenly and for a short duration, when added after certain verbs. The examples below are for illustration and not comprehensive. Fairly productive for verbs where suddenness and short duration make intuitive sense.
- Han skrattade ― He laughed
- Han skrattade till ― He chuckled
- Han hoppade ― He jumped
- Han hoppade till ― He flinched
- Han somnade ― He fell asleep
- Han somnade till ― He nodded off
- Han slog honom ― He hit him
- Han slog till honom ― He gave him a punch (fairly synonymous, but makes it clear that it's a single punch and sounds a bit more intense)
- Han syntes ― He was visible
- Han syntes till ― He was spotted
- Expresses (completely or partially) changing or creating something through the action of a verb, similar to English up. Sometimes more or less redundant like in English, with a similar difference in tone.
- Synonym: (sometimes) för-
- ful ― ugly
- fula till ― ugly up (uglify)
- fula till något ― ugly something up
- knäppa till jackan ― button up one's jacket ("till" skippable, like in English)
- laga till en måltid ― cook up a meal ("till" skippable, like in English)
- trä ― wood
- träa till ― "wood up" (make woodier or the like, as an ad-hoc formation, which usually sound colloquial like in English)
- (in some phrasal verbs) (into) existence
- to a toward orientation
- vända andra kinden till (idiom)
- turn the other cheek [toward]
The stress is on till, which helps disambiguate.
- till in Svensk ordbok (SO)
- till in Svenska Akademiens ordlista (SAOL)
- till in Svenska Akademiens ordbok (SAOB)
till (definite form till gi)
- Alternative form of
- 1867, “THE WEDDEEN O BALLYMORE”, in SONGS, ETC. IN THE DIALECT OF FORTH AND BARGY, number 6:
- To our pleoughès an mulk-pylès till a neeshte holy die.
- To our ploughs and our milk-pails till the next holiday.
- Jacob Poole (1867), William Barnes, editor, A Glossary, With some Pieces of Verse, of the old Dialect of the English Colony in the Baronies of Forth and Bargy, County of Wexford, Ireland, London: J. Russell Smith, page 96