Tim from Old Mission
called in to ask about the words whence and hence. There was a followup call
from David in Traverse City to add thence to the pile. We might as well throw
in whither and thither, too.
Whence: from what place? One 13th
century Middle English form was whannes.
“Whens comyst thow, and whithir gost thow?” [Wycliffe Bible Gen. xvi. 8]
(Whence come you and whither go you?)
Hence: away from here. Its 13th
century Middle English form was hennes.
“Ich it wolle hennes lede.” [South
English Legendary I. 41/231]
(Each it will hence
Thence: from that place. One 13th
century Middle English form was thennes.
“Ha [Christ] wente into
helle..uor to draȝe þannes..þe zaules of þe holi uaderes.” [Ayenbite of
(He went into hell to draw thence the
souls of the holy fathers)
Whither: to what place? The Old English 10th century form was hwider.
“Hwider fare we?”
[Ælfric Deut. i. 28]
(Whither go we?)
or towards that place. Old English forms included ðider, þider, and þæder.
“On mergen com se biscop
þæder.” [Old English
(One morning came the
The Top 100 Language Lovers 2013 competition hosted by the bab.la language portal and the Lexiophiles language blog has just started and your blog “Wordmall” (http://verbmall.blogspot.com/) has been nominated.
The following voting period extends from May 22nd to June 9th, during which everyone can vote for their favourite blog, Facebook page and/or Twitter account. The results will be made public on June 12th.
For further information on the Top 100 Language Lovers 2013 competition, visit
Check out Mike's program-based books here:
Listen to Mike’s program
in real time every Tuesday morning, 9:10 - 10:00 a.m. EST, by going to wtcmradio.com
and clicking on Listen Now.
You’ll also find about a month’s worth of podcasts there under The Ron Jolly