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The root is af: Gothic afar, 'after,' "behind : ' A.-S. ceft, æftan, æfter. According to Grimm, the final tar is the comparative termination, and the root af is the
equivalent of the Greek áró, Latin ab. 473. but. This is a true preposition, and is originally be-out,
by-out;' A.-S. be-utan, butan, without,' 'except,' besides. It is curious that but (be-out) has almost lost its power as a preposition, and remains in force as a conjunction; while with-out is used as a preposition,
and not, in modern English, as a conjunction. In the Scottish dialect we find ben, from A.-S. binnan, 'within,' the precise correlative of but, 'without;' but and ben,' 'without (the house) and within. Then the terms but and ben' are applied to the outer and inner rooms of a house consisting of two apartments. See Wedgwood, Dictionary of English Etymology.
Horne Tooke quotes several passages from Gawin Douglas, where the word is used as a preposition. He tries to distinguish between but, “be out,' and bot, moreover,' 'to boot;' but the distinction is now considered untenable. Among the passages quoted from Gawin Douglas we read,
Bot thy werke shall endure in laude and glorie,
Preface to Translation of Virgil, p. 3. i.e. 'without spot or fault.' Bot sen that Virgil standis but compare,
Prologue to Booke IX. p. 272. i.e.' without comparison.' We add a passage from Dunbar :
For warld's wrak but welfare nought avails. i.e. without welfare.'
Although but is no longer used as a preposition before nouns, we have instances of its usage with pronouns: as,
· There was no one present but me,' They all went away but him. So entirely has the prepositional use of but been forgotten, that many grammarians regard the word as a conjunction only. Hence they consider the phrases . but me' and 'but him' violations of grammar. They regard but as a con. junction in all cases; and they condemn such sentences as these:
There was no one present but me.
They all went away but him. They correct thus :
There was no one present but I.
They all went away but he. i.e. 'but I [was present];' but he [went not]. See $ 193. Compare § 550.
by. A.-S. be, bi, big, 'near,''beside.' down. See adown, § 416.
474. for. A.-S. for, 'on account of,'' because of.' fore. A.-S. foran, 'before.'
Wedgwood, in his Dictionary of English Etymology, classes for and fore together. He compares the Gothic faur, faura, and the Old Norse fyrir, . before,' 'fore, 'for,' with the German vor, 'for,' and für,' for. He thinks the radical meaning in both cases is 'in front of. Like the Latin pre and
pro, the particles for and fore may be connected etymologically; indeed, they may originally have been the same word. But their difference in usage must be observed; and, in composition, both must be carefully distinguished from the inseparable prefix for, as in forgive, for-get, for-lorn.
from. A.-S. fram. 475. in.
. on, in, an.
In English the preposition in is used much more widely than in Anglo-Saxon. I have remarked that the people of Cork retain many old uses of the form on, as, 'He lives on the South Mall,' •I saw that report on the “ Constitution” (newspaper). So in Italian, 'Si legge sui giornali.
476. of. A.-S. of, of,''from,'' out of,' concerning.'
Of is used to denote what is called the genitive case in Greek and Latin. It expresses a variety of relations.
(1) Sometimes it has a partitive meaning, that is, it denotes the relation of a part or parts to the whole, as the wing of an eagle,' the walls of the town.'
(2) Sometimes it is used in connection with the properties or qualities of an object: as, 'the length of the room,' 'the strength of a lion,' 'the sweetness of honey,' the
height of the mountain.' (3) Sometimes it has an objective force: as, 'the love of our neighbour,' meaning, 'love towards our neighbour.' Obs. There may be an ambiguity in the use of this preposition.
For example, the love of God' may signify either
the love exhibited by God towards man,' or the love felt by man towards God. The former may be other
wise rendered God's love,' but not the latter. (4) Of has sometimes an adjective meaning: as, 'a crown of gold,' for a golden crown ;' 'an act of grace,' for “a gracious act.'
(5) Of is sometimes used to connect nouns in apposition: as, the city of London,' 'the city of Rome (urbs Roma). See § 143; and compare Bain, English Grammar, p. 48.
This proposition is sometimes contracted to o': as, one o'clock,' for one of the clock.' over. A.-S. ofer, 'over,' above,'' upon,' beside,' beyond.'
Dutch, over. German, über. out. A.-S. ut, ute, 'out,' without.'
This preposition is constantly used in composition: as,
turn out,' send out. But it is not found alone be
fore nouns; though out of' and out from' are usual. 477. since.
In Anglo-Saxon we find the adjective sid, 'late,' and an adverb of the same form, 'lately.' We also find siðfan 'afterwards,'' after that,'
then,” since,' .further.' In Old English we meet with the forms sith, sithen, sin (Scottish syne), sithence; and from the last our English since appears to have come. The old forms were never used as prepositions ; but the English since, though commonly used as a conjunction, has a true prepositional force in such sentences as these : "I have nut seen him since Tuesday,' 'I have not heard of them since last Christmas.' See § 463.
through. A.-S. thurh, 'through,'' by.' 478. till. A.-S. til.
The English till is not used with words denoting motion to a place; we cannot say, with the Scots, 'he's ganging till Montrose.' Its use in English is chiefly confined to relations of time. Until appears to be compounded of on-till,' and used to be written 'untill.'
Dr. Grimm remarks that the English until, “ donec," “ usque,” though Old English (and not Anglo-Saxon, which uses of), appears to be a real Danish form.'-—Bosworth, Anglo-Saxon Dictionary.
to. A.-S. to, to,'' towards,' • for.'
The Anglo-Saxon wið has several meanings: (1) against,' 'oppo, site;' (2) 'near,' 'about,' 'by,' before ;' (3) 'towards,' 'with,' . for,' 'through
The usual signification in English is 'together with,' denoting companionship : as,
Shylock. I will buy with you, sell with you, talk with you, walk with you, and so following; but I will not eat with you, drink with you, nor pray with you.
Merchant of Venice, i. 3. It is also employed to denote agency or instrumentality: as, 'fed with the same food,” hurt with the same weapons. More commonly by is used to denote agency, with to express instrumentality: as, 'the field was dug by the labourer, with his spade.'
Other prepositions are formed by combining two simple prepositions together; as in-to, un-to (i.e. on-to), un-til (i.e. on-till), up-on, with-in, with-out, through-out, out of, out from.
479. Some prepositions exhibit a derivative form, especially those which are made by help of the prefixes a ('on, 'in,) and be (" by'). These are found in composition with
prepositions, nouns, and even adjectives, something like our phrases “in vain,' ' in secret.'
We have: a-baft, a-bout, a-bove, a-gainst, a-long, a-mid, a-mong, a-round, a-thwart ; be-fore, be-hind, be-low; be-neath, be-side, be-tween, be-twixt, be-yond. 480. a-baft. A.-S. æftan, be-æftan, bæftan, "after,' 'be
hind. Hence on-bæftan,' . abaft,' literally 'on-by-aft.' Every man shewid his connyng tofore the ship and baft.
Chaucer. a-bout. A.-S. abutan. From A.-S. utan we find be-utan
(" by-out') and butan ; on-butan (on-by-out') and
a-butan. above. A.-S. a-bufan. From A.-S. ufan we find be-ufan
(by-up '), bufan, and a-bufan. against. From a-gain, Old English a-gen. From A.-S.
simpler forms gean and gegen, 'opposite,' we find ongean, on-gegen. In modern English a-gain has lost its
prepositional force, remaining in use as an adverb. a-long. There are two words of this form : (1) a-long, A.-S. and-lang, German, ent-langen. Here
lang is originally an adjective agreeing with the noun, which is governed by the preposition and, through ;' as and langne dæg, 'through the long day, through the length of the day. The adjective has been absorbed
by the preposition. Compare a-mid. (2) a-long, from A.-S. ge-lang, owing to,' as in the phrase it is along of you. So Shakespeare, All this coil is long of you.
Midsummer Night's Dream, iii. 2. a-mid. There is another instance in which an adjective has
been absorbed, or attracted, by a preposition, A.-S.
On middre nihte, at mid night.'
middle of the water,'' amid the water.' In this last sentence observe the position of the article there between the adjective and the noun. Compare the remarks on many a youth,' $$ 296–303.
a•mong. Dr. Bosworth gives the following forms of the
A.-S. preposition: ge-mang, ge-mong, a-mang, on-mang.
to mingle, mix. It is possible that a-mong originally signified in the mixed multitude;' but the word
requires further investigation. a-round, 'on round.' Here we have a preposition with an
adjective; compare the phrases “in vain,' in secret.' So Lydgate, speaking of his youthful days:
Lik a young colt that ran withowte brydil,
Made my freendys ther good to spend in ydil. • In idle' means “in vain,' 'to no purpose.' The adjective 'round' is from the French rond, Latin rotundus. I do not think that "around' is derived from A.-S. rand, rond, 'rim,' 'border.' The sense would hardly favour that derivation ; and we may remark that the A.-S. preposition used in this signification was ymb,
German um. a-thwart. This appears to be another case of a preposition
and an adjective. The A.-S. adjective thweor, thweorh, thwir, thwyr, thwer, thwur, thwurh, signifies crooked,' cross,' wicked,' thwart;' and Dr. Bosworth gives the phrase on thweorh sprecan perversely speak,' that is, 'speak athwart.' Mr. Wedgwood compares the
Old Norse um thvert, "across,' 'athwart.' 481. We have now to consider prepositions exhibiting the prefix be-, 'by. This prefix is the Anglo-Saxon preposition be, bi, big, 'by, near to, to, at, upon, about, with. We find it prefixed to a preposition, as . be-fore;' to a noun, as 'beside ;' to an adjective, as 'be-low.'
be-fore. A.-S. be-foran, 'by-fore.' be-hind. A.-S. be-hindan, 'by-hind.' be-low, 'by-low :' compare 'on high.' be-neath. A.-S. be-neod, be-neoðan, be-nyban, 'by-neath ;'
neoðan signifies down,'"downwards.' be-side, 'by side.' be-tween, 'by twain,' that is ' near two.' The notion is,
that if a thing is between two others, it is near both. be-twixt. A.-S. be-twuh, be-twy, be-twih, be-twyh, be-tweoh,
be-tweohs, be-tweox, be-twux, be-twuxt. In Anglo