ye shoppe

The Icelandic Language still uses the letters Þ and Ð, which used to be in the English alphabet too but which fell into disuse and were eventually left out altogether. Their pronunciation is the sound made by the “th” in “this” and “that” respectively.

Incidentally, the Þ was not included in early English printing press types. As a substitute they used y, which looks somewhat similar. Thus was the popular misconception born that English people used to say “ye” as in “ye old shoppe.”

it’s hard to show your excitement about medieval studies. we’re like dID YOU KNOW THE WORD DRUID COMES FROM THE PROTOCELTIC DRU-WID-ES WHICH MEANS OAK-KNOWER OR OAK-SEER? AND WAS LOANED FOR OLD ENGLISH AS “DRY”? or dID YOU KNOW THAT “YE OLDE TEA SHOPPE” MEANS “THE OLD TEA SHOP” BECAUSE THE EQUIVALENT OF THE MODERN TH-SOUND WAS THE THORN:  þ AND MOST PEOPLE WROTE IT LOOKING LIKE A Y AND THEN IT BECAME INTERCHANGEABLE?? 

cool things about the history of english

- In old english the letter thorn (equivalent to modern day theta or eth) was written þ, but over time the way the letter was written changed so by middle english, the sound “th” was written with a Y. So when you see “ye old shoppe” the “ye” is actually pronounced “the”.

- In early modern english there were formal and informal second person pronouns. English has lost the informal “thou/thee”. This phenomenon occurred first in the north american colonies. Interestingly, the portuguese colony brazil lost its informal second person pronoun (tu) as well and only uses the formal você (this might be the case for spanish too but idk).

- What we refer to as irregular verbs in english actually used to be the standard. Only the verbs we use most often have failed to switch to the new system of conjugating verbs in english.

- Because English has had so many influences from other languages it has many synonyms. For most words of germanic origin you can find a latin-derived synonym (kin/family, lucky/fortunate). There is also the well known distinction between anglo-saxon roots of animals (cow, sheep) and the norman french roots of the words for the meat from those animals (beef, mutton). 

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We’re bringing back all of our Artist Series tees. All of them. All at once! 

Legally, you have to wear shirts. Why not wear these? They’re stylish and soft and all the proceeds go to charity.

Tumblr Merch Shoppe right this way →

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Are you a tabletop-loving nerd? Good news! Ye Olde Nerd Shoppe has all kinds of goodies for your gaming needs! Come over and take a look! We have items in a variety of price ranges, and we’re adding more all the time to ensure there’s something for everyone!

Polyhedral Dice Holder

Dice Tower

Dungeons & Dragons Alignment Dice

Fun History Fact

We’ve all seen signs that say stuff like “ye olde shoppe” or whatever, right? Have you ever wondered what the heck “ye” was? Well wonder no more! It’s not a y-sound at all. Actually what those signs are replicating is the Old English (Anglo-Saxon) / Gothic / Norse letter “thorn” (þ) that makes the “th” sound. So really, those signs are saying “the olde shoppe”.