Word of the Week (101): TRIDE (probability 156), by David Sutton

An inconspicuous little word of the kind it is easy to forget, TRIDE is one of a group of old past tenses ending in –IDE or –YDE surviving from Spenserian times, in this case from the verb TRY. Others are AFFYDE (from AFFY, to trust); BEDIDE or BEDYDE (from BEDYE, to dye); RELIDE (from RELIE, to assemble, bring together); MERCIFIDE (from MERCIFY, to pity), SACRIFIDE (from SACRIFY, to sacrifice), SCRYDE (from SCRY, to divine with a crystal ball); SPIDE (from SPY), TYDE (from TIE) and WAIDE (from WEIGH). SPIDE, however, has since 2007 been more usefully remembered as a noun, an Irish word for a young working class man who wears casual sports clothes, thus giving SPIDES.

To the above can be added the quasi-verbal adjectives EFFRAIDE (frightened) UNDEFIDE (undefied), UNPURVAIDE (unpurveyed), UNSPIDE (unspied) and UNTRIDE (untried).

While on the subject of archaic past tenses, I wonder how many of those curious Y– forms you can remember. I make it twenty-eight altogether: YBET, YBLENT, YBORE, YBOUND, YBOUNDEN, YBRENT, YCLAD, YCLED, YCLEEPED, YCLEPED, YCLEPT, YCOND, YDRAD, YDRED, YGLAUNST, YGO, YGOE, YMOLT, YMOLTEN, YPIGHT, YPLAST, YPLIGHT, YRAVISHED, YRENT, YRIVD, YSHENT, YSLAKED, YTOST. And among those, the ones where the Y does not form a hook are?


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