ARTICLE. An and one, pronunciation ofAn and one, pronunciation of. The connection between "an" and "one" appears more obvious when it is remembered that "one" was probably pronounced by Shakespeare, not as now "won," but "un." This is made probable by the constant elision of "the" before "one" in "th' one" as in "th' other:" compare "th' one" in
So Rich. II. v. 2. 18. Ben Jonson (783) mentions as authorized contractions, "y'once" for "ye once" along with "y'utter." Compare also the pun in T. G. of V. ii. 1. 3:
“Th' one sweetly flatters, t' other feareth harm.
Speed. Sir, your glove. Val. Not mine; my gloves are on. Speed. Why, then, this may be yours, for this is but one.This will explain the rhyme:
In the dialect of the North of England and of Scotland, the "w" is still not sounded. "An" was always used in A.-S. and mostly in E.E. before consonants as well as vowels: "ane kinges . . . dohter" (STRATMANN). I have not found an instance in Shakespeare of "an" before an ordinary consonant, but it occurs before "w":
“So thanks to all at once and to each one
Whom we invite to see us crowned at Scone.
“Have an wish but for't.