previous next


CONJUNCTIONS. Or; or ever

Or (before). Or in this sense is a corruption of A.-S. œr (Eng. ere), which is found in Early English in the forms er, air, ar, ear, or, eror. “Or (before) he have construed.” ASCH. 95.

As this meaning of or died out, it seems to have been combined with ere for the sake of emphasis. Thus:

“Dying or ere they sicken.

; K. J. v. 6. 44; Temp. v. 1. 103.

We find in E. E. "erst er," "bifore er," "before or" (Mätzner, iii. 451).

Another explanation might be given. Ere has been conjectured to be a corruption of e'er, ever, and "or ever" an emphatic form like "whenever," "wherever." "Ever" is written "ere" in Sonn. 93, 133. And compare "Or ever your pots be made hot with thorns."--Ps. lviii.

Against the latter explanation is the fact that "ever" is much more common than "ere." It is much more likely that "ever" should be substituted for "ere" than "ere" for "ever." For Or . . . or, see 136.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: