Us older folk realize nearly daily that our language is changing, but some words just seem to have been around forever. Not so, of course.
Here is a partial list of some words that we take for granted, that evolved because people kept mispronouncing or otherwise getting them wrong:
Originally the word was “pease,” and it was singular. (“The Scottish or tufted Pease..is a good white Pease fit to be eaten.”) The sound on the end was reanalyzed as a plural ‘s’ marker, and at the end of the 17th Century people started talking about one “pea.” The older form lives on in the nursery rhyme “Pease-porridge hot, pease-porridge cold…”
The same thing happened to “cherise” or “cheris,” which came from Old French “cherise” and was reanalyzed as a plural. So the singular “cherry” was born.
Others included in Mental Floss’s list are:
For more, see Mental Floss.
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