How Do You Spell THOU?

Pronunciation: [ðˈa͡ʊ] (IPA)

The word "thou" is spelled with the combination of the dental fricative sound /ð/ and the vowel sound /aʊ/. It is pronounced as /ðaʊ/ with stress on the second syllable. This archaic pronoun was commonly used in the English language as a singular informal address until it fell out of practice in the early modern era. While it may no longer be a common word in modern English, the spelling and pronunciation of "thou" remain significant in the study of linguistic history.

THOU Meaning and Definition

  1. Thou is a pronoun that was in common usage in older forms of English, predominantly during the Middle English and Early Modern English periods. It is the singular form of the second-person pronoun, specifically used to address one person directly. In contemporary language, thou is considered archaic and is generally not used in modern English conversation or writing.

    Thou is distinct from the modern second-person pronouns "you" and "your," as it was exclusively used to address a single individual informally or intimately. It often conveys a sense of familiarity or closeness between the speaker and the person being addressed.

    The use of thou declined over time, and by the 17th century, it had largely fallen out of common usage. The pronoun "you" gradually became the dominant form for both singular and plural second-person subjects. However, thou continues to be retained in religious contexts, particularly in formal prayers or liturgical texts.

    Thou is also noteworthy for its conjugational forms. In Middle English, it had distinct cases and forms such as "thee" (as the object form) and "thy" (possessive form), alongside variations in verb endings. These variations were used to match the subject and indicate verb tenses.

    In summary, thou is an archaic second-person pronoun used to address one person informally or intimately in older forms of English. While it is no longer prevalent in contemporary language, it left an indelible mark on the linguistic evolution of the English language.

  2. The pron. sing. of the second person, used in speaking to a person; now seldom used, except in solemn discourse or in addressing the Deity; still used by the Society of Friends or Quakers in their ordinary conversation; but among the uneducated, thee, the objective form, is very commonly and incorrectly substituted for thou.

    Etymological and pronouncing dictionary of the English language. By Stormonth, James, Phelp, P. H. Published 1874.

Top Common Misspellings for THOU *

* The statistics data for these misspellings percentages are collected from over 15,411,110 spell check sessions on from Jan 2010 - Jun 2012.

Other Common Misspellings for THOU

Etymology of THOU

The word "thou" is derived from Old English "þu" (pronounced as "thoo"), which is a second-person singular pronoun. It has its roots in the Germanic language family, specifically the West Germanic branch. This pronoun is also found in other Germanic languages such as German "du" and Dutch "jij" (both meaning "you"). Over time, the pronoun "þu" evolved and was eventually replaced by the pronoun "you" for second-person singular usage in Modern English. However, "thou" is still used in some dialects or can be found in literature or religious texts.

Idioms with the word THOU

  • holier-than-thou The idiom "holier-than-thou" is used to describe someone who acts as if they are morally superior to others, often by judging or criticizing them.

Similar spelling words for THOU

Plural form of THOU is THOUS


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