- bury (v.)
- Old English byrgan "to raise a mound, hide, bury, inter," akin to beorgan "to shelter," from Proto-Germanic *burzjanan "protection, shelter" (cf. Old Saxon bergan, Dutch bergen, Old Norse bjarga, Swedish berga, Old High German bergan "protect, shelter, conceal," German bergen, Gothic bairgan "to save, preserve"), from PIE root *bhergh- "protect, preserve" (cf. Old Church Slavonic brego "I preserve, guard"). Related: Buried; burying. Burying-ground "cemetery" attested from 1711.
The Old English -y- was a short "oo" sound, like modern French -u-. Under normal circumstances it transformed into Modern English -i- (e.g. bridge, kiss, listen, sister), but in bury and a few other words (e.g. merry, knell) it retained a Kentish change to "e" that took place in the late Old English period. In the West Midlands, meanwhile, the Old English -y- sound persisted, slightly modified over time, giving the standard modern pronunciation of blush, much, church.