Old English ge, nominative plural of 2nd person pronoun þu (see thou); cognate with Old Frisian ji, Old Saxon gi, Middle Dutch ghi, Dutch gij. Cognate with Lithuanian jūs, Sanskrit yuyam, Avestan yuzem, Greek hymeis.
Altered, by influence of we, from an earlier form that was similar to Gothic jus "you (plural)" (see you). The -r- in Old Norse er, German ihr probably is likewise from influence of their respective 1st person plural pronouns (Old Norse ver, German wir).
old or quaintly archaic way of writing the, in which the -y- is a 16c. graphic alteration of þ, an Old English character (generally called "thorn," originally a Germanic rune; see th) that represented the -th- sound (as at the beginning of thorn). The characters for -y- and -þ- so closely resembled each other in Old English and early Middle English handwriting that a dot had to be added to the -y- to keep them distinct. In late 15c., early printers in English, whose types were founded on the continent, did not have a þ in their sets, so they substituted y as the letter that looked most like it when setting type. But in such usages it was not meant to be pronounced with any of the sounds associated with -y-, but still as "-th-." Ye for the (and yt for that) continued in manuscripts through 18c. Revived 19c. as a deliberate antiquarianism; the Ye Olde _____ construction was being mocked by 1896.
*yē-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to throw, impel."
It forms all or part of: abject; abjection; adjacence; adjacent; adjective; aphetic; catheter; circumjacent; conjecture; deject; ease; ejaculate; eject; enema; gist; ictus; interjacent; inject; interject; interjection; jess; jet (v.1) "to sprout or spurt forth, shoot out;" jet (n.1) "stream of water;" jete; jetsam; jettison; jetton; jetty (n.) "pier;" joist; jut; object; objection; objective; paresis; project; projectile; reject; rejection; subjacent; subject; subjective; trajectory.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Hittite ijami "I make;" Latin iacere "to throw, cast."
Rude railway-trains, with all your noise and smoke,
I love to see you wheresoe'er ye move :
Though Nature seems such trespass to reprove :
Though ye the soul of old romance provoke,
I thank you, that from misery ye unyoke
Thousands of panting horses.
[Richard Howitt, from "Railway Sonnets," Hood's Magazine, March 1845]
Railway time "standard time adopted throughout a railway system" is by 1847.
Old English eow, dative and accusative plural of þu (see thou), objective case of ge, "ye" (see ye), from Proto-Germanic *juz-, *iwwiz (source also of Old Norse yor, Old Saxon iu, Old Frisian iuwe, Middle Dutch, Dutch u, Old High German iu, iuwih, German euch), from PIE *yu, second person (plural) pronoun.
Pronunciation of you and the nominative form ye gradually merged from 14c.; the distinction between them passed out of general usage by 1600. Widespread use of French in England after 12c. gave English you the same association as French vous, and it began to drive out singular nominative thou, originally as a sign of respect (similar to the "royal we") when addressing superiors, then equals and strangers, and ultimately (by c. 1575) becoming the general form of address. Through 13c. English also retained a dual pronoun ink "you two; your two selves; each other."