Entries linking to aborning
prefix or inseparable particle, a conglomerate of various Germanic and Latin elements.
In words derived from Old English, it commonly represents Old English an "on, in, into" (see on (prep.)), as in alive, above, asleep, aback, abroad, afoot, ashore, ahead, abed, aside, obsolete arank "in rank and file," etc., forming adjectives and adverbs from nouns, with the notion "in, at; engaged in." In this use it is identical to a (2).
It also can represent Middle English of (prep.) "off, from," as in anew, afresh, akin, abreast. Or it can be a reduced form of the Old English past participle prefix ge-, as in aware.
Or it can be the Old English intensive a-, originally ar- (cognate with German er- and probably implying originally "motion away from"), as in abide, arise, awake, ashamed, marking a verb as momentary, a single event. Such words sometimes were refashioned in early modern English as though the prefix were Latin (accursed, allay, affright are examples).
In words from Romanic languages, often it represents reduced forms of Latin ad "to, toward; for" (see ad-), or ab "from, away, off" (see ab-); both of which by about 7c. had been reduced to a in the ancestor of Old French. In a few cases it represents Latin ex.
[I]t naturally happened that all these a- prefixes were at length confusedly lumped together in idea, and the resultant a- looked upon as vaguely intensive, rhetorical, euphonic, or even archaic, and wholly otiose. [OED]
Old English boren, alternative past participle of beran (see bear (v.)). The -en of the Middle English past participles tended to drop the -e- in some verbs, especially after vowels, -r-, and -l- , hence also slain, etc., Middle English stoln. "In modern use the connexion with bear is no longer felt; the phrase to be born has become virtually an intr. verb" [OED].
It is attested from early 14c. as "possessing from birth the character or quality described" (born poet, born loser, etc.). It is from 1710 as "innate, inherited;" the colloquial expression in (one's) born days "in (one's) lifetime" is by 1742. The distinction of born from borne (q.v.) is 17c.
suffix used to form the present participles of verbs and the adjectives derived from them, from Old English present-participle suffix -ende, from PIE *-nt- (cognates: German -end, Gothic -and, Sanskrit -ant, Greek -on, Latin -ans, -ens). The vowel weakened in late Old English and the spelling with -g began 13c.-14c. among Anglo-Norman scribes who naturally confused it with -ing (1).
updated on October 03, 2016