Old English ælc (n., pron., adj.) "any, all, every, each (one)," short for a-gelic "ever alike," from a "ever" (see aye (adv.)) + gelic "alike" (see like (adj.)). From a common West Germanic expression *aina-galīk (source also of Dutch elk, Old Frisian ellik, Old High German iogilih, German jeglich "each, every"). Originally used as we now use every (which is a compound of each) or all; modern use is by influence of Latin quisque. Modern spelling appeared late 1500s. Also see ilk, such, which.
updated on July 26, 2018