c. 1200, eken "to increase, lengthen," north England and East Midlands variant of echen from Old English ecan, eacan, eacian "to increase," probably from eaca "an increase," from Proto-Germanic *aukan (source also of Old Norse auka, Danish öge, Old Frisian aka, Old Saxon okian, Old High German ouhhon, Gothic aukan), from PIE *aug- (1) "to increase." Now mainly in phrase to eke out (1590s), wherein it means "to make a supply of something go further or last longer." Related: Eked; eking.
"also" (obsolete), from Old English eac, from Proto-Germanic *auke (source also of Old Saxon, Old Dutch ok, Old Norse and Gothic auk, Old Frisian ak, Old High German ouh, German auch "also"); probably related to eke (v.).
updated on October 14, 2021