Middle English oth, from Old English að "judicial swearing, solemn appeal (to deity, sacred relics, etc.), in witness of truth or a promise," from Proto-Germanic *aithaz (source also of Old Norse eiðr, Swedish ed, Old Saxon, Old Frisian eth, Middle Dutch eet, Dutch eed, German eid, Gothic aiþs "oath"), from PIE *oi-to- "an oath" (source also of Old Irish oeth "oath"). Common to Celtic and Germanic, possibly a loan-word from one to the other, but the history is obscure and it may ultimately be non-Indo-European. In reference to careless invocations of divinity, from late Old English.
updated on July 23, 2019