Entries linking to well-born
"in a satisfactory manner," Old English wel "abundantly, very, very much; indeed, to be sure; with good reason; nearly, for the most part," from Proto-Germanic *wel- (source also of Old Saxon wela, Old Norse vel, Old Frisian wel, Dutch wel, Old High German wela, German wohl, Gothic waila "well"), from PIE root *wel- (2) "to wish, will" (source also of Sanskrit prati varam "at will," Old Church Slavonic vole "well," Welsh gwell "better," Latin velle "to wish, will," Old English willan "to wish;" see will (v.)).
Also used in Old English as an interjection and an expression of surprise. The adjective was in Old English in the sense "in good fortune, happy," from the adverb; sense of "satisfactory" is from late 14c.; "agreeable to wish or desire" is from mid-15c.; "in good health, not ailing" is from 1550s. Well-to-do "prosperous" is recorded by 1794.
Old English boren, alternative past participle of beran (see bear (v.)). "In modern use the connexion with bear is no longer felt; the phrase to be born has become virtually an intr. verb" [OED]. Distinction between born and borne (q.v.) is 17c. From early 14c. as "possessing from birth the character or quality described" (born poet, born loser, etc.). From 1710 as "innate, inherited;" colloquial expression in (one's) born days "in (one's) lifetime" is by 1742.
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.
updated on October 10, 2017