Friday, April 4, 2014

A-to-Z Challenge: Dread

Here we go again!

This time we (and by we I mean me) are looking at dread.

Dread first showed up in the late twelfth century as a shortened version of the Old English word adraedan, which itself was a shorter version of ondraedan, advise against. The prefix on- means against, while raedan is advise. Oh yeah. Raedan is also the origin word for read, which had a variety of meanings, including advise, discuss, guide, explain and, of course, read. Combined with the against, the word becomes “advise against”, which is a good definition for something to dread.

This might be the first time I’ve ever found two words similar in spelling that are connected in a way that makes sense.

Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English


  1. This explains why I thought "reading" was "dreadful" when I was younger... :)

  2. I'm looking at that word, adraedan, and thinking that the shortened draedan would make a good character name.

  3. Great way to meet this challenge. I love etymology! New follower here. I'm stopping by from the "A to Z", and I look forward to visiting again.


  4. That does make sense. Interesting!

  5. Dear J.E.: I think word geeks ROCK. And I'm loving your posts. Thank you!

  6. Adraedan would make a good name. Since I'm always looking for good character names...

  7. I... I have nothing clever to say to this LOL But I did want you to know I'd read it :)

  8. You're right - this is the first time I've seen that happen, too. Is satisfying, isn't it?

  9. Very interesting theme .. looking forward to more.

    now I am your newest follower. if you don't mind could you please return the favour:

    Vikas Khair

    Story Teller
    My Third Eye
    The Sixth Sense
    Books are Magical
    For the Love of the Movies

    Thank you very much in advance.

  10. It's interesting how that all morphed into dread.


Please validate me.