Today we’re going to learn to earn. Or, more accurately, learn about earn.
There’s no particular date when earn showed up in English. It’s just known to have come from the Old English earnian (same meaning). Before that, earn was aznojan in Proto Germanic, a variation of azna, labor. That azna can be traced back to the Proto Indo European aznon, which meant to serve or to do harvest work. Since work is how people earn a living, it’s easy to see why this word has this meaning.
See you on Monday!
Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English
University of Texas at Austin Linguistic Research Center