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The booke of the common prayer, 1549

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e:(et) Words which had West Germanic at, and hence xt in West Saxon and et in Anglian, have as a rule no ea-spellings ; the spelling is e or ee, e.g.:

shepe, arede (= guess) 10932, 11809, rede 04107, slepe, dedes, sede, euen (= evening), euensong, chekebone, wede 07334, stretes, speche; seede, deede. There are but two words which are usually spelled with ea, viz.: yea 02521 et pass.; only once ye 06404', and the verb to reade 02307 et pass. (Cf. however, the meaning 'guess' with e.) 4. Seat is from the ONo. sxti; see e:. The form leatfe which occurs 13 times by the side of the usual form let (for quotations see e) is from West Saxon Izttan (Anglian lettan). The OED. mentions only 4 leet(e inf. and pres., 3—5 leet pret., 5 leeten pp., and 6 leate pp..

ME. etr is regularly represented by e:r and spelled er(e, occasionally ver in Anglo-Norman words. Ear(e is, however, the regular spelling in hearefv,), (rarely here 29932) and is not unusual in dearefly, in which word, however, dere is the more usual form; appear occurs both with e and ea, Instances:

here (adv.), wery, weried (OE. we:rig; OHG. wuorig), nere 08114 et pass., nerer 03627, chereffulnes, clere reg., fcleare 23002), fierce reg., (fearcenesse 21912'), entierely 28230, pierce, (pearsed 12412', pearced 13216').

The regular use of ea in heare (v.) may be owing to a desire for

distinction from the adverb here.

In deare, appeare, fearcenesse, pearsed (and perhaps heare) we

probably have examples of the change of etr to etr, which was

a 1ME. change which only became evident in the 16th c, when

the spelling ea was generally adopted for all words having the e.--

sound. Cf. Luick HG. § 431.

5. For entetr (entierely) see Jordan § 225, Anm. 1.

The development of ME. etr is regularly spelled ear, e.g.: eare(s, speare 09124, for (heare, weare, sweare. In exceptional cases we find e for the same sound : bering 29208.

etr, etr

ME. etr, etr (Anglian, Kentish etr, West Saxon etr) is spelled either ear, eere or ere t