"That's a great deal to make one word mean," Alice said in a thoughtful tone. "When I make a word do a lot of work like that," said Humpty Dumpty, "I always pay it extra."

Saturday, 6 June 2009


GB has just used the word 'Wont' and that led us to wonder why wont was written with an 'o' not ant an 'a'. 'As is my wont' effectively means not 'that which I want to do' but 'that which I am in the habit of doing'. The verb and noun Wont bears no modern relationship to want or won't . It is defined as habit; established custom; established way of doing things.

The Oxford English Dictionary says wontless "unaccustomed, unusual", and the adverb wontly, are now obsolete. As Alpadictionary.com saya - "We won't argue with them".

According to the Aplhadictionary the history of this word "is especially good, for it is purely English—not a drop of French or Latin blood in it. In Middle English it was the past participle of wonen "to dwell, to be used to", a cousin of German wohnen and Dutch wonen "to live in, dwell". The Proto-Indo-European root was won-/wen- "to desire". We find the same root at the bottom of Old English wenian "to accustom", which dribbled down to Modern English as wean "to accustom a baby to eating rather than nursing"."

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