Befriend

The times they are a-changin’.

This post seems to be older than 14 years—a long time on the internet. It might be outdated.

What is the etymology of ‘befriend’?

I split the word into ‘be’ and ‘friend’ and look them up. I know what ‘friend’ is.

‘be-‘ is:
From m-w.com:

Middle English, from Old English bi-, be-; akin to Old English bI by, near — more at BY … 5 : make : cause to be : treat as <belittle> <befool> <befriend>

That’s all well and good. But how do you get to ‘behead’? Oh, the wonders of modern English.

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1 thought on “Befriend”

  1. I tried to interpret this:
    [Middle English biheden, from Old English behafdian : be-, away from; see be- + hafod, head; see head.]

    and I think it’s saying that be means “away from”

    so that would make sense.

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