thee for the

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Tue Nov 13 14:48:40 UTC 2007

How about emphatic "ay" for "a"? "I don't mean A man, I mean THE man."
I still make this distinction, but it's beginning to feel a little


On 11/12/07, James Harbeck <jharbeck at> wrote:
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> Poster:       James Harbeck <jharbeck at SYMPATICO.CA>
> Subject:      thee for the
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> A restaurant in the Agincourt part of Toronto (often called
> Asiancourt because of its high percentage of Chinese and other East
> Asian residents) is called Thee Asian Kitchen. You can find its
> website at . It serves Thai,
> Japanese, and Chinese cuisine. My initial take on it is that this is
> intended to be a somehow "classier" or more formal/archaic rendering
> of "the". It could, on the other hand, be a Thai name ("thee" is, I
> think, a word in Thai).
> A little looking on the web finds Thee Bungalow,
> , in San Diego -- it has apparently been
> there for 30 years. You can also find assorted hits if you Google
> |thee shoppe|, for instance and
> .
> Evidently this isn't especially uncommon or new (well, of course,
> "thee" can be seen for "the" in some Middle English texts) in
> signage, but I have to say I'm far more used to seeing "Ye" (always
> reanalyzed, of course -- nobody knows about thorn these days!). For
> this area in particular (Toronto and, more specifically, Agincourt),
> I think the "thee" is something new. The only other business I can
> find with "thee" in its name in the Toronto area in is
> Thee Place for Paws Grooming Studio in Barrie (an exurb of Toronto).
> I find three "Ye Oldes". (Googling "ye olde" gets 1,890,000; "thee
> olde" gets 3,630, but it would seem that "thee" can be used without
> the "olde" whereas "ye" always seems to get it -- I'm sure if anyone
> has exceptions I'll hear of it.)
> I wonder whether "thee" use in this way is on the increase or
> decrease or is level.
> Just incidentally, "kermit thee frog" gets 381 ghits. But I don't
> have a sense (purely impressionistically) that "thee" for emphatic
> "the" is really current.
> James Harbeck.
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