atte abrayde

LanDi Liu strangeguitars at GMAIL.COM
Tue Jun 10 03:51:09 UTC 2008

Could "atte abrayde" be a adjunct describing how they they sang?
(Suddenly breaking out).  What does OED say about "atte"?


On Tue, Jun 10, 2008 at 11:40 AM, James Harbeck <jharbeck at> wrote:
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       James Harbeck <jharbeck at SYMPATICO.CA>
> Subject:      atte abrayde
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> A friend has asked me about this phrase, which may be encountered in
> the old carol "Sir Christemas": "Wher'for syng we all atte abrayde"
> (see
> ). "Abrayde" is (as per the OED etc.) an older spelling of the
> obsolete verb "abraid," which has several meanings, the most likely
> relevant of which is "To break forth abruptly into speech; to burst
> into a cry; to shout out."  But there's really nothing in nouns to go
> on, and this song seems not to have found its way into the OED. My
> best guess is that this is a nominalization, perhaps for the nonce
> just to fit the rhyme. But I'm interested in any other ideas.
> Thanks,
> James Harbeck.
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> The American Dialect Society -

Randy Alexander
Jilin City, China
My Manchu studies blog:

The American Dialect Society -

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