- owe[owe 词源字典]
- owe: [OE] Owe goes back to a prehistoric Indo- European base *oik-, *ik- denoting ‘possession’. Its Germanic descendant *aig- produced a range of ‘possession’-verbs, none of which now survives except Swedish äga, Danish eie, and English owe. In the Old English period this meant ‘possess’, but that sense was gradually taken over by the related own, and owe developed in the 12th century to ‘have to repay’. A more general notion of ‘obligation’ also emerged, which is now restricted to ought, originally the past tense of owe.
=> ought, own[owe etymology, owe origin, 英语词源]
- owe (v.)
- Old English agan (past tense ahte) "to have, own," from Proto-Germanic *aigan "to possess" (cognates: Old Frisian aga, Old Norse eiga, Old High German eigan, Gothic aigan "to possess, have"), from PIE *aik- "to be master of, possess" (cognates: Sanskrit ise "he owns," isah "owner, lord, ruler;" Avestan is- "riches," isvan- "well-off, rich").
Sense of "to have to repay" began in late Old English with the phrase agan to geldanne literally "to own to yield," which was used to translate Latin debere (earlier in Old English this would have been sceal "shall"); by late 12c. the phrase had been shortened to simply agan, and own (v.) took over this word's original sense.
An original Germanic preterite-present verb (along with can (v.1), dare, may, etc.). New past tense form owed arose 15c. to replace oughte, which developed into ought (v.).