O.E. ascian "ask," from earlier ahsian, from P.Gmc. *aiskojan (cf. O.S. escon, O.Fris. askia, M.Du. eiscen, O.H.G. eiscon, Ger. heischen "to ask, demand"), from PIE *ais- "to wish, desire" (cf. Skt. icchati "seeks, desires," Arm. aic "investigation," O.C.S. iskati "to seek," Lith. iekau "to seek"). Form in Eng. infl. by a Scand. form of the word (cf. Dan. æske; the O.E. would have evolved by normal sound changes into ash, esh, which was a Midlands and s.w. England dialect form). The variant in modern dialect ax is as old as O.E. acsian and was an accepted literary variant until c.1600. O.E. also had fregnan, frignan which carried more directly the sense of "question, inquire," and is from PIE root *prek-, the common source of words for "ask" in most I.E. languages. If you ask me "in my opinion" is attested from 1910.