Word of the DaySaturday, May 26, 2012
\bih-TAHYD\ , verb;
To happen to; come to; befall.
To happen; come to pass.
"Ill luck betide thee, poor damsel," said Sancho, "ill luck betide thee!"
-- Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote
"The girls' skirts are measured each week with a dressmaker's rule," she would say, "to see that they conform to the length prescribed. Woe betide any girl whose skirt does not."
-- Hilary Mantel, An Experiment in Love
Betide stems from the Old English word tide meaning "something that happened." As in besot and belabor, the prefix be- turns the noun into a verb.
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