Don and doff

A silly Zippy that I’m passing on for its use of the verb doff (though there’s also the pun in the title “Clothes Call”):

No big point here; I’m just tickled by the verbs don and doff, and have been ever since I realized, as a kid, that they were originally do on and do off, respectively.

Doff is older, with attestations in the OED (where it’s described as a “coalesced form” of do off) from the 14th century on. The OED‘s first attestation for don is 1567; the verb is described as “contracted”, and indeed many of the early attestations have it spelled do’n.

 

2 Responses to “Don and doff”

  1. Sam Says:

    Huh; I never analyzed them that way. Incidentally, these verbs live on in text adventure games since they require less typing and simpler parsing than “put on” and “take off”.

    Sam Mikes

  2. Tweets that mention Don and doff « Arnold Zwicky's Blog -- Topsy.com Says:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Nancy Friedman and Mark Williams, Machelle Allman. Machelle Allman said: RT @Fritinancy: News to me: "don" and "doff" were originally "do on" and "do off." https://arnoldzwicky.wordpress.com/2010/12/07/don-and- … […]

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