Ye olde shoppe

I am currently reading this fascinating book. One of the many things I have learned from it is that historically the word “ye” as in “ye olde shoppe” was never pronounced the way we say it today. In fact it was always pronounced “the”. This was because the word the was originally spelled with the old English letter thorn (Þ or þ making the sound th) Over time the fashion among scribes started to open up the top of the letter until it resembled a “y” but it was still pronounced “th”. So my fellow genealogists, we should be transcribing the word as the and not ye. Who knew?!

The Word Hord book cover