Looking Over “Over” Compounds

As I was collecting words, I noticed with surprise that a whole passel of “over-” compounds fell into the Uncommon category.  Overgrow, overhear, overjoyed, overpower, overrun, overshadow, overtake, overthrow, and overturn all made it into the Concordance.  That’s not all of the “over-” compounds in The Hobbit.  Overcome, overhang, overlook, and overwhelm are in the most common 10,000 words.  Still, I am intrigued.

We have time today to do another mini-exploration, so I will be updating the concordance entries of the “over-” compounds – you should be able to click on them or follow the “over-” tag to see what I learned by nightfall.

Update an hour later: all done.  The OED entry for the prefix “over-” is long, delightful, complex, and makes my heart sing at all the subtleties.  Excellent summer reading if you’re casting about for your next entertainment.

I recollect that the sentence “his linen socc fel oferbord and scranc” featured in an early lesson in my Old English class all those years ago – over- compounds are of great antiquity!

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