About

I was going to skip it as a preposition… but I was visited by the shade of Richard Blackwelder in a dream who reminded me that it’s also an adverb. Thanks, Professor!

OED remnds me that it’s also a verb, an adjective, a conjunction, and an “int.” – Now I must find out what they mean by this because I’m having trouble imagining “About!” as an interjection…

Nope, it’s an interjection too, thanks to ol’ Will Shakespeare.

Shakespeare Merry Wives of Windsor (1623) v. v. 54   About, about: Search Windsor Castle (Elues) within, and out.

“about, adv., prep.1, adj., and int.” OED Online, Oxford University Press, June 2019, http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/527. Accessed 13 August 2019.

• 1.004 about half our height,
• 1.004 There is little or no magic about them,
• 1.004 not entirely hobbitlike about them,
• 1.005 being about fifty years old or so,
• 1.006 If you had heard only a quarter of what I have heard about him,
• 1.010 If you have a pipe about you,
• 1.017 about dragons
• 1.018 All the same I am pleased to find you remember something about me.
• 1.023 just about the time when Bilbo was finishing his second cake
• 1.024 he had almost forgotten about Gandalf.
• 1.028 he added: ‘I am just about to take tea;
• 1.043 and talked about mines
• 1.050 and said nothing about service;
• 1.058 about the inside of my larders
• 1.068 He had a cloud of them about him already,
• 1.086 What about a little light?’
• 1.095 It is all very well for Gandalf to talk about this hobbit being fierce,
• 1.097 what you are talking about,
• 1.098 I was talking about you.
• 1.103 and the lands about it.
• 1.106 to find out anything there is to know about those caves.’
• 1.114 that hung about his neck
• 1.115 if I know anything about the roads East,’
• 1.119 a bit more about things,’
• 1.119 I mean about the gold
• 1.120 and haven’t we been talking about all this for hours?’
• 1.121 Also I should like to know about risks,
• 1.123 always wandering about,
• 1.125 I have often wondered about my father’s
• 1.125 which only they knew about.
• 1.140 What about bed,
• 1.141 But I agree about bed
• 1.142 One thing he did make his mind up about
• 2.002 and to forget about the night before.
• 2.003 What about an early start? –
• 2.022 and each pony was slung about
• 2.031 and Thorin muttered something about supper,
• 2.033 (who shared the hobbit’s views about regular meals,
• 2.036 and quarrelling about it.
• 2.041 all about that light,
• 2.055 and mighty suspicious about anything new to them.
• 2.060 “P’raps there are more like him round about,
• 2.073 That’s about the shape of it!”
• 2.077 Who has been knocking my people about?”
• 2.078 They had forgotten all about him.
• 2.111 They searched about,
• 2.115 we shall know more about them.”
• 2.123 Also I was anxious about replenishing
• 2.125 and find out all about it.
• 3.009 who seemed to know his way about pretty well.
• 3.010 There were moths fluttering about,
• 3.025 and all about him,
• 3.031 are soon told about,
• 3.031 Yet there is little to tell about their stay.
• 3.035 Elrond knew all about runes of every kind.
• 4.005 and the hail about
• 4.007 and was far from happy about the giants himself.
• 4.011 though everybody knew they could not have been long about it;
• 4.012 is the dangerous part about caves:
• 4.012 and the rain outside instead of all about them,
• 4.013 and forgot about the storm,
• 4.030 in fact I should like to know all about you.
• 4.030 I know too much about your folk already;
• 4.041 if goblins were about;
• 4.047 “About turn!” he shouted.
• 5.002 and groped about on all fours,
• 5.009 till it became too frequent to bother about.
• 5.011 and nosing about.
• 5.012 and he rowed about quite quietly on the lake;
• 5.012 while he was prowling about.
• 5.013 but he was wondering a lot about Bilbo,
• 5.022 and until he found out more about the sword
• 5.023 until he found out more about the creature,
• 5.034 who was still thinking uncomfortably about eating.
• 5.044 what about your guess?’
• 5.062 and forgotten about.
• 5.079 What about your promise?
• 5.083 What was Gollum talking about?
• 5.122 Goblins might be about,
• 5.145 The place was full of goblins running about,
• 6.003 and very miserable he felt about it –
• 6.015 and said nothing whatever about the ring;
• 6.019 Then they wanted to know all about his adventures
• 6.019 except about the finding of the ring
• 6.020 what about your promise?
• 6.021 What about the guards?’ they asked.
• 6.023 when he talked about dodging guards,
• 6.024 Mr. Baggins has more about him than you guess.’
• 6.030 except that Gandalf knew all about the back-door,
• 6.045 Already the shadows were deepening about them,
• 6.053 and was scuttling about from trunk to trunk,
• 6.060 and then went snuffling about
• 6.060 and as if all their talk was about cruel
• 6.065 Very soon all about the glade wolves were rolling over
• 6.065 while those that were burning were running about howling
• 6.084 The flames about the trees sprang suddenly up
• 7.002 and there about the peaks
• 7.005 of the stream which looped itself about it,
• 7.009 we will say no more about it just now.
• 7.024 to think about,
• 7.030 mind, about five minutes between each pair of you.
• 7.055 as I was about to tell you.’
• 7.083 and strode about
• 7.092 on the pillars of the hall about the central hearth.
• 7.094 and the fire flickered about them,
• 7.108 and he was grumbling about it,
• 7.111 answered the other dwarves who were moving about the hall;
• 7.111 We have been about looking for Beorn ever since the sun got up;
• 7.113 O! out and about somewhere,’
• 7.120 still puzzling his little head about Beorn,
• 7.126 and nuts are about all that grows there fit for food;
• 7.132 and till evening it lay golden on the land about them.
• 7.137 What about the horse,
• 7.139 What about your promise then?’
• 7.142 I have told you before that he has more about him than you guess,
• 8.016 Mr. Baggins is talking about.’
• 8.017 to the straps about their shoulders.
• 8.035 Yet if they had known more about it
• 8.037 About four days from the enchanted stream
• 8.037 There was a greenish light about them,
• 8.045 They did not care tuppence about the butterflies,
• 8.049 In fact if you can’t talk about something else,
• 8.057 They argued about it backwards
• 8.057 and find out more about them.
• 8.058 to some of the trees round about;
• 8.062 (‘What about me of them?’ thought Bilbo) –
• 8.066 all about having a most gorgeous dinner.’
• 8.067 Don’t tell us about dreams.
• 8.074 and quite useless to go blundering about tiring himself out
• 8.076 of the forest-day about him when he came to his senses.
• 8.081 They were talking about the dwarves!
• 8.092 but looking about he saw that
• 8.092 that I haven’t had time to tell you about.
• 8.094 When about fifty had gone off to the place where he had stood before,
• 8.114 and Bilbo was dancing about
• 8.114 and about
• 8.116 He was rather sorry about it,
• 8.125 Knowing the truth about the vanishing
• 8.125 about himself after all,
• 9.007 he questioned the dwarves about their doings,
• 9.011 about the Elvenking’s palace.
• 9.013 and after a time he got to know his way about very well.
• 9.013 when no one was about,
• 9.014 all about his treasure
• 9.018 nosing and wandering about,
• 9.021 and thought about this water-gate,
• 9.027 and all about it.
• 9.038 made a great fuss about his air-holes
• 9.058 about himself
• 9.062 He no longer thought twice about picking up a supper uninvited
• 10.002 The lands opened wide about him,
• 10.003 about the upkeep of the Forest River
• 10.012 about six dwarves that could answer.
• 10.013 Bifur and Bofur were less knocked about
• 10.018 Except for occasional squabbles about river-tolls
• 10.025 but he said nothing about that.
• 10.028 and with six men about them he led them over the bridge
• 10.040 about keys or barrels while the dwarves stayed
• 10.041 He sent out his spies about the shores of the lake
• 11.004 The land about them grew bleak
• 11.005 other than the wilderness he had made about his lair.
• 11.014 About midday,
• 11.016 wound tight about his waist,
• 11.019 about the runes or the moon-letters,
• 11.020 or wandered aimlessly about,
• 11.028 some were roving about the mountain-side.
• 11.032 A hole appeared suddenly about three feet from the ground.
• 12.011 till there was no doubt about it.
• 12.013 and about him on all sides
• 12.020 He had never felt quite happy about it,
• 12.024 they were just about to creep
• 12.037 if you mean about removing the treasure.
• 12.037 but I will do my best to think about it.
• 12.041 Had he known more about dragons
• 12.043 He had forgotten or had never heard about
• 12.044 He was just about to step out on to the floor
• 12.058 since you know all about Bilbo’s adventures
• 12.067 But what about delivery?
• 12.067 What about cartage?
• 12.067 What about armed guards
• 12.084 that used to live about here,
• 12.087 about Barrel-rider;
• 12.095 about the dwarves.
• 12.095 about what would happen after the treasure had been won.
• 12.095 to think what to do about it.
• 12.095 I am sorry if you are worried about transport,
• 13.001 and utter silence fell about them.
• 13.020 His small hand would not close about it,
• 13.021 But I suppose I must tell the dwarves about it –
• 13.030 It is about our turn to help,’
• 13.032 about the Arkenstone,
• 13.037 and studded about the brim with white gems,
• 14.016 about the dwarves.
• 14.043 Then they set about raising many huts
• 15.001 and the crows that still lived about the Mountain
• 15.016 and began to caper about for joy.
• 15.049 about which were wound old memories
• 15.056 and honour of the lands about,
• 16.004 were now within about two days’ march of Dale,
• 16.005 and goodwill of the lands about you?
• 16.016 He had about five hours before him.
• 16.018 There is a spy about.
• 16.025 That is how it came about
• 16.043 There is always more about you than anyone expects!’
• 17.003 About midday the banners of the Forest
• 17.021 What about the gold
• 17.039 battle was about to be joined.
• 17.054 about the heads
• 17.054 and the elf-lords were at bay about their king
• 17.059 hemmed all about
• 18.003 and going about the Gate?
• 18.007 and peering about him
• 18.023 about their lords upon a low rounded hill.
• 18.024 they hunted into the marshes about the Forest River;
• 19.008 but I fear that will not come about
• 19.027 who were not at all pleased about it.
• 19.047 in bringing them about yourself?

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