You and thou in real life:


Jonathan Hope’s analysis of court transcripts from the 1560s:

“Second person singular pronouns in records of early modern ‘spoken’ English.” Neuphilologische Mitteilungen 94.1 (1993).


1.    “The exchange concerns sheep stealing, and is between two relatively high class men, Masters Antony and Ratcliff, and the relatively lower class Roger Donn.”


Case no. 61 (c1572-4) from the deposition of ‘Christofer Egleston, of Hunstonworth, yoman, aged 40 years’.


Mr Antony:          Dyd not thou promess me that thou wold tell me and the parson of Hunstonworth who sold George Whitfield sheep?


Roger Donn:       I need not unless I woll.


Mr Ratcliff:         Thou breaks promess.


Roger Donn:       You will know yt soon enowgh, for your man, Nicoll Dixson, stole them, that ther stands, upon Thursday bifore Christenmas then last past.


[‘Donn said that he [Ratcliff] shuld never be able to prove hym a theif.’]


Roger Donn:       For although ye be a gent., and I a poore man, my honestye shalbe as good as yours.


Mr Ratcliff:         What saith thou? liknes thou thy honestye to myn?

3. “The basic exchange is a meeting between Matthew and Ralph Ogle (father and son) and Thomas Topping and John Rosse (father and step son) in Stannington Churchyard. An argument is festering between the two families over some goods seized from some ‘Egipcions’ which Rosse’s stepfather holds but the Ogles feel they have some claim upon. The allegation, denied by Ralph Ogle, is that he drew his dagger on John Rosse following an argument.


[Topping and Matthew Ogle have exchanged words.]


Version 1


John Rosse (to TT):     Father, come away; what doo you stand their, and they brabling with you?

Ralph Ogle (to JR)       What saith you, slave?


JR (to RO)                    Howe be your selfe?

[=”You and whose army?”]


Version 2 [Topping’s version]


John Rosse:                  Father, what doo ye, sitting here and se them brag you as they do?


RO (to JR)                    What saith you, slave?


JR (to RO)                    Sr, what by yourself?


Version 3 [John Rosse’s version]


JR                                  Come away, for ther words and brawling ys known well enough.


RO                                What, slave, what is that thou saith?


JR                                  What, man, by your self?