a-fishing

Discussion in 'English Only' started by sami33, Apr 22, 2012.

  1. sami33

    sami33 Senior Member

    Morocco
    arabic
    Hi

    Please what does "a-fishing" mean?:

    There was once a fisherman who lived with his wife in a pigsty, close by the seaside. The fisherman used to go out all day long a-fishing; and one day, as he sat on the shore with his rod, looking at the sparkling waves and watching his line, all on a sudden his float was dragged away deep into the water: and in drawing it up he pulled out a great fish.

    Source: The Fisherman and His Wife- Fairy Tales By the Grimm Brothers.

    Thanks
     
  2. Beryl from Northallerton Senior Member

    British English
    "a-fishing" = 'fishing', only with an extra syllable for better scansion, or some other nebulous sentence betterment.
     
  3. sami33

    sami33 Senior Member

    Morocco
    arabic
    Thank you very much Beryl.
     
  4. Cagey post mod (English Only / Latin)

    California
    English - US
    I agree with Beryl that the prefix makes little difference to the meaning here.

    However, sometimes the prefix is significant. If you are interested in further discussion of the prefix and its uses, see: a-running ... prefix a- before verb.
     
  5. sami33

    sami33 Senior Member

    Morocco
    arabic
    Thank you very much cagey.
     

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