Methinks

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Drusilla

New Member
whatever
I am confused about the use of the word "methinks". I was under the impression that it was rather old fashioned - meaning, it's used by Shakespeare and in the Bible, and you wouldn't use it in a modern day conversation or anything written nowadays.

I have never heard it said, actually, but since I am a regular member in different US online communities, I read it a lot.

My questions are:

1) Is this a US thing? Or is it used in the UK and other English speaking countries as well?

2) Is it a "normal" expression, or is it used only when being overly dramatic (as this is when I would use it) or satirical?
 
  • Isotta

    Senior Member
    English, Hodgepodge
    Hello, and welcome!

    1. The phrase is not limited to the U.S.

    2. You are right to guess it is not exactly normal. People use it to be mock-archaic, silly or satirical.

    Also important to consider is the famous Shakespeare phrase "Methinks the lady protests too much."

    Z.
     

    mrenglish

    Member
    England, English (French & Spanish)
    Drusilla said:
    I am confused about the use of the word "methinks". I was under the impression that it was rather old fashioned - meaning, it's used by Shakespeare and in the Bible, and you wouldn't use it in a modern day conversation or anything written nowadays.

    I have never heard it said, actually, but since I am a regular member in different US online communities, I read it a lot.

    My questions are:

    1) Is this a US thing? Or is it used in the UK and other English speaking countries as well?

    2) Is it a "normal" expression, or is it used only when being overly dramatic (as this is when I would use it) or satirical?
    Not only is it not limited to the USA, it didn't even originate from there. Methinks is an archaic term with origins in England, used often in Shakespeare meaning 'I reckon.' Its use is not formal, and rarely comes up in casual spoken conversation. You are most likely to see it written down, informally.
     

    shamblesuk

    Senior Member
    England, English
    The actual phrase is 'The lady doth protest too much, methinks' :)

    Isotta said:
    Hello, and welcome!

    1. The phrase is not limited to the U.S.

    2. You are right to guess it is not exactly normal. People use it to be mock-archaic, silly or satirical.

    Also important to consider is the famous Shakespeare phrase "Methinks the lady protests too much."

    Z.
     

    foxfirebrand

    Senior Member
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    The "thinks" in this word is not what it "seems"-- ha hahah...oh wait, this isn't funny until I explain it.

    The verb doesn't come from O.E. þencan meaning "to think," but from þyncan meaning "to seem." So me thinks means "it seems to me."

    Get it? Thinks isn't what it seems?

    Here's that good Old English (Anglo-Saxon) dictionary link again. Very thorough and I've never found the slightest error or glitch-- very serious work. And....aaargh, they've made some progress with their grammar link, but it's still under construction.

    http://home.comcast.net/~modean52/oeme_dictionaries.htm

    .
     
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