- to reply forcefully, rudely, or impertinently; talk back
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Origin of Answer
From Middle English answere, andsware, from Old English andswaru (“answer”), from Proto-Germanic *andaswarō (“answer”), equivalent to and- + swear. Cognate with Old Frisian ondser (“answer”), Old Saxon andswōr (“answer”), Danish and Swedish ansvar (“liability, responsibility, answer”), Icelandic andsvar (“answer, response”). Compare also Old English andwyrde (“answer”) (cognate to Dutch antwoord, German Antwort), Old English andcwiss (“reply”), German Schwur (“oath, vow”).
From Middle English answeren, andswaren, from Old English andswarian (“to answer, respond, give an answer”), from Proto-Germanic *and- (“back, in return”) + *swarō (“oath”), from Proto-Germanic *swarjaną (“to speak, swear”), equivalent to and- + swear. Cognate with Old Frisian ondswera (“to answer”), Danish ansvare (“to answer, account for”), Swedish ansvara (“to answer, account for”), Icelandic andsvara (“to answer, reply”).
Middle English answere from Old English andswaru swer- in Indo-European roots
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
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