From Old English esne (“a man of the servile class, a laborer, slave, servant, retainer, a youth, young man, man, scholar”), from Proto-Germanic *asniz, *asnz (“reward”), from Proto-Indo-European *os(e)n-, *es(e)n- (“summer, harvest, harvest-time”). Cognate with Middle Low German asne, asnen (“wages, fixed income”), Old High German asni (“hireling, day labourer, servant”), Gothic [script?] (asneis, “a hireling, day labourer”). Related to Old English earnian (“to labor for, strive after, deserve as the reward of labor, merit, earn, win”). More at earn.