An example of thou is the wording of the biblical Ten Commandments, “Thou shalt not…”.
I thou thee, thou traitor! (Edward Coke to Walter Raleigh)
Avaunt, caitiff, dost thou thou me! I am come of good kin, I tell thee! (The morality play Hickscorner, ca. 1530)
If thou thou'st him some thrice, it shall not be amiss[...] (Twelfth Night 3.2, Sir Toby Belch to Sir Andrew, egging him on to pick a fight with another, where one would expect one knight courteously to say to another, "If you thou him...").
Don't thou them as thous thee! (Yorkshire English admonition to overly familiar children)
Origin of thou
- Middle English from Old English thū second person nominative sing. personal pron. tu- in Indo-European roots
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
- From Middle English thou, thow, thu, Ã¾ou, from Old English Ã¾Å«, from Proto-Germanic *Ã¾Å«, from Proto-Indo-European *tÃºhâ‚‚. Akin to Old Frisian thÅ« (West Frisian do), Old Saxon thÅ« (Low German du), Old Dutch thÅ« (Middle Dutch du, Limburgish doe), Old High German dÅ« (German du), Old Norse Ã¾Ãº, (Icelandic Ã¾Ãº, Danish du, Norwegian du, Swedish du), Latin tu, Ancient Greek ÏƒÏ (sÃ½) (Modern Greek ÎµÏƒÏ (esÃ½)).
- Shortened from thousandth.
- Shortened from thousand.