Re: Push

From: Brian M. Scott
Message: 62377
Date: 2009-01-07

At 3:50:46 AM on Wednesday, January 7, 2009, tgpedersen

> Skeat derives 'push' from Latin pulsa:re.

I don't know whether he says so or not, but that's via OFr
<pousser> 'to breathe with difficulty, to wheeze (~1150 for
a horse, beg. 14th c. for a person), to exercise physical
pressure on, to shove or jostle (a person or thing) (late
12th c.), later developing other senses.

> Why the -sh then?

There are regional forms, mostly northern but some from
Devon, and all with relatively late attestations, with
<-s(s)(e)>. Of the /S/ forms the OED says (in an article
dated 12/2008):

The {alpha} forms show palatalization of the final
consonant, perhaps reflecting a corresponding (unattested)
form in French (compare discussion in R. Jordan Handb. der
mittelenglischen Grammatik (1934) ยง260), although analogy
is also possible (within English) with e.g. CRUSH v.,
QUASH v., RUSH v.2