Where Does "Ye Olde" Really Come From? (Hint: You Say It Wrong)

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

"Ye Olde" is one of those phrases we throw around for cheap laughs, but do you have any idea where that first part comes from? Or how to pronounce it? Probably not! Minute Physics takes a stab at explaining, and like most things in life, "Ye" was born out of laziness—and totally France's fault.

Back in the days of old English, the "Th" sound was represented by a single rune shaped something like a letter P. Over the years, it was Babelfished back and forth between French and modern English enough that printers threw their hands up and decided to use a Y instead of two scrunched together letters to represent a "th" sound. Which means that "Ye" is actually "The," and is still supposed to be pronounced as "The." Which, you know, invalidates just about everything that ever happened at your local renaissance faire. Sorry, Harwin! [MinutePhysics]