Word of the Day Archive
Saturday May 26, 2012
1. To happen to; come to; befall.
2. To happen; come to pass.
"Ill luck betide thee, poor damsel," said Sancho, "ill luck betide thee!"
-- Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote
"The girls' skirts are measured each week with a dressmaker's rule," she would say, "to see that they conform to the length prescribed. Woe betide any girl whose skirt does not."
-- Hilary Mantel, An Experiment in Love
Betide stems from the Old English word tide meaning "something that happened." As in besot and belabor, the prefix be- turns the noun into a verb.