License to pun

We’ve all heard someone make a pun on “a frayed knot/afraid not”, yeah? Turns out it’s not just a stupid joke, the words really are connected.

affray, v.

Obs. or arch.

1. To disturb, or startle, from sleep or quiet, as a sudden noise does; passing into the sense of alarm, as the effect of such startling. arch.

b. To disturb with hostilities; to attack with an armed force. Obs. rare.

By imperceptible gradations the idea of alarm passed into that of

2. To frighten, to affect with fear; especially in the passive voice to be affrayed or AFRAID. arch.

3. intr. (refl.) To be afraid, to fear. (Fr. s’effrayer.) Obs.

4. To scare, to startle or alarm into running away, to frighten away. arch. Cf. FRAY.

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Listening to: Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band – Live On – 02 – True Lies
via FoxyTunes

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