from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To sink; fall; drop.
  • v. To fall, as in a swoon; faint.
  • v. To drop, as water; trickle.
  • v. To sift.
  • v. To strain, as milk; filter.
  • n. A drop.
  • pro. Gender-neutral (or multigendered) subject pronoun, grammatically equivalent to the gendered pronouns he and she, or singular they

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To sink; fall; drop; fall, as in a swoon.
  • To drop, as water; trickle.
  • To sift.
  • To strain, as milk.
  • n. A drop.
  • n. An obsolete preterit of see.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English sien, from Old English sīgan ("to pass from a higher to a lower position, sink, descend, decline, fall, fall down, move towards a point, advance, go, go to, approach, ooze, run as matter, strain, filter, act as a filter"), from Proto-Germanic *sīganan, *sīhwanan (“to strain, drop”), from Proto-Indo-European *seik- (“to pour, strain”). Cognate with Dutch zijgen ("to filter"), German seihen ("to strain, sieve"), Icelandic síga ("to lower").



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  • "Personal pronouns and adjectives are a fruitful nuisance in this language, and should have been left out. For instance, the same sound, sie, means you, and it means she, and it means her, and it means it, and it means they, and it means them. Think of the ragged poverty of a language which has to make one word do the work of six -- and a poor little weak thing of only three letters at that. But mainly, think of the exasperation of never knowing which of these meanings the speaker is trying to convey. This explains why, whenever a person says sie to me, I generally try to kill him, if a stranger."

    - Mark Twain, 'The Awful German Language', 1880.

    August 21, 2008

  • Gender-neutral pronoun.

    October 11, 2007