Ilka dae

While flicking through my Scots language course, Luath Scots Language Learner, this week I discovered that the Scots for every day is ilka dae, which is quite similar to the Dutch elke dag, which I also learnt recently – I like finding connections like this. Neither resembles the English version, or the German jeden Tag. The words for every in other Germanic languages are also different: hver/alle in Danish, hver/enhver/all Norwegian, and var/all in Swedish.

The Scots word ilka [ˈɪlkə], which is also written ilkae and ilkie, means every and each. It appears in such expressions as:

– ilka bodie = everyone
– ilka thing = everything
– ilka ane (yin/een) = each one, every one
– ilkaday = everyday
– ilka where = everywhere

According to the OED ilka is a combination of ilk (every) and a (the indefinite article): ilk is a northern and north-midland form of ilch, iche = southern ælch, æche (each), which come from the Old English ǽlc, which is related to the Old Frisian ellîk/elk/êk, and the Dutch elk, from the Old High German eogilîh.

Sources: Dictionary, Reverso, DSL, EUdict, OED

This entry was posted in Danish, Dutch, English, Etymology, German, Language, Norwegian, Swedish, Words and phrases.

4 Responses to Ilka dae

  1. David Eger says:

    The Latvian for ‘every day’ or ‘everyday’ is ikdiena or ik diena. As far as I remember, ik only exists as a prefix or particle, not a self-standing adjective or adverb. Ikviens translates as ‘everyone’ (literally every + one).

    The adjective stem for ‘all’ or ‘every’ is vis- (viss, visa, visi, visas etc.); it also functions as a noun (‘all’, ‘everything’, ‘everyone’),

    Could ilk, each, ik etc. have a connection with Sanskrit eka = ‘one’ (ek, ikk etc. in modern Indo-Iranian languges)?

  2. IronMike says:

    THanks for the book tipper. It’ll be released here in the states soon.

  3. David Eger says:

    …Actually, I think Latvian ikviens translates more as ‘every one’ or ‘each’ than ‘everyone’.

  4. z0ltan says:

    @David Eger

    The ‘vis’ stem that you mention in Latvian could also be related to the Sanskrit stem, ‘viswa’, which means the same.

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