Castle Rackrent/Glossary/2

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Castle Rackrent by Maria Edgeworth
Glossary/2: Let alone the three kingdoms itself

GLOSSARY 2. LET ALONE THE THREE KINGDOMS ITSELF.

—LET ALONE, in this sentence, means put out of consideration. The phrase, let alone, which is now used as the imperative of a verb, may in time become a conjunction, and may exercise the ingenuity of some future etymologist. The celebrated Horne Tooke has proved most satisfactorily, that the conjunction but comes from the imperative of the Anglo-Saxon verb (BEOUTAN) TO BE OUT; also, that IF comes from GIF, the imperative of the Anglo-Saxon verb which signifies TO GIVE, etc.