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  1. #1

    Jingle bells

    Hello,

    I always wanted to know in the Jingle bells :

    - What is the abbreviation of "O'er "


    Jingle bells, jingle bells,
    Jingle all the way;
    Oh! what fun it is to ride
    In a one-horse open sleigh.

    Dashing through the snow
    In a one horse open sleigh
    O'er the fields we go
    Laughing all the way
    Bells on bob tail* ring
    Making spirits bright
    What fun it is to ride and sing
    A sleighing song tonight


    Thank you for your help


    • Join Date: Aug 2009
    • Posts: 1,131
    #2

    Re: Jingle bells

    Quote Originally Posted by starhu View Post
    Hello,

    I always wanted to know in the Jingle bells :

    - What is the abbreviation of "O'er "


    Jingle bells, jingle bells,
    Jingle all the way;
    Oh! what fun it is to ride
    In a one-horse open sleigh.

    Dashing through the snow
    In a one horse open sleigh
    O'er the fields we go
    Laughing all the way
    Bells on bob tail* ring
    Making spirits bright
    What fun it is to ride and sing
    A sleighing song tonight


    Thank you for your help
    In this case, "o'er" means "over."

    Dropping the "v' turns it into a one-syllable word, which is needed for the line to scan properly.

    Its pronunciation is close to "oar."


    Some versions of this famous Scottish ballad cut the word "over" down to one syllable in the same way:

    "Half-owre, half-owre to Aberdour,
    ’Tis fifty fathoms deep;
    And there lies gude Sir Patrick Spens,
    Wi’ the Scots lords at his feet!
    ~ folk ballad (Sir Patrick Spens)
    Last edited by Ann1977; 09-Oct-2009 at 09:33.

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Ireland

    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 25,629
    #3

    Re: Jingle bells

    Quote Originally Posted by starhu View Post
    Hello,

    I always wanted to know in the Jingle bells :

    - What is the abbreviation of "O'er "


    Jingle bells, jingle bells,
    Jingle all the way;
    Oh! what fun it is to ride
    In a one-horse open sleigh.

    Dashing through the snow
    In a one horse open sleigh
    O'er the fields we go
    Laughing all the way
    Bells on bob tail* ring
    Making spirits bright
    What fun it is to ride and sing
    A sleighing song tonight


    Thank you for your help
    "O'er" (pronounced "oar") is a contraction of "over", which in the context of the song means "across", "...across the fields we go..."

  3. #4

    Re: Jingle bells

    Thank you very much for your help!

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