As I was collecting words, I noticed with surprise that a whole passel of “over-” compounds fell into the Uncommon category. Overgrow, overhear, overjoyed, overpower, overrun, overshadow, overtake, overthrow, and overturn all made it into the Concordance. That’s not all of the “over-” compounds in The Hobbit. Overcome, overhang, overlook, and overwhelm are in the most common 10,000 words. Still, I am intrigued.
We have time today to do another mini-exploration, so I will be updating the concordance entries of the “over-” compounds – you should be able to click on them or follow the “over-” tag to see what I learned by nightfall.
Update an hour later: all done. The OED entry for the prefix “over-” is long, delightful, complex, and makes my heart sing at all the subtleties. Excellent summer reading if you’re casting about for your next entertainment.
I recollect that the sentence “his linen socc fel oferbord and scranc” featured in an early lesson in my Old English class all those years ago – over- compounds are of great antiquity!