Harbour (BE)/Harbor (AmE)
- ME word has been assumed to be taken from Norse, but the phonology points rather to an OE type (might be taken from Norse).
- The history shows two lines of phonetic change:
- her -> her
- the weakening of the second element to –ber, -bor, -bour
- The current form “harbour” exhibits both of these changes.
- Various spellings – it appears in modern-day form (both BE and AmE) in 17th century
- a. Shelter, lodging, entertainment: sojourn, abode – as early as mid-12th century (spelled as herbyrȝe)
- b. The “house,” mansion, zodiac (Chaucer)
- c. Retreat of wild animals
- d. Used figuratively
- e. Port (late 13th century)
- f. Airship shed/hangar (1909, 1912)
- g. A vessel used for mixing ingredients for glass making (19th century)
- h. A number of compounds
- "harbour." OED Online Oxford University Press, March 2015. Web 3 March 2015.