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the deal with thee/thou vs. you was that thee/thou was more personal/intimate, while 'you' was more formal

then english got over having grammatical relationship distance in pronouns & used 'you' everywhere

so when someone in an old-timey story says "Have at thee, villain!", they're actually flirting

(also "villain" literally means "landowner" — someone who has a villa.)

"Have at thee, villain!" --> "Hi I like your hair, and since you have a house and stuff I was wondering if I could move in with you?"

"Have at you, villain!" --> "My sword thinks private property is bullshit, and you _wish_ you had a monopoly on violence."

@lioness So when Darth Vader asks the Emperor "What is thy bidding, my master?" in Star Wars Episode V, he is actually flirting? I didn't think about that scene this way before 🤔

@lioness flirting with villains is all good but flirting with landlords is deffo not

well, actually 

@lioness yes, the word hails from "villa" but the villain was not the land owner, but the land worker, bound to that land by serfdom. (at least they weren't slaves!)

so, a villain used to be a minion, who's importance got inflated over the centuries

@lioness @wizzwizz4 “Thee” was more intimate with social equals, but still standard with social inferiors, I thought? It would clearly be the social-inferior sense being used in that case.

@apetresc @lioness Linguistic drift. There was no *one* usage; it changed over time. (My knowledge is basically zero other than that.)

@lioness thee/thou was the singular version, ye/you was plural. If someone's saying "have at thee," they might mean they're only willing to fight one baddie at a time. :)

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