Homophones for abay abey

abay / abey [əˈbei]

abay – n. & v. – n. – the sound of dogs chasing prey animals, howling; v. – bark at an animal or person that is being pursued, howl.

abey – v. – 1. suspend; 2. put aside; 3. make obedient, subordinate to; 4. curve, incline


The prefix ‘a’ which used to common, has fallen out of usage in modern times except for period pieces and poetic uses. It can still be found in current usage.

This indicates that both of these verbs have a long history in their current form. Although, more recently, the 'a' has been dropped and both bay and bey exist as separate nouns and verbs. It should be noted that 'bey' has little in common with 'abey'. Be careful. Both are old. The loss of a prefix does not mean that the word is being modernized. It may be a different term with different roots. 

In this case, 'bey' comes from the Turkish word for ruler whereas 'abey' is thought to have its roots in Latin and to have enter English through old French. Hence, the very different meanings.

How do these relate to 'abay'? Abay/abey both come from Middle English and Old French. And have the same pronunciation, but that seems to be where the similarities end. Bay as a verb is similar to abay. This is another way in which abay/abey differ...what happens when they lose their prefixes. 

All in all, they form a linguistic cautionary tale.