Why bother?

Yes, there is every reason to bother. Read the following: “One of the most common expressions in everyday life, and one which is generally used by all classes, is the expression ‘Don’t bother me!’
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Yes, there is every reason to bother. Read the following: “One of the most common expressions in everyday life, and one which is generally used by all classes, is the expression ‘Don’t bother me!’ and the origin of the word bother has so frequently bothered me that I have spent some time in tracing its etymology. I was surprised to discover that, like a number of other words in our language, bother is a corruption of two words, viz., both ears; the original meaning of the word being ‘Do not annoy me at both ears’—id est, don’t deafen me with your noise.” This note appeared under the signature Scio in a popular Manchester journal in 1884. Who enlightened Mr. Scio after he “spent some time in tracing the origin” of the troublesome word, used by all classes? And where did he find such nonsense? By 1884 many dictionaries had been published, including Skeat’s, to say nothing of other works educated people used (Johnson and Webster among others). No one suggested anything like bother = both. . .

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News source: Linguistics – OUPblog

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