until death do us part

mike   Saturday, June 12, 2004, 11:55 GMT
This one has been bothering me for some time. As far as I know 'Death' is the third person singular and the only auxiliary verb that I'd use would be 'does'. Does anyone have the slightest clue why there is 'do' in 'until death do us part'? Thanks a lot.
CG   Saturday, June 12, 2004, 12:45 GMT
I think the "do" refers to the "us". I don't think it means "until death does part us".
Damian   Saturday, June 12, 2004, 13:07 GMT
"Death" is the subject noun and "do" is the action verb.....in other words, Death performs the act of parting us.
Dulcinea del Toboso   Sunday, June 13, 2004, 02:06 GMT

So why isn't it "until Death does/doth part us"


"until Death do we part"

Not a good phrase. No. Don't like it.
Blah   Sunday, June 13, 2004, 10:18 GMT
its probably a remnant of the subjunctive mood
Damian   Sunday, June 13, 2004, 10:42 GMT
Jimma: och, lassie....what are ye randering on aboot?

(translation: what the hell are you talking about?)

PS: From your name I guess I got the gender right
Xatufan   Monday, June 14, 2004, 01:47 GMT
In Spanish, this sentence is "hasta que la muerte nos separe". And separe is subjunctive mood! So perhaps that's the answer. (In English, subjunctive mood is obsolet, but not in Spanish. It is used everywere, not only at weddings).

Damian: I think, from what I've read, that laddie is for men and lassie is for women. (I always thought that Lassie was a famous dog, but I don't think Jimma is a dog, is she?
Someone   Monday, June 14, 2004, 03:48 GMT
Lassie is an old TV show about a female dog. The name came from "lassie," which is used for women (by Scots).