Irregardless – A fantastic word dating back to 1874

Irregardless; I find it a lot of fun, it bucks the trend of the prefix ‘ir’ changing the meaning of the word, and just carries on regardless.

It is actually a blend of two words ‘irrespective’ and ‘regardless’ and can be traced back to 1874 where it is found in a newspaper from Ohio.

‘Irregardless’ and ‘Regardless’ come from the word ‘regard’ which appeared in English in the mid 14th century when it was borrowed from the French ‘regarder’ meaning ‘to take notice of’. Which was itself the prefix ‘re’ added to ‘garder’ meaning ‘to look’, here ‘re’ is used as an intensifier rather than to suggest repetition. The suffix ‘less’ added to ‘regardless’ means to lack something and comes from early german, it’s also the root for loose.

I love the way ‘irregardless’ has so many prefixes and suffixes added on to its core, given that the ‘gard’ part means ‘take notice of’ it could have just been in-gard, anti-gard or even gardless but it just carries on without paying any notice of the conventional rules.

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