December 11, 2012
hither (adverb)
\HIH-ther\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: to this place
How do you use it?
"I turned hither and thither among the trees. Here and there were flowering plants, unknown to me; here and there I saw snakes, and one raised his head from a ledge of rock and hissed at me with a noise not unlike the spinning of a top." (Robert Louis Stevenson, _Treasure Island_)
Are you a word wiz?

"Hither" is an adverb in the _Treasure Island_ quote above, but the word isn't always an adverb. Which of the following do you think is the other part of the speech the word can have?

Come hither, and we will tell you about the adjective "hither." It means "being on the near or adjacent side," as in "the hither side of the hill." Neither "hither" is common these days. For the adverb "hither" modern English has "here"; the _Treasure Island_ quote above would in modern English read "I turned here and there among the trees." Where people in the past would have used the adjective "hither," we now use "near," as in "the near side of the hill." Knowing "hither" is still useful, though, because it's in some of the best books ever written in English—books by Mark Twain, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Louisa May Alcott, among others.
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