Posted by Henry on January 29, 2004
In Reply to: "Tide me over" posted by Bruce Kahl on January 28, 2004
: : "Tide" is among other things an archaic way of saying "time" as in "yuletide" = "Christmastime." (I suspect "time and tide" is a poetic repetition--they aren't two different things.) So something to "tide one over" will get you past a "tide," or "time" of need, hunger or whatever. (I hypothesize also that "tide" in this sense is cognate with German "Zeit," meaning "time.")
: I don't think so but ya never know.
: From a previous discussion we had here a while back:
: Your phrase means to enable to surmount or endure a difficulty as in "money to tide us over during the emergency".
: The transitive sense of the verb "tide" means to cause to float with or as if with the tide.
: So when something is "tiding you over" you are, in a sense, being temporarily lifted or enabled to float over the emergency!
: Main Entry: tide over
: Function: transitive verb
: Etymology: 2tide
: Date: 1821
: : to enable to surmount or endure a difficulty
: Main Entry: 2tide
: Function: verb
: Inflected Form(s): tid·ed; tid·ing
: Date: 1593
: intransitive senses : to flow as or in a tide : SURGE
: transitive senses : to cause to float with or as if with the tide
I don't agree with this image of a person rising with the tide. It's more than to surmount a difficulty. It includes an element of time. It is to endure a difficult period.