This is going to be a quick entry, but I just found out and I’m mindblown.
I was curious about the etymology for neighbour. Apparently, bour is an old form of bower (in the ‘dwelling’ sense). And neigh is the papa of nigh, of “the end is nigh!” fame, and indicates closeness.
Now for the big revelation: neigh was replaced by near… which originally was its comparative! Better yet, its superlative… was next!
I wasn’t expecting that at all, though it makes a lot of sense: what can be closer than the next thing itself?
Originally published in The blind mouse.