Origin of askance
Examples from the Web for askance
I looked at him askance, but received not the slightest sign of recognition.Sixteen Months in Four German Prisons|Henry Charles Mahoney
Aviation, till the coming of the war, was looked at askance by parents who had sons on their hands.Learning to Fly|Claude Grahame-White
The whole family looked at us askance when we first tied up near their home.Days in the Open|Lathan A. Crandall
The more conservative of her townspeople looked at her askance.Cheerful--By Request|Edna Ferber
On the other hand, expressions that once were not considered inelegant are looked at askance in the period following.Ponkapog Papers|Thomas Bailey Aldrich
British Dictionary definitions for askance
Word Origin for askance
Word Origin and History for askance
1520s, "sideways, asquint," of obscure origin. OED has separate listings for askance and obsolete Middle English askance(s) and no indication of a connection, but Barnhart and others derive the newer word from the older one. The Middle English word, recorded early 14c. as ase quances and found later in Chaucer, meant "in such a way that; even as; as if;" and as an adverb "insincerely, deceptively." It has been analyzed as a compound of as and Old French quanses (pronounced "kanses") "how if," from Latin quam "how" + si "if."
The E[nglish] as is, accordingly, redundant, and merely added by way of partial explanation. The M.E. askances means "as if" in other passages, but here means, "as if it were," i.e. "possibly," "perhaps"; as said above. Sometimes the final s is dropped .... [Walter W. Skeat, glossary to Chaucer's "Man of Law's Tale," 1894]
Also see discussion in Leo Spitzer, "Anglo-French Etymologies," Philological Quarterly 24.23 (1945), and see OED entry for askance (adv.) for discussion of the mysterious ask- word cluster in English. Other guesses about the origin of askance include Old French a escone, from past participle of a word for "hidden;" Italian a scancio "obliquely, slantingly;" or that it is a cognate of askew.
Idioms and Phrases with askance
see look askance.