What's the origin of the word "EVENING"?

Frank Carioti writes, "What, pray tell, is the origin of the word, "evening?" What starts out uneven, and requires evening in the hours between, say, 5 and 8 post meridian? Is there an official definition of the hours that comprise the evening?" Well, let’s take this one backwards. The faithful OED defines evening as, "end of day, especially time from sunset to bedtime." Thus, evening is a subset of night, which extends until sunrise. Other dictionaries indicate that a somewhat archaic Southern American usage of evening is ‘afternoon’. You can observe this latter usage in Sam Clemens classic, Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

There ain’t anything crooked about evening, Franko; even and evening have utterly different etymologies. ‘Even’ comes from the Old English efen; the earliest source is the Germanic ebnaz. ‘Evening’ appears to derive from the Old English aefnian, meaning, "grow towards night". There are innumerable words from the Middle Old German, Middle High German, Old Saxon and Old Frisian (a part of Holland) which are quite similar. The Frisian evend is perhaps the most similar to our current word. Slip back further to Gothic and you have andanahti, meaning "before night". That’s pretty close to evening, isn’t it? There is speculation that an obscure Indo European base, ep, similar to the Greek epi, (meaning, "close up in time or space") is related to evening.

Interestingly, the ‘ing’ in evening and its sister, morning means…nothing. At least, it has no relation to any of the other usages of the suffix.

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