If so, are they antonyms or did one undergo a lexical shift to become the other? Also, is the /es-/ prefix used as a negator in any other English words, or is this case an exception?

  • And the question deserved a down-vote? That's what puts me off posting what seem to be to be sensible questions. Commented May 27, 2016 at 10:32
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    I didn't downvote, but I understand the downvoter's reaction, because this is a question that can be fully answered by reference to primary, easily available, sources.
    – Colin Fine
    Commented May 27, 2016 at 10:51

1 Answer 1


No, the two words are not related. There is neither a direct relation nor a negation.

"Shew" is an old version of "show" which comes from proto-Germanic "skauwojan", i.e. choose, look at, and other verbs. Even in Proto-Indo-European, there is "skeue", pay attention.

On the other hand, "eschew" is from proto-Germanic "skeukhwaz", i.e. escape.

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