A typical example would be Ye Olde English Pubbe or similar names of theme pubs.
The use of the term "ye" to mean "the" is based in Early Modern English, in which the could be written as þe, employing the Old English letter thorn, þ. During the Tudor period, the scribal abbreviation for þe was (or "þe" with modern symbols); here, the letter <þ> is combined with the letter <e>. Because <þ> and <y> look very nearly identical in medieval English blackletter (as the <þ> in compared with the <y> in ye), the two have since been mistakenly substituted for each other. The connection became less obvious after the letter thorn was discontinued in favour of the digraph <th> in the English language (resulting from the use of printing presses from France which lacked a way to print thorn).
For more information see English articles: Ye form.
|Look up ye olde in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
- Askoxford.com, Oxford Dictionary's FAQ: Why is 'ye' used instead of 'the' in antique English?