Learn English – Does “’tis” means “this is” or “it is”


I have found much trouble identifying the old word 'tis.

Does it mean "this is" or "it is?"

I have done some research and found that the dictionaries conflict.

One said 'tis :An old English word used in the place of this is ; a contraction of this is.

I showed this to my brother and he showed me another one it said 'tis :an old English contraction of the words it is.

as in:

'tis(this is) the voice of the lobster….or

'tis(it is) the voice of the lobster….

So how?

Best Answer

"'Tis" is a contraction of "it is", from all of the dictionaries I've searched. The little apostrophe just before 't' shows that there's a missing letter(the way can't shows that there the missing letters 'no').

Thus, "'tis" in your example would it :

It is the voice of the lobster.

Other examples are :

'Tis the season to be jolly.
'My country, 'tis of thee.

A similar expression is 'tiwll

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