Why do we say o’clock?

“The `o’ is actually a contraction of `of’.  In the old days when someone asked an individual for the time, he would reply `eleven of the clock’.  So instead of eleven o’clock, they used to say `eleven of the clock’.

At times, they dropped `the’ and shortened the reply to `eleven of clock’. After some time, people began dropping the `f ‘ sound in `of ‘. So `of clock’ became `o’clock’.

Sourced from  ‘Know Your English’ Series – The Hindu Daily, June 6, 2005.

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