One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Frequently with the. An elderly person, especially one's father or mother; (Irish English and Liverpool) an old woman; also applied familiarly to a person who is deceased. Also, in oral cultures: a senior member of a social group, especially one who preserves the history and traditions of the group.
2In plural With the. Usually with capital initials. = "Anasazi".
Mid 17th century; earliest use found in Henry More (1614–1687), philosopher, poet, and theologian. From old + one.
old one/ˈəʊl(d) wʌn/
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