Pray Tell
I need to know what this means, I have a friengd who says this often and his wife thinks of it as cursing. He says he has used this phrase all of his life but doesn,t know what it means.
It's a bit archaic, and abbreviated at that, but fairly straight forward. It's elliptical for "I pray thee to tell me of this subject." This old-fashioned sense of pray is along the lines of request, plea, or ask. "Please tell [me about it]."
Frank Pierce
...and of course, a prayer is in simplest form, a request, albeit to God.

Unless we think of praying as cursing, it's a stretch to think of it as a curse. His wife is far too sensitve, too anxious to show piety or something.

Of course, the words "pray tell" have taken on a life of their own, almost a noise word for a request for explanation. It's not all that obsolete, actually. I hear it frequently.

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