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I've always wondered this. Yes, it means "you" but it must directly translate into a more formal "you," correct?

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"thou" was the singular form in English, not the plural. Also related. –  user508 Sep 14 '11 at 17:25

2 Answers 2

Originally, "thou" was used if you were addressing a single person, whereas "you" was used for addressing more people. Thou was saved only for intimate or disrespectful uses. So really it was more like "thou" was the same as "du", and "you" was the same as "ihr."

Sources: Wikipedia's article about Thou

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Thou, thee, thine= Du, dich, dein. You can almost see the resemblance.

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I think, thou didst mean "Thou can almost see the resemblance." –  musiKk Sep 14 '11 at 17:09
    
What I see here is a sound shift. early Old High German thou/thu → classical OHG dū, du (English thou, Icelandic þú : Low German dü, German du) –  feeela Sep 14 '11 at 21:19
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@musiKk: Shouldn't that be "thou canst"? Which, again, has a strong resemblance to "du kannst". –  Martin B Sep 23 '11 at 20:50

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