Contrary to popular belief, the much-maligned use of the word “ax” in place of “ask” is neither new nor technically an error. The pronunciation can be traced back to the eighth century and derives from the Old English verb “acsian”, which meant “to demand”, “inquire”, or “seek”.
Everyone from Geoffrey Chaucer to the writers of the first English-language Bible utilized it. Nowadays, it’s associated mostly with people from the American South or the Caribbean, particularly those of African and Indian descent. Unfortunately, it also has a negative connotation, with many perceiving it as low-class or unprofessional.