Old English be- (unstressed) or bi (stressed) "near, in, by, during, about," from Proto-Germanic *bi "around, about" (cf. Old Saxon and Old Frisian bi "by near," Middle Dutch bie , Dutch bij , German bei "by, at, near," Gothic bi "about"), from *umbi (cognate with second element in PIE *ambhi "around," cf. Sanskrit abhi "toward, to," Greek amphi- "around, about;" see ambi- ).
Originally an adverbial particle of place, in which sense it is retained in place names ( Whitby , Grimsby , etc.). Elliptical use for "secondary course" (opposed to main ; . byway , also cf. by-blow "illegitimate child," 1590s) was in Old English. This also is the sense of the second by in the phrase by the by (1610s). By the way literally means "in passing by" (mid-14c.); used figuratively to introduce a tangential observation by 1540s.
Phrase by and by (early 14c.) originally meant "one by one," modern sense is from 1520s. By and large (1660s) originally was nautical, "sailing to the wind and off it," hence "in one direction then another."
However, many other verses of equal relevance and appeal are to be found scattered throughout the Sutta Pitaka which remains virtually unknown. I thought it useful, therefore, to collect some of these verses, arrange them according to subject, and present them in such a way that they may enrich the faith and deepen the understanding of those who read them. Most of the verses are the words of the Buddha himself; a lesser number is attributed to his enlightened disciples. But even these reflect the spirit of the Buddha's Dhamma, for it is said: "That which is well spoken is the word of the Buddha." (A. IV, 164).