Tag Archive | "Etymology"

God is just a big word

GodEtymology is the development of words, and like other words, “god” evolved. Without Old English, the word god has no meaning. That’s because the idea of word “god” resides in the origin the word.

“God” started from the Sanskrit word “hub” or “emu”. Later this will become the root of the Gothic term “gheu”. So the word god came from India, then it traveled to the Eastern Germanic Europeans and then to England in about 450 to 1050 CE. At that time, Bede and Adlhelm were translating the Bible from Old Latin to Old English.

So “deus” was transformed to “god” not because that was the Supreme Being’s name but because that was the language of the Anglo Saxons. Most Latin words were of Greco-Roman origin. The Latin deus came from the Greek word theos. So where did the word theos (θεός) come from? It was derived from the Proto-Indo-European root dhēs- which means “to call” or “to invoke”.

It was also said that the word theos was derived from two Greek verbs theoro (I see) and theo (to run). All seeing and all moving huh? Well that’s according to John Scuttus Eruigena.

But the name Zeus (The top god of Olympus) was derived from the Proto-Indo-European root dyeu- which means “to shine”. The notion of a deity was therefore linked to the notion of the bright sky. Well may I add that for Indo-Europeans, the society of the gods was conceived in the image of their own society as patriarchal.

Even the Filipino word diyos or dios came from the Spanish deos which can again be traced back from the Greek word theos. Another Filipino word for god is Bathala, from Sanskrit bhattara which means something honorific, something venerable, and worshipful.

So the word god is actually nothing but a label which embodied a being that is supposed to be Almighty. Without human ideas, “god” is nothing but a meaningless, hollow word.

I think the best meaning of the word god is the personification of human ideas of human qualities expanded beyond human limits.

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