Etymology found on the net

The etymology for salvation isn’t particularly interesting; it’s basically just what you’d expect. The word derives from Latin salvus, meaning “safe”. The Proto-Indo-European (PIE) root is sol-wo-, from sol-, meaning “whole”. The same root is responsible for (for instance) the English words soldier, solicit and solemn.
But there is an interesting bit of linguistic trivia here! What do you think of when you hear salvation? You think of religion, specifically Christianity, and more specifically Catholicism. But from where do we get Catholicism? The oldest meaning of the word in English is actually “universal”, and thus the catholic church basically meant “the universal church”. The word doesn’t crop up in English until the sixteenth century, presumably because before the reformation, there was really no need to refer to the “church of Rome” specifically as it was the really only game in town when it comes to Christianity (in England, at least). The word itself derives from Greek kata-, “about, concerning” and holos, “the whole”. Hence “universal”. And from where do we get holos? You guessed it: it comes from PIE sol-wo-!
That means that not only is salvation a hugely important concept in Catholicism, but the two words are, in fact, cognate!
Isn’t that fascinating?! At least, I think so! Anyone else? Oh, come on you guys! Catholicism and salvation sounds nothing alike, but they are still related! That’s totally cool… don’t you think? No? Just me then?

Quite interesting.

I love etymology and enjoyed that exposition. But I never talk about it for fear I will say *entomology instead! :slight_smile: *

What do you think of when you hear salvation?

When I hear about “salvation”, I always think of “salivation”, as in salivating or “drooling” about the expectation of something. But that is just me. :slight_smile:

There are lots of bugs to be found on the web. Let’s just hope they don’t infest our computers! :eek:

I enjoy etymology, but I think we need to be careful about suggesting that words with a common origin tell us something about the social or theological importance of a concept thousands of years ago.

For example, the English words “family” and “familiar” are related to one another via the Latin “familiaris” which referred to a domestic servant of a family. However, that doesn’t mean that that to familiarize yourself means to become a servant or that domestic servants were thought to be connected to the supernatural world (in the sense of a familiar being a physical manifestation of a spirit acting as a colleague of a witch.)

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