Does anyone know where our English word “God” came from?
[quote=trumpet152]Does anyone know where our English word “God” came from?
“god” came from Old English, like most of the other short words still remaining in Modern. The earliest recorded use is in the Vespasian Psalter, from around AD 825, both capitalised and uncapitalised.
How it came to OE is mostly guesswork, then, but it may be related to an Old Irish word for “voice”.
I found this in the catholic encyclopedia:
Etymology of the Word “God”
(Anglo-Saxon God; German Gott; akin to Persian khoda; Hindu khooda).
God can variously be defined as:
the proper name of the one Supreme and Infinite Personal Being, the Creator and Ruler of the universe, to whom man owes obedience and worship;
the common or generic name of the several supposed beings to whom, in polytheistic religions, Divine attributes are ascribed and Divine worship rendered;
the name sometimes applied to an idol as the image or dwelling-place of a god.
The root-meaning of the name (from Gothic root gheu; Sanskrit hub or emu, “to invoke or to sacrifice to”) is either “the one invoked” or “the one sacrificed to.” From different Indo-Germanic roots (div, “to shine” or “give light”; thes in thessasthai “to implore”) come the Indo-Iranian deva, Sanskrit dyaus (gen. divas), Latin deus, Greek theos, Irish and Gaelic dia, all of which are generic names; also Greek Zeus (gen. Dios, Latin Jupiter (jovpater), Old Teutonic Tiu or Tiw (surviving in Tuesday), Latin Janus, Diana, and other proper names of pagan deities. The common name most widely used in Semitic occurs as 'el in Hebrew, 'ilu in Babylonian, 'ilah in Arabic, etc.; and though scholars are not agreed on the point, the root-meaning most probably is “the strong or mighty one.”
The best guess concerning how the word god came into English is that it derives from a Indo-European root **gheu-, * which means, in one form, “that which is called upon.” This became the word for a deity in the Germanic languages (e.g., German Gott). It is related to the Sanskrit hu or khu, which also means god.
We’ll never be certain regarding IE roots, as there is no written record of the original proto-IE mother language. All we can do is reconstruct forms from their descendants.
Here’s a page from a website which contains some of the etymologies found in popular dictionaries. I **do not ** endorse anything else on the site; the author has, however, put together a nice list here without getting too technical: