Re: deception in perception

From: Robert Schneider (
Date: Thu Jul 25 2002 - 00:20:47 EDT

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    Stuart writes:

    > Recently, it occurred to me that the word 'devil' is probably a
    > contraction of 'do evil' = d'evil =devil. I wonder if anyone has any
    > further hard information that might support this.

    Etymology from Bob the Classics Prof. (courtesy of Webster's Third College

         "devil" <ME "devel" <OE "deofol" < LL(E) [Late Latin, Ecclesiastical]
    "diabolus" <Gr "diabolos," n. from v. "diaballein," "to slander," lit., "to
    throw across." The Gr. form appears in both the LXX, where it translates
    Hebr. "Satan," and the NT, whence it becomes the common term used in both
    Greek and Latin patristic literature.

         "Diabolos" is one of the many words in Greek that were latinized as
    Greek-speaking Gentile Christianity became established in the Latin-speaking
    portions of the Roman Empire. This was probably due in large part to the
    fact that the Liturgy in those portions was originally celebrated in Greek
    (in Rome Greek was the language of worship as late as the 3rd c.) and only
    later rendered into Latin. That is why so many words in Church Latin (e.g.,
    episcopus, ecclesia, baptismum) are simply transliterations of Greek words.

         So, when someone slanders us and we respond by saying, "You devil!" we
    are using the term correctly.


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