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HALLOWEEN

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HALLOWEEN

Postby Dr. Goodword » Mon Oct 30, 2006 11:37 pm

• Halloween •

Pronunciation: hæ-lê-ween • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun, proper

Meaning: The night before All Saints Day, when English-speaking children run about (if not amuck) in scary costumes representing the menacing spirits of the dead. It is the tradition to play pranks on neighbors or offer them immunity from such pranks in exchange for treats, a practice known as "trick or treat".

Notes: Today's word is a blend of Allhallowmas and even, the predecessor of evening. The Catholic Church of England, like other churches, tried to preempt pagan holidays with holidays of its own (which is why Christmas is set midwinter rather than in the spring when Christ was more likely born). The Church chose the day of Samhain [so-win] as the vigil for their celebration of all the saints. Samhain was set at the end of summer and the onset of winter, the season of death. The Celts believed that on this night the spirits of the dead returned to mingle with those of the living. The confusion of the two holidays led many early English Catholics to believe that the dead arose on Halloween, too.

In Play: The result of this confusion was the odd combination of the profane and sacred we now celebrate October 31 and, some of us, November 1, too. The pumpkin lantern (jack-o'-lantern) was originally a hollowed turnip lantern placed in windows on Halloween to scare away the spirits of the dead that were supposed to wander about that night. The costumes children will wear tonight descend from the days when kids dressed up like those spirits, such as the skeleton, ghosts and goblins, to take advantage of the beliefs of their elders and play tricks on them.

Word History: Hallow comes from Middle English halwen, the descendant of Old English halgian. It derives from the same source as hale as in hale and hearty and the greeting, Hail!, which led to the verb, to hail. Both these words are cousins of heal, the root of health. Heal is akin to German heil "health, salvation", the German word term used in that most unholy of salutes, Heil Hitler! "Hail, Hitler" and Sieg Heil! "Hail Victory!", used by Nazis during World War II.
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Postby sluggo » Tue Oct 31, 2006 2:08 am

I see Doc didn't mention the spelling Hallowe'en... sigh :(

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Re: HALLOWEEN

Postby George Campbell » Tue Oct 31, 2006 12:37 pm

Dr. Goodword wrote:• Halloween •

Pronunciation: hæ-lê-ween • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun, proper

Meaning: The night before All Saints Day, when English-speaking children run about (if not amuck) in scary costumes representing the menacing spirits of the dead. It is the tradition to play pranks on neighbors or offer them immunity from such pranks in exchange for treats, a practice known as "trick or treat".

Notes: Today's word is a blend of Allhallowmas and even, the predecessor of evening. The Catholic Church of England, like other churches, tried to preempt pagan holidays with holidays of its own (which is why Christmas is set midwinter rather than in the spring when Christ was more likely born). The Church chose the day of Samhain [so-win] as the vigil for their celebration of all the saints. Samhain was set at the end of summer and the onset of winter, the season of death. The Celts believed that on this night the spirits of the dead returned to mingle with those of the living. The confusion of the two holidays led many early English Catholics to believe that the dead arose on Halloween, too.

In Play: The result of this confusion was the odd combination of the profane and sacred we now celebrate October 31 and, some of us, November 1, too. The pumpkin lantern (jack-o'-lantern) was originally a hollowed turnip lantern placed in windows on Halloween to scare away the spirits of the dead that were supposed to wander about that night. The costumes children will wear tonight descend from the days when kids dressed up like those spirits, such as the skeleton, ghosts and goblins, to take advantage of the beliefs of their elders and play tricks on them.

Word History: Hallow comes from Middle English halwen, the descendant of Old English halgian. It derives from the same source as hale as in hale and hearty and the greeting, Hail!, which led to the verb, to hail. Both these words are cousins of heal, the root of health. Heal is akin to German heil "health, salvation", the German word term used in that most unholy of salutes, Heil Hitler! "Hail, Hitler" and Sieg Heil! "Hail Victory!", used by Nazis during World War II.
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Halloween

Postby George Campbell » Tue Oct 31, 2006 12:42 pm

In "Halloween" it mentions that "most unholy of salutes, "Heil Hitler". However, in Austria and Germany "Heil" is a very common and normal salute still used in many special greetings, e.g. Schi Heil for skiers, Berg Heil for mountain climbers, Weidmanns Heil for hunters, etc.
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Postby skinem » Tue Oct 31, 2006 12:47 pm

Post Heil, George!
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