Printable Version
Pronunciation: hæ-lê-lu-yê Hear it!

Part of Speech: Interjection, noun

Meaning: 1. (Interjection) An interjection of unexpected joy or relief. 2. (Noun) An exclamation of "Hallelujah!" or piece of music based on it.

Notes: This word is a spelling nightmare. Don't forget the [y] sound is spelled with J used in most European languages for that sound or to double the first [l] sound, LL. Many people forget the final H; don't you. Here at alphaDictionary we had a "hallelujah" moment on September 28, 2023, when our 4000th Good Word came out.

In Play: We all have "hallelujah" moments. We might hear a student shout: "Hallelujah! Exams are over!" Parents occasionally feel like we do today, "Hallelujah! The kids are off to camp for the rest of the summer!" But, then, so do the kids: "Hallelujah! The 'rents are gone for the weekend!"

Word History: Today's Good Word was taken whole by English and other European languages from Medieval Latin hallelujah, borrowed from Greek allelouia, which purloined it from Hebrew hallalu-yah "praise ye Jehovah", comprising hallelu, the imperative plural of hallel "to praise; song of praise", from hillel "he praised" + -yah, combining form of Yahweh "Jehovah". Yahweh is the hypothetical reconstruction of the tetragrammaton YHWH (or JHWH), abbreviated because the name of God is ineffable, unspeakable. The best guess is that Yahweh is some older variant of the word ha-ya "to be, exist" similar to yihyeh "he will (continue to) be".

Dr. Goodword,

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