One Word Each Day Pages

Sunday, April 23, 2017

63. Hallow | Learn One Word Today

A manhole cover of interesting design along with text: 'hallow' and its meaning.

{Letters ~ 6  Syllables ~ 2}
{Scrabble score▪12}
(v.) Render holy by means of religious rites.
Wolfram Alpha


(v.) To make holy or set apart for holy use. 
(v.) To respect greatly: venerate.

Synonym Discussion of 'Hallow'
'devote,' 'dedicate,' 'consecrate,' and  'hallow' mean to set apart for a special and often higher end. devote is likely to imply compelling motives and often attachment to an objective (devoted his evenings to study). 'Dedicate' implies solemn and exclusive devotion to a sacred or serious use or purpose (dedicated her life to medical research). 'Consecrate' stresses investment with a solemn or sacred quality (consecrate a church to the worship of God). 'Hallow,' often differing little from 'dedicate' or 'consecrate,' may distinctively imply an attribution of intrinsic sanctity (battlegrounds hallowed by the blood of patriots).

Etymology of 'Hallow':
hallow (v.) Old English halgian "to make holy, sanctify; to honor as holy, consecrate, ordain," related to halig "holy," from Proto-Germanic *hailagon (source also of Old Saxon helagon, Middle Dutch heligen, Old Norse helga), from PIE root *kailo- "whole, uninjured, of good omen" (see health). Used in Christian translations to render Latin sanctificare. Related: Hallowed; hallowing. Halloween (n.) also Hallow-e'en, Hallow e'en, 1781, in a Scottish context, the word and the magical lore about the date were popularized by Burns' poem (1785, and he attached a footnote explaining it), but it probably dates to 17c. in Scotland and is attested as the name of a tune in 1724.

The tune is mentioned again in an English-Scots songbook ("The Chearful Companion") in 1783, and Burns was not the first to describe the customs in print. Hallow-E'en, or Holy Eve, is the evening previous to the celebration of All Saints.

That it is propitious to the rites of divination, is an opinion still common in many parts of Scotland. [John Main, footnote to his poem "Hallow-E'en," Glasgow, 1783] It is a Scottish shortening of Allhallow-even "Eve of All Saints, last night of October" (1550s), the last night of the year in the old Celtic calendar, where it was Old Year's Night, a night for witches.

A pagan holiday given a cursory baptism. See hallow (n.) + even (n.); also see hallows. Hallow-day for "All-Saints Day" is from 1590s; earlier was halwemesse day (late 13c.). hallows (n.) in All-Hallows, a survival of hallow in the noun sense of "holy personage, saint," attested from Old English haligra but little used after c. 1500. Hallowmas "All-saints" is first attested late 14c.


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