Halloween Etymology

Halloween Etymology

Halloween Etymology

All About Halloween!

This is the first post in my week long series about Halloween.

Today, we’re going to look at the etymology of the word Halloween. Etymology is the study of the origin of words and how they have changed over time.

Halloween, or Hallowe’en is a short form of the Scottish word Allhallow-even or All Hallows’ Even.
Hallow is an Old English word for saint, that’s why All Hallows’ Eve is sometimes called All Saints’ Eve.
Eve or even (Scottish) is a short form of the word evening.
So Hallowe’en or Halloween is a contraction of Allhallow-even / All Hallows’ Eve(n). It means holy evening.

This means the word and the tradition originated in Europe, but more about that in my next post 😉

Vocabulary (in order of appearance)

Old English: the English language before 1100 AD
saint: a holy person in Christianity
contraction: (here) short form
originated in: began to exist, came into existence

Sources:
Etymonline.com (accessed on 24.10.13)
Etymonline.com (accessed on: 24.10.13)

Further reading:
Halloween History
Halloween Themed Idioms
What’s a Jack-O’-Lantern

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  1. Pingback: Free Halloween Worksheet | Discover English Blog

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