Origin of English word EVIL

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English Word

EVIL

Edenic Word

[A]VeL

Hebrew Word

עול

Transliteration

Ayin-Vav-Lamed

Pronounciation

AH-VELL

Conversion

[EVL]

Meaning

Injustice.

Roots

Despite Middle English forms of evil like uvel, dictionaries offer us the Indo-European base upo (up from under) or the Indo-European “root” wep (bad, evil) as the source of EVIL.

  עול [A]VeL is "iniquity" in Deuteronomy32:4;    עולה [A]VLaH is injustice or wrong.


Branches

[A] VaH (to sin, do wrong), [A]VOAN (sin),  [A]VeN (wickedness), ABHayRaH (sin – see “ABBERATION”),  NaBHaL ("a vile person"), BiLeeY[A]hL (wickedness, a VILLAIN),  (N)aFaL (to fall) and  APHayLaH (darkness) are all related, negative bilabial-L terms.

English terms like BALE (evil), VILE and VILLAIN are better placed in the bad company above. German “evil” is ubel. DEVIL and German Teufel (devil) might feel at home with these, especially with TiFLaH (unsavoriness, obscenity – Jeremiah 23:13) rather than the etymology from hell for Greek diabolos (devil): Greek dia (across) + ballein (to throw). . . thus to slander.  I guess a third baseman who throws across the diamond is a slanderous demon.

The KJV renders TiFlaH as “folly,” but evil is FOLLY theologically speaking.  Perhaps the colloquial AWFUL (very bad, ugly, unpleasant) is connected to these like-sounding Hebrew terms. It may have been confused with the "full of awe" AWFUL which has opposite meanings, like "worthy of reverence."

See VILE.


Related Words

VILE



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