Etymology of Ghosts & Spirits

What shall I say about the word ghost..? What comes to mind? Ghost, spirit, haunting, TV, movies, ghost hunting! When I think of the word I am always led back to the tales of old, but also where the words ghost/ spirit originate.

     All through human history there has been belief in spirits, so much so the ancient Egyptians had named the spirit "Ka" a bird with a human head that left the body after death, or "Kneph." In Latin we have the word "Spiritus" meaning breath, "Spirare" and "Hubertus" When we get into the Greek we have "Pneuma" meaning air, "Spyridon" meaning spirit and "Spyros." When we get into the Hebrew, the word is "Ruak"meaning breath. In Roman times the word was "Spirito" and "Uberto" and "Ugo" stemming from the Latin. The Germanic name was "Hugubert" and "Hupprecht" meaning bright heart/ bright mind/ bright spirit, and also "Gast." In French the word was "Hugues" and "Hue" stemming from the german. Anglicizing from Latin and French we have the word "Spirit" in middle English. Also stemming from the Germanic we have the word "Gast' meaning spirit/ soul. To the Dutch the word "Geest." Back into the german "Gheist" to the Flemish, "Gheest" and finally into the English "Ghost." Of course there are many other words in history for these supernatural beings, but I have kept the blog to cover the 2 words, ghost and spirit. You will notice over the changing eras, the words used, and in their belief systems all stem back to the same roots, as the historic peoples must have noticed the same elements when encountering spirits... All coming from the air/ breath.

Dee McCullay - Dark History


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