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#3385 - 06/08/00 08:41 AM Etymology of Easter
Brandon Offline

Registered: 03/16/00
Posts: 218
Loc: Mountain West, USA

Please, derive no religious overtones (or undertones) from this query.

I'm looking to confirm an etymology for the Christian holiday Easter. Specifically, are there any Jewish (Aramaic, Semitic, or other Middle East) language connections with the roots of the word "Easter?" My current gives the common Pagan "Eastre" with a deeper note as tot he origin of Eastre lying within the history of "East" (the direction). "East" itself is listed as having Latin, Greek, and Sanskrit origins. Anything further?

#3386 - 06/08/00 10:43 AM Re: Etymology of Easter
tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10532
Loc: this too shall pass
originally, name of pagan vernal [spring time] festival almost coincident in date with paschal [passover] festival of the church... [from Webster's New World Dictionary]
...from prehistoric WGmc name of pagan spring festival, derived from the root of east. [from Webster's Third New International]
...Eástre, a goddess of light or spring [or dawn], in honor of whom a festival was celebrated in April [from Webster's Revised Unabridged, 1913 Edition]

and 'east' itself is as you say. if the festival is "prehistoric", I don't think we'll get much further back. <g>


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