Are there word elements, including suffixes, from Old English or other languages that have been linked to their ancient deities and the people that served them, to which these elements are still in use today in the evolution of their language? e.g.:

Jehovah/Jesus Christ a.k.a. Cristos; Christus derived to: Christian; Christianity; Christen; Christendom; Christening; Christhood; Christmas; Christadelphinian & Anti-Christ to name a few. The suffix 'ist' has been applied to many modern English words over the centuries. Have other deities produced this kind of impact upon society?

I hope this clarifies better what I am asking for the sake of the academic community.

  • Could you give some examples? – fdb Jul 31 '14 at 18:49
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    Is this the sort of thing you're talking about? – jlawler Jul 31 '14 at 19:14
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    Do you mean full words to? Does venereal qualify as deriving from Venus, or martial deriving from Mars? - - - I was not quite able to parse this 3 lines question. – babou Jul 31 '14 at 19:56
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    The Runic letter ng, the name Ingwas, and the suffix -ing have absolutely nothing to do with each other. – fdb Aug 1 '14 at 11:17
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    The -ist- in Greek Christos (English Christ) is part of the word. It has no connection with the suffix -istes (English -ist). – fdb Aug 4 '14 at 17:06

I assumed the question implied words other than the days of the week, interesting because different but "functionally" related deities have named them such as Frigg in English for Friday, and Venus in French for vendredi.

I guess it also excluded the names of planets and other bodies of the solar system, which are direct reuses. However some of them produced derived word. For example martian, originally intended to denote the inhabitants of planet Mars, has become common enough to be sometimes used to just mean extra-terrestrial being.

You have many words, often adjectives, with a meaning related to characteristics or attributes of the gods, for example:

venereal: having to do with physical love, mostly used in medical context.

aphrodisiac: substance that increases sexual desire, from the Greek goddes Aphrodite

martial: related to fight and army, from Mars, Roman god of war.

jovial: from the Roman god Iupiter (genitive Iovis)

bacchanal: a crazed party with drunken revelry

cereal: and all derived words, from Ceres, Roman goddess of agriculture.

volcano: and all derived words, from Vulcan, the name of a god of fire in Roman mythology.

vulcanize: and all derived words, from Vulcan, the name of a god of fire in Roman mythology

hermetic: from Hermes, via the vocabulary of alchemy.

The names of many chemical element s derive from names of ancient gods:

Cerium: named after the asteroid Ceres, named itself after the Roman goddess;
Copernicium named after Copernicus, western god of astronomy;
Helium: named after the greek Helios, the sun or sun-god;
Iridium: named after the greek Iris, goddess of rainbows;
Mercury: named after the Roman god Mercury;
Neptunium: named after the planet Neptune, named itself after the Roman god;
Palladium: named after the asteroid Ceres,named itself after the Greek goddess Pallas Athena;
Plutonium: Named after Pluto, named itself after the Roman god Pluto;
Uranium: after the planet Uranus, itself named for the greek god Ouranos;
Vanadium: from Vanadís, one of the names of the Vanr goddess Freyja in Norse mythology;

and a few others to be found in the list of chemical element name etymologies

And to end this list, which is certainly far from complete, one word referring to two gods, one male and one female: Hermaphrodite.


Days of week may be a good example of what you are looking for.
In many IE languages, names of those are derived from ancient deities representing individual planets.

In most Indian languages, the word for Sunday is Ravivāra or Adityavāra or its derived forms — vāra meaning day, Aditya and Ravi both being a style (manner of address) for Surya, the chief solar deity and one of the Adityas.Wikipedia

In many Languages of India, the word for Monday is derived from Sanskrit Somavāra. Soma is another name of the Moon god in Hinduism.Wikipedia

  • I do not know what this is supposed to prove. The seven-day week originated in the Near East and the Mediterranean world. It was introduced into India by the Muslims. It has no relevance for Indo-European reconstructions. – fdb Aug 1 '14 at 11:06

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