Word of the Week: Angel

Image result for angel englishToday we’re celebrating National English Language Day, which seemed way too far up our alley to ignore. It may seem like a bit of a stretch from “National English Language Day” to “Angel,” but the connection is definitely there.

It all starts with an old legend. In 597 Pope Gregory the Great was ambling about the market, where he found for sale a beautiful slave boy. When the he asked where the boy came from, the Pope was told that the boy came from “Angle Londe” or “Land of the Angles.” This is not a typo: the Angles were a northern Germanic tribe that settled in parts of Great Britain. The Pope, however, misheard this answer as “Land of Angels,” which seemed perfectly plausible given the boy’s appearance. The Pope could not accept that this Land of Angels existed outside of Christendom, and so began the Christianization of Great Britain. And with Christianity came literacy – the written English language was born because Pope Gregory wanted to save the souls of Angels (according to legend, at least…).

To celebrate the birth of the English language, here is “Angel” translated into a few other languages:

French: ange

Spanish: ángel

German: Engel

Greek: άγγελος (ángelos)

Mandarin: 天使 (Tiānshǐ)

Russian: ангел (angel)

Hindi: देवदूत (devadoot)


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