Re: What is "KURIAKOS"?

From: Maurice A. O'Sullivan (
Date: Fri May 21 1999 - 18:20:42 EDT

At 17:51 21/05/99 -0400, you wrote:
>Dear B-Greekers,
>Recently I had a friend of mine tell me that our English word "church" came
>from KURIAKOS. I looked it up in Perschbachers, and he has it translated as
>"pertaining to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord's". So I suppose that
>certainly makes sense, in that the church is the Lord's. But do we use the
>word "church" because of KURIAKOS? (He also said "church" is related to the
>German word, but I don't remember it.) I'd just never heard this before.

The etymology from the Shorter Oxford may help:

OE cir(i)ce, cyr(i)ce = OFris. szereke, szurka, tzierka, OS kirika, kerika
(Du. kerk), OHG chirihha, kiricha (G Kirche), f. WGmc f. med.Gk kurikon for
kuriakon use as n. (sc. doma house) of neut. of kuriakos pertaining to the
Lord, f. kurios master, lord. C <<<

By way of explanation, >>f. WGmc f. med.Gk << refers to WestGermanic and
medieval Greek.

And if you want to read a masterful survey of the entire history of Greek,
and especially the progress from classical to medieval and beyond, I
recommend :
Geoffrey Horrocks, Greek: a History of the Language and its Speakers
(Longman, 1997(

Hope this helps

Maurice A. O'Sullivan [ Bray, Ireland ]

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