English Etymology of Hell

hell (n.) also Hell, Old English hel, helle, “nether world, abode of the dead, infernal regions, place of torment for the wicked after death,” from Proto-Germanic *haljo “the underworld” (source also of Old Frisian helle, Old Saxon hellia, Dutch hel, Old Norse hel, German Hölle, Gothic halja “hell”). Literally “concealed place” (compare Old Norse hellir “cave, cavern”), from PIE root *kel-(1) “to cover, conceal, save.”

The English word may be in part from Old Norse mythological Hel (from Proto-Germanic *halija “one who covers up or hides something”), in Norse mythology the name of Loki’s daughter who rules over the evil dead in Niflheim, the lowest of all worlds (nifl “mist”). A pagan concept and word fitted to a Christian idiom. In Middle English, also of the Limbus Patrum, place where the Patriarchs, Prophets, etc. awaited the Atonement. Used in the KJV for Old Testament Hebrew Sheol and New Testament Greek Hades, Gehenna. Used figuratively for “state of misery, any bad experience” at least since late 14c. As an expression of disgust, etc., first recorded 1670s.

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Author: Online Etymology Dictionary

Keywords: Gehinnom, Valley of the Son of Hinnom, Moloch, Hinnom, valley of Ben-Hinnom, Valley of Hinnom, Ge Hinnom, Sons of Hinnom, Heavenly reward, Reward in heaven, Going home to heaven, Heavenly home, Loved ones in heaven, Die and go to heaven, Heaven, Do we go to heaven when we die, Where do we go when we die, Going to heaven, Heaven bound, Heavenbound, After death, After life, Afterlife, Annihilationism, Annihilation, Cast to hell, Cast down to hell, Chains of darkness, Damned go to hell, Death, Death state, Departing soul, Departing spirit, Destroyed in hell, destructionism, Dieing, Dominion of the grave, Do the wicked go to hell, Eternal fire, Eternal judgment, Eternal judgement, Eternal punishment, Eternal torment, Eternal hell, Eternal pit, Everlasting fire, Everlasting judgment, Everlasting judgment, Everlasting judgement, Everlasting hell, Everlasting hellfire, Everlasting hell fire, Everlasting pit, Everlasting punishment, Everlasting torment, Everlasting torture, Ever lasting fire, Ever lasting judgment, Ever lasting judgment, Ever lasting judgement, Ever lasting hell, Ever lasting hellfire, Ever lasting hell fire, Ever lasting pit, Ever lasting punishment, Ever lasting torment, Ever lasting torture, Eternal judgment, Eternal judgement, Eternal hell, Eternal hellfire, Eternal hell fire, Eternal pit, Eternal punishment, Eternal torment, Eternal torture, Eternal soul, extinctionism, Fable hell, Fabled hell, Fiery hell, Fire not quenched, Fire unquenched, Gehenna, Gehena, Gehenna fire, Gehena fire, Go to hell, Going to heaven, Grave, Gravedom, Hell, Hele, Hellfire, Hell fire, Hell forever, Hell real, Hades, Hinnom, Immortal spirit, Immortal soul, Immortality of the soul, Immortality of the spirit, Kill the soul, Lake of fire, Life in hell, Lost souls in hell, Never ending fire, Never ending hell, Placed in hell, Punished in hell, Punished for eternity, Punished in hell for eternity, Reserved in hell, Rich man Lazarus, Rich man Lazaras, Roasting in hell, Send to hell, Send people to hell, Sent to hell, Sheol, Sleeping in hell, Soul's immortality, Soul in hell, Soul punished in hell, Soul sleep, Soulsleep, Spirit in hell, Tartarus, There is no hell, Torment in hell, Tormented in hell, Underworld, Under world, Undieing worm, Undying worm, Unquenchable, Unquenchable fire, Waiting in hell, Wicked punished in hell, What happens when I die, What happens when we die, When the roll is called up yonder, Where do the lost go when they die, Where do the wicked go when they die, Where do we go when we die, Wicked hell, Worm does not die, Worm won't die, Worm will not die, Worm dieth not, Worm do not die, eternal reward, reward in heaven, heavenly reward, in the hands of an angry God, purgatory, limbo, Origen, Rob Bell

Bible reference(s): Deuteronomy 32:22, 2 Samuel 22:6, Job 7:9, Job 11:8, Job 14:13, Job 17:13, Job 21:13, Job 24:19, Job 26:6, Psalms 9:17, Psalms 16:10, Psalms 18:5, Psalms 30:3, Psa 31:17, Psa 49:14-15, Psalms 55:15, Psalms 86:13, Psa 88:3, Psalms 116:3, Psalms 139:8, Pro 1:12, Proverbs 5:5, Proverbs 7:27, Proverbs 9:18, Proverbs 15:11, Proverbs 15:24, Proverbs 23:14, Proverbs 27:20, Isaiah 5:14, Isaiah 14:9, Isaiah 14:15, Isaiah 28:15, Isaiah 28:18, Isaiah 57:9, Ezekiel 31:16, Ezekiel 31:17, Ezekiel 32:21, Ezekiel 32:27, Amos 9:2, Jonah 2:2, Habakkuk 2:5, Matthew 5:22, Matthew 5:29, Matthew 5:30, Matthew 10:28, Matthew 11:23, Matthew 16:18, Matthew 18:9, Matthew 23:15, Matthew 23:33, Mark 9:43, Mark 9:45, Mark 9:47, Luke 10:15, Luke 12:5, Luke 16:22-23, Acts 2:27, Acts 2:31, James 3:6, 2 Peter 2:4, Revelation 1:18, Revelation 6:8, Revelation 20:13, Revelation 20:14

Source: “Hell”

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