Goodbye - I’m sure that you have overheard people from various religious and cultural groups as they slip into their comfortable statements of god or the divine while they meet or depart, “Bless you,” “Peace be upon him,“ “Adieu” or “Adios.” Do you find yourself doing the same thing?

For about the past 20 years I’ve rolling my eyes, muttering something to myself like, “Good grief” or raising an eyebrow in contempt of their pious salutations. It is now time for me to consider bidding farewell to a statement of my own - Goodbye.

Without giving it a second thought this lifelong atheist has said hello and goodbye to friends, family and strangers. While speaking French or Spanish I have consciously avoided saying Adieu or Adios since the religious connection to the words seemed all to obvious and made me feel uncomfortable…unlike the word goodbye.

‘Goodbye’ slipped into our vernacular about 430 years ago and made itself at home with theists, atheist, agnostics and the rest of the English speaking population. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary the etymology of the word goodbye is an “alteration of God be with you [from] circa 1580.”

So there it is – another harmless word that will make me stop and consider the impact that it could have on future generations. Should I continue to weed out words while hoping that they will someday disappear from common use? Should I try to change the meaning of the word god, which seems like an easier task? What would you do?

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(Psssst! Judith! The link I posted contains the etymology of "hello".)
One day people will start to get annoyed at people who look things up on wikipedia. I am also one of those. Oh great oracle, what is the meaning of Hallelujah.......blmdmblmdumblblblbllbl...

"In the Hebrew Bible hallelujah is actually a two-word phrase, not one word. The first part, hallelu, is the second-person imperative masculine plural form of the Hebrew verb hallal.[2] However, "hallelujah" means more than simply "praise Yah", as the word hallel in Hebrew means a joyous praise, to boast in God, or to act madly or foolishly.[3] The second part, Yah, is a shortened form of the name of God YHWH, sometimes rendered in English as "Yahweh" or "Jehovah"

so...... Is it coincidence that Hallal is so close to hello? Or Has Judith discovered an entymological conundrum? I vote for the latter. (I realize that entymology is not a democratic process, but this is silliness anyway)
Judith: No, it didn't mention hallelujah.

You am one of those what, Daniel?

"Hallal" makes me think of "Halal". Therefore, it is permissible.

I'm not going to stop using words just because they derived from a religious origin. Would you stop using the word "good" altogether?

Whenever Christians try to point out that I use words that have a theistic meaning or origin, I simply point out that many, if not most, of the days of the week, months of the year, and planets of our solar system are named after pagan gods. That usually shuts them up pretty quick.
I'm also rather fond of "Gadzooks! "God's hooks" makes me think that the big G might moonlight as the proprietor of an art gallery.
I believe "zounds" is from "god's wounds" and, like many exclamations from that era, came from a prohibited oath, in this case, swearing by god's (=jesus') wounds.
I heartily agree. Have you really had Christians point that out to you? Well, anyway, nice reply with the days of the week. Hope that doesn't mean they'll come up with "alternate" names they'll start using a la Felch's example above.
An old friend used to say "Until soon!", so now I often use it.
Referring to a deity or ‘mystic’ powers is still something that I prefer to abstain from, however, FreeThinker makes a good point about the extent of religious influence on our language. I’m sure that I’ll still say ‘bye’ as I have been, but I’ll also look at the people saying “God speed,” “Bless you,” “Peace be upon him,” and all that with a different slant – perhaps with a little less contempt.

Any idea how to get the meaning of a word changed in a dictionary? I’d like to start a petition to add ‘fictional’ to the meaning of ‘god.’ That should solve my dilemma.

Change is inevitable except from a vending machine...




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