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?

Views: 178

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I think it's OK to use "bye", taking God out of the phrase. "Be with you" is pleasantly vague. But I usually just say, "See you later," or some variant.
Perhaps in the archaeology of language we will discover 'Ugh' to be the first word...I shudder to think of it's meaning...

Oh well, it's all part of our history I guess. thank dog for evolution!
-snap!-
Now I can't remember how the Spanish went, except it had the words ultra ves ? something like that.

Otra vez- once again, one more time

Not too familiar with specificity of location affecting the greeting, but I would say that Spanish is an especially cordial language.
Ultra Vez sounds like a Spanglish-speaking master of time, space, and dimension.
Over the past couple of years I've been trying to eliminate the godtalk from my vocabulary. It's challenging, when there is so much of it in the general culture. I've finally managed to stop saying "oh my god" - that was was really difficult for me, as it was deeply ingrained.

You bring up a good point with "goodbye". While it has for the most part lost its original meaning, it is another example of godtalk permeating the culture. I often use "take care", "see you later", or "have a good one" depending on the circumstance.
And, yes, I do realize that my name is obviously christian. I enjoy the irony of it.
Aloha is a good alternative, especially after just finishing Scepticism Inc. by Bo Fowler. It's an easy read and it gave me an appreciation for the word "Aloha." There's just something about how the little shopping cart uses that word. Aloha!
Think of all the religious people who greet and take leave of each other with either "shalom" or "salaam", both of which just mean "peace". My 3-year-old daughter seems to have picked up "peace, out" as a leavetaking phrase from her daycare. Yes, we live in California. Oh. let's not forget "pax vobiscum"!
I've run into a lot of groovy doovy Murkans taking on "Namaste". One of its many meanings is "I salute the god within you".
'Peace out' Is definately a keeper! Love it! Thanks

RSS

line

Update Your Membership :

Membership

line

line

Nexus on Social Media:

line

© 2017   Atheist Nexus. All rights reserved. Admin: Richard Haynes.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service