Saturday, December 22, 2012

Bah! Humbug! As Far As the Curse Is Found

1. Humbug is an old word of indeterminate etymology meaning “spectacle” or “hoax” or “jest,” often referring to some unjustified reputation or publicity.

2. Of course, the word is most often associated with Ebenezer Scrooge, a character created by Charles Dickens in The Christmas Carol. He famously dismissed Christmas declaring, “Bah! Humbug!” Interestingly, variations of the term make appearances in any number of European languages:

3. Humbug may well be derived from the Old Norse words hum, meaning “night” or “shadow” or “dark air,” and bugges, a variant of bogey, meaning “apparition” or "ghost."

4. In Icelandic, húm means “twilight.” 

5. In Faeroese, hómi means “unclear.” 

6. Humi in Swedish means “dark suspicion.” This word may well be derived from the Old Swedish verb hymla, still in use, which means “to conceal," "to hide," or "to evade the truth.”

7. In Old English and Anglo Saxon, hum means “to deceive.” And bugges is a word that appears in Wyclif’s earliest translation of the English Bible meaning “specter.” And that may well be derived from the much older Celtic word bwg, meaning “scarecrow.” 

8. But, it could also be derived from the Early Italian, uomo bugiardo, which literally means “lying man.”

9. Uim-bog is supposed to mean “soft copper” in Ancient Gaelic—still used in Ireland as slang for “worthless money.”

10. In other words, “Bah! Humbug!” may very well be an apt declaration for Christmas (much to the chagrin of Scrooge): it is the declaration that Christ has come to expose the fraudulence, the impotence, the bugaboo nonsense of this poor fallen world; but even more, He has come to replace the dark specters, the apparitional hoaxes of sin, the evasions of the truth at the heart of sin. 

11. Thus: He has come to make His blessings flow as far as the curse is found.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Merry Eleventary X3

Gëzuar Krishtlindja--Albanian
Een Plesierige Kerfees--Afrikaans
Schenorhavor Dzenount--Armenian
Chestita Koleda, весела коледа--Bulgarian
Felices Pascuas--Catalonian
Srecan Bozic--Croatian
Vesele Vanoce--Czech
Glaedelig Jul--Danish
Zalig Kerstfeest--Dutch
Roomsaid Joulu Puhi--Estonian
Idah Saidan Wa Sanah Jadidah--Farsi

Hauskaa Joulu--Finnish
Vrolijke Kerstmis--Flemish
Joyeux Noel--French
Nodlaig Nait Cugat--Gaelic
Frohliche Weihnachten--German
Kala ChristooyennaΚαλά Χριστούγεννα--Greek
Mele Kalikimaka--Hawaiian
Khag Same'ach, חג שמח--Hebrew
Boldog Karacsony--Hungarian
Buon Natale--Italian
Meri Kurisumasu--Japanese

Selamat Hari Krismas--Malay
Kung His Hsin Nien, 圣诞快乐--Mandarin
Gledelig Jul--Norwegian
Boas Festas--Portuguese
Sarbatori Vesele--Romanian
Hristos se Rodi--Serbian
Feliz Navidad--Spanish
Glad Jul--Swedish
Maligayang Pasko--Tagalog
Noeliniz Ve Yeni Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun--Turkish
Chrystos Rozdzajetsia Slawyte Jeho--Ukranian