Witness the devolution of a good word!


silk aug 2007-1Recently, while grooving to the Stevie Wonder tune “Very Superstitious”, I wondered at the origin of the word and how it managed to get such a bad rap.

Here’s what I found…

Superstition means:

cauldron11. a: a belief or practice resulting from ignorance, fear of the unknown, trust in magic or chance, or a false conception of causation
b: an irrational abject attitude of mind toward the supernatural, nature, or God resulting from superstition

2. a notion maintained despite evidence to the contrary

the 3 musesIt’s interesting to note that although the word has come to mean belief in the supernatural or magic, the ORIGIN of the word means “to witness” or “to survive” that which actually happens. This indicates that as religions changed from the old religions that accepted Natural phenomenon as the truth, to the new religion of a single God/supreme being who created and ruled over all, the old religions were considered ignorant or false.

 

old booksEtymology: First known use was in the 13th century. Derived from: Middle English [supersticion], from Anglo-French, from Latin superstition [superstitio, from superstit-, superstes, meaning standing over (as witness or survivor)], from super+stare, meaning [to stand].

Source: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/superstition

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