Word for Wednesday: Banshee

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Our Word for Wednesday theme for October is Halloween.

The word Halloween likely dates to the seventeenth century but was popularised in the Burns poem ‘Halloween’ which was written in 1785. It is a Scottish abbreviation of ‘Allhallow-even’ which means ‘Eve of the All Saints’.  ‘Hallow’ means ‘holy person’ or ‘saint’. 

Last week, we looked at the word witch and today’s word is banshee.

A banshee is a female spirit from Irish folklore whose wailing, screeching, or keening foretells impending death.

The word banshee has been used in English since 1711 and is a phonetic spelling of the Irish ‘bean sidhe’ which means ‘female of the elves’. ‘Bean sidhe’ comes from ‘bean’ meaning ‘woman’ and ‘sidhe’ meaning ‘fairy’ or ‘sid’ meaning ‘fairy mound


12 Oct 2022
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