Etymology
Advertisement
I.H.S. 
Old English, from Medieval Latin, representing Greek abbreviation of IHSOUS "Jesus," in which the character -H- is the capital of the Greek vowel eta. The Roman form would be I.E.S. Mistaken for a Latin contraction in the Middle Ages, after its Greek origin was forgotten, and sometimes treated as short for Iesus Hominum Salvator "Jesus Savior of Men." Alternative version I.H.C. (terminal -s- often was indicated in later Greek with a character resembling -c-) is found on vestments from 950 C.E., and may be the source of the H. in slang Jesus H. Christ.
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
Jesus 
personal name of the Christian Savior, late 12c.; it is the Greek form of Joshua, used variously in translations of the Bible. From Late Latin Iesus (properly pronounced as three syllables), from Greek Iesous, which is an attempt to render into Greek the Aramaic (Semitic) proper name Jeshua (Hebrew Yeshua, Yoshua) "Jah is salvation." This was a common Jewish personal name during the Hellenizing period; it is the later form of Hebrew Yehoshua (see Joshua).

Old English used hælend "savior." The common Middle English form was Jesu/Iesu, from the Old French objective case form, from Latin oblique form Iesu (genitive, dative, ablative, vocative), surviving in some invocations. As an oath, attested from late 14c. For Jesus H. Christ (1924), see I.H.S. First record of Jesus freak is from 1970.
Related entries & more