Etymology
Advertisement

Words related to Christmas

Christ (n.)

"the Anointed," synonymous with and translating to Greek  Hebrew mashiah (see messiah), a title given to Jesus of Nazareth; Old English crist (by 830, perhaps 675), from Latin Christus, from Greek khristos "the anointed," noun use of verbal adjective of khriein "to rub, anoint" (from PIE root *ghrei- "to rub").

In the primitive Church it was a title, and used with the definite article, but from an early period it was used without it and regarded as part of the proper name of Jesus. It was treated as a proper name in Old English, but not regularly capitalized until 17c. Pronunciation with long -i- is result of Irish missionary work in England, 7c.-8c. The ch- form, regular since c. 1500 in English, was rare before. Capitalization of the word begins 14c. but is not fixed until 17c.  The Latin term drove out Old English Hæland "healer, savior," as the preferred descriptive term for Jesus.

As an oath or strong exclamation (of surprise, dismay, etc.), attested by 1748. The 17c. mystical sect of the Familists edged it toward a verb with Christed "made one with Christ." Christ-child "Jesus as a baby" (1842) translates German Christkind.

Advertisement
mass (n.2)

"eucharistic service," Middle English messe, masse, from Old English mæsse, from Vulgar Latin *messa "eucharistic service," literally "dismissal," from Late Latin missa "dismissal," fem. past participle of mittere "to let go, send" (see mission).

Probably so called from the concluding words of the service, Ite, missa est, "Go, (the prayer) has been sent," or "Go, it is the dismissal." The Latin word sometimes was glossed in Old English as sendnes "send-ness." Meaning "musical setting of certain parts of the Catholic (or Anglican) liturgy" is by 1590s.

Christmassy (adj.)

"characteristic of or suitable for Christmas," 1852, from Christmas + -y (2).

Christmas-tide (n.)

also Christmastide, "period from Christmas Eve to Epiphany," 1620s, from Christmas + tide (n.).

*ghrei- 

ghrēi-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to rub." 

It forms all or part of: chrism; Christ; christen; Christian; Christmas; cream; grime; grisly; Kriss Kringle.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Greek khriein "to anoint, besmear;" Lithuanian grieju, grieti "to skim the cream off;" Old English grima "mask, helmet, ghost," Middle Low German greme "dirt."