a ghost word from the 1611 translation of the Bible, where it originally was a two-word noun-adjective phrase translating Latin adjutorium simile sibi [Genesis ii.18] as "an help meet for him," and meaning literally "a helper like himself." See help (n.) + meet (adj.). By 1670s it was hyphenated help-meet and mistaken as a modified noun. Compare helpmate. The original Hebrew is 'ezer keneghdo.