Why was a person called a person?

Jan Veselova
Jan Veselova
July 6, 2012

The word "person" is included in our spoken language since childhood, and one day each of us begins to wonder: why was a person called a person and nothing else? Let's take a look at the most famous versions of its origin.

Versions of the word's origin

To date, there are many versions of the origin of the word "person". But we will highlight the main four:

  1. As it is known, the word "man" comes from the Old Slavonic (Orthodox) "whole person", which consists of two words: whole - (whole) and veche - (collection). Thus, the word "person" denotes a unified whole and implies a living being, which at the same time unites Spirit, Body and Soul.
  2. Since in the usual Old Slavonic the word "man" sounds like "human", it can be guessed that it came from two words: man - (forehead) and veche - (popular assembly in Russia in the X-XI centuries. Solving questions of war and the world that passed laws, concluded treaties, etc.).
  3. If you look at the etymological dictionary A.Preobrazhensky, one can come across such an interpretation: man - (healthy, whole); century - (power); Consequently, the "man" is full force.
  4. But in order to find out exactly why a person was called a person, it is important to familiarize yourself with another version. Once there was the word "celovek" from which the Latvian word came "cilveks" - (man). The first part of the word "celo" is related to the word "servant", also related to the ancient Indian "kulam", meaning "kind, family, herd, multitude", Greek "tљloj", meaning "crowd", Lithuanian "kiltis, kiltis", meaning "kind "and Irish" clan, cland ", meaning" gender, offspring. " The second part of the word is related to the Lithuanian word "vaikas", meaning "child, boy" and Latvian "vaiks", which means the same as the ancient Prussian word "waix" - "servant".

In the XIII century, the word "man" was already mentioned in ancient Russian literature. It was then that the Prayer of Daniel Zatochnik, written by him to his prince Yaroslav Vladimirovich, appeared, representing the message of Daniel to prince Pereyaslavl Yaroslav Vsevolodovich.

Over the years, the word has been transformed into Russian - "man", the meaning of which can also be found in the Church Dictionary of Archpriest G.Dyachenko: "a creature with a face raised up to the sky, as the goal of being and the future dwelling", and in Ukrainian - "cholovik", which has several meanings:

  1. outdated peasant;
  2. A male person;
  3. The same as people;
  4. Married husband

Thus, having familiarized with some of the versions of the origin, one can be sure that the word "man" does not have a generally accepted etymology, but regardless of this, it is used in the speech of people from the most ancient years. Nevertheless, we hope that you have found for yourself the correct answer to the question of why a person was called a person.