εὖ + ἔχω

Validation

Yes

Word-form

εὐχή

Transliteration (Word)

eukhē

English translation (word)

prayer

Transliteration (Etymon)

eu + ekhō

English translation (etymon)

well + to have

Author

Orion

Century

5 AD

Source

Idem

Ref.

Etymologicum, epsilon, p. 53

Ed.

F.W. Sturz, Orionis Thebani etymologicon, Leipzig, 1820

Quotation

Εὐχή. ἡ τοῦ εὖ ἔχειν αἴτησις

Translation (En)

Eukhē "prayer" is asking for well being (eu ekhein)

Comment

Functional etymology, the prayer being defined through its aim, the interest of the praying person. The word is analyzed as a compound, on the model of the many compounds in εὐ-, and in that case as a nominalization of the usual phrase εὖ ἔχειν “to be in good condition”. The Greeks were not disturbed by the fact that there is a real compound matching this phrase, which has a different structure, in εὐεξία "good constitution, strength"

Parallels

Choeroboscus, Epimerismi in Psalmos p. 103 (τὸ δὲ εὐχὴ παρὰ τὸ εὖ ἔχειν ἡ τοῦ εὖ ἔχειν αἴτησις, ἢ παρὰ τὸ ἔχεσθαι τὸ ἀκολουθεῖν "εὐχή is from εὖ ἔχειν, it is asking for all being, or from ἔχεσθαι «to follow»" [that is, εὖ ἔχεσθαι "to follow well"]); Etym. Gudianum, epsilon, p. 567 (Εὐχή· διὰ τὸ εὖ ἔχειν ἤγουν καλόν); Etym. Magnum, Kallierges p. 400 (idem). 

The etymology is implicit in Theodorus Studites, Epistle 35, l. 31-32 (ὡς εὐχαῖς ὑμῶν ἁγίαις εὖ ἔχει), Damascius, In Phaedonem 51, 6 (τοιοῦτον δὲ καὶ τὸ εὔχεσθαι, εἴπερ τέλειον ἤδη τὸ ἔχεσθαι τοῦ εὖ), Libanius, Characteres epistolici 70 (δι’ εὐχῆς γὰρ ἔχω τοὺς φίλους εὖ
 πράττειν ἀεί)

Modern etymology

Εὐχή is derived from εὔχομαι, from Indo-European *h1weghw- "speak solemnly". It is cognate with Lat. voveō "to promise solemnly" and Vedic óhate "to praise, to boast" (Beekes, EDG)

Persistence in Modern Greek

Ευχή is still used in Modern Greek with the meaning "wish"

Entry By

Le Feuvre