hǣlu, f.n: health, security, sound physical condition, well-being. (HAL-uh / ˈhæː-lʌ)

Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, Parker Library, MS 53, f. 7v. The Peterborough Psalter, early 14th century, East Anglia. The Annunciation. Read more about it on the Parker Library blog.

2 thoughts on “hǣlu

  1. It seems like it ought to be but I’m having trouble tracing that etymology. The older form of hello “halloo” (according to the Oxford English Dictionary) appears in the early 16th century and means “to urge on or incite with shouts”, which doesn’t have much to do with health or salvation. I know that “wassail” comes from OE “wæs hǣl”, literally “be whole”, whole being good health. I think it’s more likely that “hǣlu” became our modern English “hale” (free from disease or infirmity) and the verb “heal”.


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