- god O.E. god "supreme being, deity; the Christian God; image of a god; godlike person," from P.Gmc. *guthan (Cf. O.S., O.Fris., Du. god, O.H.G. got, Ger. Gott, O.N. guð, Goth. guþ), from PIE *ghut- "that which is invoked" (Cf. O.C.S. zovo "to call," Skt. huta- "invoked," an epithet of Indra), from root *gheu(e)- "to call, invoke." But some trace it to PIE *ghu-to- "poured," from root *gheu- "to pour, pour a libation" (source of Gk. khein "to pour," also in the phrase khute gaia "poured earth," referring to a burial mound; see FOUND (Cf. found) (2)). "Given the Greek facts, the Germanic form may have referred in the first instance to the spirit immanent in a burial mound" [Watkins]. Cf. also ZEUS (Cf. Zeus).Not related to GOOD (Cf. good). Originally a neuter noun in Germanic, the gender shifted to masculine after the coming of Christianity. O.E. god was probably closer in sense to L. numen. A better word to translate deus might have been P.Gmc. *ansuz, but this was used only of the highest deities in the Germanic religion, and not of foreign gods, and it was never used of the Christian God. It survives in English mainly in the personal names beginning in Os-.I want my lawyer, my tailor, my servants, even my wife to believe in God, because it means that I shall be cheated and robbed and cuckolded less often. ... If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him. [Voltaire]God bless you after someone sneezes is credited to St. Gregory the Great, but the pagan Romans (Absit omen) and Greeks had similar customs.
Etymology dictionary. 2014.