Friday, October 26, 2007

Who knew, "scapegoat" is shortened from the original "escape goat"


Azazel is the word translated as "scapegoat" in the King James Version of the Bible (Leviticus chapter 16). In 1611 King James' translators borrowed the word scapegoat from William Tyndale's translation from around 1530. Tyndale had translated azazel (the name of the cliff the goat was pushed over, or more likely the demon it was sent out to in the desert) as ez ozel - literally, "the goat that departs"; hence "the goat that escapes," or, for short, "(e)scape goat." Since this goat, with the sins of the people placed on it, is then sent over a cliff or driven into the wilderness to perish[1], the word "scapegoat" has come to mean a person, often innocent, who is blamed and punished for the sins, crimes or sufferings of others.

Although, The Urban Dictionary defines "Escape Goat" as, "A slang used by idiots who do not realize the term is scapegoat"

Via PFT.