In my article for next month’s Sofia – our parish’s monthly ‘zine, I give a mention to animals considered unclean in the Old Testament and mention the raven, which acted as God’s servant in feeding Elijah. The word of the month in my article is on the etymology of raven. Here is an excerpt:
The raven, mentioned above in the context of animals considered unclean to eat by the Israelites, is famous in our modern society for two reasons – Edgar Allan Poe’s poem The Raven and the Baltimore professional football team, the relocated Cleveland Browns nicknamed the Ravens after Poe’s connection to Baltimore. The origin of the word raven is intricately linked with that of the crow – the two birds are both taxonomically and etymologically related. Crow in ancient Greek is koroni (whence crow), and the words for handle and curved in Greek come from the same root, probably due to the shape of the bird’s beak. Koroni is related to korax, which is the word for raven. In Latin this became corvus, in Anglo-Saxon hrafn, which became raven. Another related word is the English hroc which became rook. We think of a rook as a chess piece but it is also a word for an English yardbird.