Exploring the strange and wonderful English language, one word at a time.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Ash \ash\ , noun;
1. The powdery residue of matter that remains after burning
2. A light, silvery-gray color
"You are dust, and to dust you shall return" Genesis 3:19 (credit)
Ash comes from Old English æsce ("ash") from Proto-Germanic *askon, which ultimately derives from Proto-Indo-European *as- ("to burn, glow"). Today is Ash Wednesday, which dates to the 1300's and Pope Gregory the Great, who sprinkled ashes on people's heads on the first day of Lent because ashes were a symbol of grief or repentance.