1..2..3.. questions on etymological origin

  1. I faintly recall having read somewhere that the word: vagina (Latin for scabbard) comes from Cesar’s legions that used their sword scabbards as slang for female genitalia. Is this hogwash, or is there really something to it?

  2. I also faintly seem to recall having read (Anthony Burgess I think) that both Alexander and Jesus or Christ means “saviour of humanity” or some such thing (in each own language). Is this hogwash, or is there really something to it?

  3. Yet again I faintly remember (perhaps I’m going senile :eek: ) having read somewhere (two different places) that both Capitoline in Rome and Golgotha (Latin as calvarius: Place of the Skull) in Jerusalem mean something about a skull, (Capitoline because a very large skull was found there by early settlers, Golgotha because a freshly severed head (caput) was found by the first people digging there.) Is this correct? If so, then it’s a fairly remarkable coincidence I think (not that I think it’s more that that); Capitoline being where the Emperors ruled, and Golgotha where Jesus was crucified. The king of heaven and the king of earth, living and dying in the same house. Why have no conspiracy nut leaped upon this like a starved dog on a bone (or whatever – couldn’t come up with a good image), or is it just me who find this remarkable?

To get the ball rolling…

“Christ” means annointed one.

“Golgotha” means skull place. I have read two explanations for this. One is that the hill was supposdly shaped like a skull. The other, which I tend to give more credence, is that the skull of Adam was thought to be buried somewhere on the hill.

Here’s what the Oxford English Dictionary has to say about vagina.

However, though Caesar’s legions called their scabbards a vagina, the earliest use of the term in English comes from 1682, which means the Romans probably didn’t have the current definition.

It was more likely used by English doctors as a more refined term to replace the traditional English word for it (still used, but a major pejorative).