Samaritans follow Samaritanism, which is sort of a different form of Judaism, and the phrase "Good Samaritan" derives from a parable in the Gospel of Luke (first attested in the 1630s). Samaritans are also traditionally from the region of Samaria. But here's the thing: we're not sure if the Samaritans are named after Samaria, or if Samaria is named after the Samaritans. It's sort of a chicken-and-the-egg kind of question. Even then, the origin is disputed and even politicized (because there's a whole debate over whether the people-group rightfully owns the place). There is a Hebrew cognate which traces back to a word for "to guard", shomer, and the Samaritans' own appellation for themselves is Shamerim, which means "guardians of the Torah", so that probably hints at an etymology which is thereafter uncertain.
Your comment will be posted after it is approved.
Leave a Reply.
Hello! I'm Adam Aleksic, a senior studying government and linguistics at Harvard University, where I co-founded the Harvard Undergraduate Linguistics Society. In addition to etymology, I also really enjoy trivia, politics, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, art history, and law.