Somebody recently requested the word Pastafarian, which merits an explanation. The term refers to members of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, a satirical religion started to protest the involvement of church in state. Pastafarianism is a whimsical portmanteau coined that combined a central theme of the belief system, pasta, with the name for people of another religion- Rastafarians. But where does the name for the Rastafari religion come from? It's named after the Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie, who Rastafarians saw as the Second Coming of Christ; Ras Tafari was a title he earned meaning "Head Dread". In the Amharic language, Ras literally meant "head" but was figuratively conferred to princes and chiefs, as they were the "heads" of state. Tafari was a personal name given to people who were feared or respected, best translating as "dread". The application of "dread" would persist into the word "dreadlocks", which were used by Rastafarians to describe fear of God. That just added a whole lot of depth to a spaghetti monster.
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.