Christian

\ \ [16] Christian is derived, of course, from the name of Christ. It is a surprisingly recent word, having been introduced in the 16th century from Latin Chrīstiānus, replacing the existing English adjective christen, which came from Old English crīsten. The latter was the basis of the Old English verb crīstnian, from which we get modern English christen. The name Christ itself was borrowed into Old English from Latin Chrīstus, which in turn came from Greek Khrīstós. This meant literally ‘anointed’, and came from the verb khríeinanoint’. It was a direct translation of Hebrew māshīah (source of English messiah), which also meant literally ‘anointed’. Christmas comes from late Old English crīstes mæsse, literally ‘Christ’s mass’.
\ \ Cf.CRETIN

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

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