bishop


bishop
bishop (n.) O.E. bisceop "bishop, high priest (Jewish or pagan)," from L.L. episcopus, from Gk. episkopos "watcher, overseer," a title for various government officials, later taken over in a Church sense, from epi- "over" (see EPI- (Cf. epi-)) + skopos "watcher," from skeptesthai "look at" (see SCOPE (Cf. scope) (1)). Given a specific sense in the Church, but the word also was used in the New Testament as a descriptive title for elders, and continues as such in some non-hierarchical Christian sects.
A curious example of word-change, as effected by the genius of different tongues, is furnished by the English bishop and the French évêque. Both are from the same root, furnishing, perhaps the only example of two words from a common stem so modifying themselves in historical times as not to have a letter in common. (Of course many words from a far off Aryan stem are in the same condition.) The English strikes off the initial and terminal syllables, leaving only piscop, which the Saxon preference for the softer labial and hissing sounds modified into bishop. Évêque (formerly evesque) merely softens the p into v and drops the last syllable. [William S. Walsh, "Handy-Book of Literary Curiosities," Philadelphia, J.B. Lippincott, 1892]
Late Latin episcopus in Spanish became obispo. Cognate with O.S. biscop, O.H.G. biscof. The chess piece (formerly archer, before that alfin) was so called from 1560s.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • Bishop — • The title of an ecclesiastical dignitary who possesses the fullness of the priesthood to rule a diocese as its chief pastor, in due submission to the primacy of the pope Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Bishop     Bishop …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Bishop — Bish op, n. [OE. bischop, biscop, bisceop, AS. bisceop, biscop, L. episcopus overseer, superintendent, bishop, fr. Gr. ?, ? over + ? inspector, fr. root of ?, ?, to look to, perh. akin to L. specere to look at. See {Spy}, and cf. {Episcopal}.]… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Bishop — Bishop, CA U.S. city in California Population (2000): 3575 Housing Units (2000): 1867 Land area (2000): 1.750266 sq. miles (4.533169 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 1.750266 sq. miles (4.533169… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Bishop — steht für: Bishop (Familienname), einen Familiennamen Bishop (Ortsname), Orte und Townships eine britische Selbstfahrlafette, siehe Bishop (Panzer) im englischen den Läufer im Schachspiel Bernice P. Bishop Museum (oder Museum für Natur und… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Bishop's — *Bishop Stopford s School at Enfield, England. *Bishop s University in Lennoxville, Québec, Canada. *Bishop s Stortford town in Hertfordshire , England *The Bishop s School (California) in La Jolla, California, USA. *The Bishop s School (Pune) in …   Wikipedia

  • Bishop — Bishop, John Michael * * * (as used in expressions) Bishop, Elizabeth Bishop, J(ohn) Michael Bishop, William Avery Billy Bishop …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Bishop, CA — U.S. city in California Population (2000): 3575 Housing Units (2000): 1867 Land area (2000): 1.750266 sq. miles (4.533169 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 1.750266 sq. miles (4.533169 sq. km) FIPS …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Bishop, GA — U.S. town in Georgia Population (2000): 146 Housing Units (2000): 67 Land area (2000): 0.775768 sq. miles (2.009231 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 0.775768 sq. miles (2.009231 sq. km) FIPS code …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Bishop, TX — U.S. city in Texas Population (2000): 3305 Housing Units (2000): 1269 Land area (2000): 2.370688 sq. miles (6.140054 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 2.370688 sq. miles (6.140054 sq. km) FIPS code …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • bishop — [bish′əp] n. [ME < OE bisceop < LL episcopus, an overseer (in LL(Ec), bishop) < Gr episkopos, overseer (in N.T., bishop) < epi , upon + skopos < skopein, to look (see SCOPE)] 1. a) a high ranking member of the Christian clergy… …   English World dictionary