The Slavic draughtsman: etymology of Slav. *čьrtъ ‘devil’
Ilya Yakubovich (Philipps-Universität Marburg / Russian State University for the Humanities,
Journal of Language Relationship, № 14/3-4, 2016 - p.279-291
Abstract: The paper addresses the origin of the Slavic word for ‘demon, devil’, which can be reconstructed as *čьrtъ but does not have obvious cognates elsewhere in Indo-European. Using typological parallels from other Indo-European religious traditions, notably Anatolian and Armenian, I aim to demonstrate that Proto-Slavic *čьrtъ can be interpreted as a supernatural Draughtsman in charge of determining human fate. The original god of destiny probably came to be perceived as the bringer of death and then syncretised with the embodiment of all evil in the Christian tradition.
Keywords: etymology, devil, Slavic, Anatolian, Armenian