Etymology of Black and Moor – Oguejiofo Annu
Moor Westmoreland England Family Crest
Etymology of Black and Moor
The word ‘Black’ can be traced back to its proto Indo-European origins through the word ‘blac’ which meant pale, wan, colourless, or albino.
‘Blac’ was incorporated into Old French as Blanc, Italian and Spanish as Blanco, Bianca, Bianco, Bianchi.
In Old English “blac” person meant fair; someone devoid of colour, similar to the word “blanc” which still means white or fair person.
In Middle English the word was spelt as “blaec” same thing as the modern word “black”, only at that time, around 1051 AD, it still meant a fair skin, or so-called white person. The words “blacca” an Old/Middle English word still resonates with “blanke” the Dutch-Germanic term for white people of today.
Black in Old and Middle English
Thus, we can see that the Old English ‘blæc’ was relative to its ‘blac’ origin as it was predominantly used as an adjective to describe ‘colour pertaining to matter that was colourless’. Other cognates of ‘blac’ include examples like: Bleak, Blake, Bleach, Blanch.
Good examples of the use of “blac” as something that meant blond or fair can be seen in Old English literature such as K. Ælfred’s ‘Bæda’ from c.890 where the following phrase can be found: “hæfde blæc feax” meaning “have blond hair”.
Black’s Semantic Shifts
It was not till the sixteenth century that the semantic broadening of black occured- both figurative connotations as well as literal.
From ‘blac, blake, bleaken, blaccen’ and their literal meaning ‘to bleach out or make white, blond or pale’ came the figurative meaning ‘to stain someones reputation, or defame’ or darken. Literally “blac” by that time came to mean night-like colour, dark. One can say a very dramatic shift indeed. It was also the era, when the Vandals and the Goths were busy writing themselves into history and writing out the European Mauros (melan-chros or melanin people) out of history.
These additional meanings however was purely negative and as their influence broadened, the semantic shift of black began to mean having malignant or deadly purposes and even pertaining to or involving death- ‘black curse’(1583), and from previous centuries ‘The Black Death’.
Blac underwent a final shift as a K was added to the end of the word and it became a new insulting manner to address the Moors (today’s so-called Blacks) a people that had lived for thousands of years in Europe and around, but were now hated and hounded. They were called the Queen’s Black enemies, the blacca moors and finally just the adjective used as a noun, blacks.
It should be noted for the records that word used to describe the colour black in historical and classical Europe was the word Moor (also Melas). First used in Europe by the Greeks, as Mauros. Its cognates are found in every European language even if variant spellings are used. Thus you have Mohr (German), Maure, Mire, (French), Moor (English), Moros (Italian/Spanish), Mor (Old and Middle English). All those variants meant the same thing, the colour today known as black.
The Europeans took away our names, called us niggers, coloureds, blacks, negros, Africans, subsaharans, etc. All those are insulting names. We are none of those. Not Jamaicans, not Nigerians, nor Americans.
We are Moors, from the most ancient time. Umoros, Umorus, Muurs, Mawus, the children of light, the bearers of civilization and compassion, the golden ones, the first people, Ethiopians, Mauritanians and Mauritians.
Check ancient history, you will hear of the Moors, but you will not hear about negros. The pale ones (the blanks) stole our names, and pretended it referenced only some Arab Muslim conquest of Spain.
Nooooo! The Greeks knew the Muurs, the Romans knew the Muuros, the ancient Indians and the Chinese too. Because ancient Egyptians called their land Ta-Meri, or Ta-Muri, the land of the Muurs. They were the sea-men who navigated the globe and brought the light to all.
We are those Muurs. We are their descendants. We are not the blacks. The blancho people, the so-called white people of today, they are the blaccas.