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Someone told me that there is an etymological connection between the words gut (good) and Gott (god).

Is there any truth to such an assertion? I looked at the Oxford English Dictionary under the etymology of the word god and it said it comes from the German Gott, but notes that the source/origins of that word is otherwise unknown.

  • check out Santos Bonacci's work to see a perspective on this important question! – carolyn Jan 21 '17 at 23:16
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I think it’s evident that there’s no etymological relation between gut and Gott (not even between good and god for that matter). Along their respective ancestries however, both words share forms of similiar sound (or shape).

  • New High German gut ← Proto-Germanic *gōdaz ‎← Proto-Indo-European *gʰedʰ-
  • New High German Gott ← Proto-Germanic *gudą ← Proto-Indo-European ǵʰuto-

While it’s relatively clear that gut originally meant “to be associated” or to “suit”, it is suspected that Gott meant something like “invoked idol” in primordial times.

Note that you’ll find competing and even conflicting information. For starters, see the etymology panel in the DWDS entry for Gott and particularly the Wikipedia article dedicated to the word god.

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The origin of the word Gott (and of its cognates in the other Germanic languages, such as god in English) is indeed unknown. There are several competing theories; a discussion of some of them can be found in Pfeifer’s Etymologisches Wörterbuch (DWDS entry; the Etymologisches Wörterbuch is part of DWDS). However, none of these theories suggests a relationship to gut (DWDS entry).

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In Russian бог->god, богатство->goods, and господин->owner, господь->god. So when referring to a Christian tradition I'd rather imagine that in Germanic it would also be associated with the ownership: das Gut or goods rather then the quality: gut or good.

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