The trick-or-treaters preparing to descend on your home in just a few short days are not, most likely, dressed as Lighting McQueen and Rapunzel in hopes of keeping dead saints from recognizing them.

But a desire to protect oneself from a visiting ghost inspired the tradition of dressing in masks and costumes on what, back in the day, was known as All Hallows’ Eve — the night before All Saints’ Day, when Christians traditionally honor departed saints, known and unknown.

This got us wondering about the origins of other Halloween-isms. Starting with the word “Halloween.”

“Hallows” is another word for “saints,” so that part’s easy enough. But what’s with “een”?

Continue Reading on articles.chicagotribune.com