Where Did the Term “Nun” For a Religious Woman Come From and What Does the Word Mean?

Women who are sisters within a strict religious order today are called nuns, a word that has evolved through time to mean compassion and kindness.

In Sanskrit, nana meant “mother,” and it is often still used today as an endearment for grandmothers.

In Latin, nonna means “child’s nurse,” again still used in the form nanny.

In Greek, nane simply meant “good.”

All of these gave us the word nun to describe the strength and good intentions of the religious vocation.

That’s why a religious woman who lives in a convent and vows poverty, chastity, and obedience is called a “nun”?

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