Where does the word “superman” come from and What does superman mean?

The German philosopher of the nineteenth century, F. W. Nietzsche, used the German term, übermensch, to describe his notion of the ideal man evolved from the present type.

This, by literal translation, would produce the English “overman” or perhaps “beyondman,” but neither of these terms seemed agreeable to the ear of George Bernard Shaw when, in 1903, he sought to extend the earlier philosophy.

Hence, using the Latin prefix for “over,” he coined the word superman, when writing his work, Man and Superman.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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