Where does the word “Talisman” come from and What does Talisman mean in Arabic?

Completely unrelated to talesman (which see), despite all similarities of spelling, the word “talisman” comes to us through the Romance languages from the Arabic tilsam, “a magic charm.”

The earlier derivation is from the Greek telesma of the same meaning, but having had the former meaning of “a religious rite,” and coming from telein, to “fulfill,” from telos, “end.”

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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