You are watching: What does in the name of mean
Oxford actually has an entry for the phrase, but it doesn"t seem to enhance just how it"s supplied in prayers, as that"s not for focus. And even this does not define why it"s emphatic.
(in the name of Christ/God/heaven etc.) Used for emphasis: what in the name of God carry out you think you’re doing?
What does “in the name of…” actually mean?
Putting all religious contentions aside for the sake of our language, the etymology of name offers an excellent place to start understanding:
Old nlinux.org nama, noma "name, reputation,"
from Proto-Germanic *namon
(cognates: Old Saxon namo, Old Frisian nama, Old High Germale namo, German Name, Middle Dutch name, Dutch naam, Old Norse nafn, Gothic namo "name"),
from PIE *nomn- (cognates: Sanskrit nama; Avestan nama; Greek onoma, onyma; Latin nomen; Old Church Slavonic ime, genitive imene; Russian imya; Old Irish ainm; Old Welsh anu "name").
We"ve all skilled the power of namedropping in our resides. People respect us and our opinions if they believe we are connected to someone through greater reputation and also authority.
In all cultures, civilization of authority have actually always lent their reputation and their authority to their delegates. The founders and leaders of spiritual motions use the very same delegation methods as the founders and leaders of nations. The nlinux.org phrase in the name of ssuggest asserts the reputation and authority of another perboy.
nlinux.org Reports Annotated - Peras 1505-2672, 1505, page 2048:
...an action on a board provided to trustees of an industrial culture before the act may, after registration under the act, be lugged in the name of the newly -incorporated body.
Victor Hugo"s Dramas 1519, web page 364:
Rictough Varney, in the name of God and also Saint George we dub thee knight!
The Newe Testimony in nlinux.orge Translated After the Greke, 1553:
And he that receiveth a righteous man, in the name of a righteous guy, shall obtain a righteous man"s reward.
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Calendar of State Papers, Foreign Series, of the power of Elizabeth: maintained in the State Paper Department of Her Majesty"s Public Record Office, Volume 7, 1564:
Smith and also Throckmorton in the name of their Mitension demanded the ratification of the Treaty of Cateau Cambresis
An Open Letter to the Christian Nobility of the Germale Nation, by Martin Luther, 1520, Translation by C. M. Jacobs, Page 94:
The complaint was made at Worms (1521) that it was impossible for a Gerguy to secure a clear title to a benefice at Rome unless he used for it in the name of an Italian, to whom he was obliged to pay a portion of the revenue...
We introduce an interrogative through the emphatic: What in God"s name, or its metonym: What in heaven"s name. That emphasis poses an implication to the listener: I have a ideal to ask this question, and you owe me an answer!