From etymonline.com: -------------------- humble (adj.) c.1250, from O.Fr. humble, earlier humele, from L. humilis "lowly, humble," lit. "on the ground," from humus "earth." Senses of "not self-asserting" and "of low birth or rank" were both in M.E. The verb is c.1380 in the intrans. sense of "to render oneself humble;" 1484 in the trans. sense of "to lower (someone) in dignity." "Don't be so humble; you're not that great." [Golda Meir] I WOULD LIKE TO DRAW YOUR ATTENTION to the fact that "humble" originally meant merely "on the ground", from "humus" meaning Earth. Have I been clear? Technically speaking, by the letter, and according to the oldest deepest roots of word meaning, "humble"... merely means... "WELL GROUNDED". Now, if I told you you were "well grounded", would you take that as an insult? Would that offend your sensitive proclivities? Would you be taken aback? Oh the horrors! Aghast! He says I'm well grounded, does he?? Furthermore, what is the OPPOSITE of "well grounded"? Yep, NIMROD and his LOFTY opinions of himself, way up high, ALOFT, LIFTed up (like the LUFTwaffe or LUFThansa) way up into the sky. Now, for the record, if I told a Soviet Psychiatrist that you had "elevated opinions of yourself", then for the right price you would deemed an 'enemy of the proletariat' just like Andrei Sakharov, and the KGB would be called in to lock you up for being NEUROTIC, "building castles in the sky and moving in". In more familiar terms, you would be COPPING SERIOUS ATTITUDE and you might even be bordering on "megalomania". Considering as they are OPPOSITES, then IF it is bad for me to call you a "Neurotic Megalomaniac", it MUST be good for me to call you "Well Grounded". (Conversely, if you say the other one is bad, than the other other one MUST be good, according to you.) NOW I WOULD LIKE TO DRAW YOUR ATTENTION to one more point. The word "humble", which originally just meant "well grounded", took on the more modern and familiar sense of "LOWLY / LOW RANK" in "MIDDLE ENGLISH". Now, I must ask you how familiar you are with your English history, because the transition from OLD ENGLISH to MIDDLE ENGLISH occurs precisely in the year 1066 CE. Does that year ring a bell for you? 1066 CE was the year Pope Alexander 2 sponsored "William the Conquistador" on a "Crusade" against "Heretic England". England at that time was ORTHODOX, much like the GREEK ORTHODOX in the East. But Rome had just split from the Greeks in the "Great Schism" of 1054, and saw no qualms about subjugating the 'non-Christian' realm of England, who was worse than heathen, because it was 'heretic'. So, William the Conquistador marched in, and soon compiled his DOOMSDAY BOOK... please please note the NAME, the DOOMSDAY BOOK... in which it is recorded that William the Conquistador did slaughter 20% of the 'Heretic English' population. The total English population in the year 1000 CE is estimated to have been 1 million, so William the Conquistador slaughtered about 200,000 "Heretic English" for Rome. In return, like the Privateer 'Acheron' commissioned by Revolutionary France to prey upon English shipping in the movie "Master & Commander", William the Conquistador was allowed to keep a percentage of the plunder and loot and booty, with the Pope's backing. So, I would draw your attention to the fact that NO SOONER does the FRENCH SPEAKING William the Conquistador butcher his way across England... and enserf the survivors into bondage beneath himself and his Roman Catholic barons... and literally legally OUTLAW English... and make all 800,000 English, who are now naught but SERFS on the manors and plantations of William the Conquistador and his literally precisely exactly sixty-four (64) barons, who collectively, as 65 men, rule ALL OF ENGLAND... That's works out to 12,307 English serfs per Norman oppressor... and make all 800,000 English manor serfs LEARN FRENCH because that's the PRESTIGE LANGUAGE and the Normans wouldn't STOOP to speaking the LOWLY langauge of the hated heretic English (!)... Then it is at THAT POINT, with bodies strewn across the land, with ENGLISH being OUTLAWED and with FRENCH being MANDATED, that Old English rapidly transforms into Middle English... SO, when we read that "Humble", which USED to mean "well grounded, [feet] on the ground" in Old English ( - 1066)... but suddenly takes on the meaning of "LOWLY, PEASANTLIKE, POOR, WEAK, etc" that we have come to 'know and love' today. Have I been clear? Deem a tree by its fruits? (Matthew 12:33, Luke 6:44) In come the Roman Catholic Normans... out goes the blood of 200,000 Orthodox Christian Angles & Saxons... and out goes the meaning of 'humble' as "well grounded, [feet] upon the ground"... replaced instead with the sense of "crushed, lowly, abased, poor, weak".... That is, BEFORE 1066, 'humble' meant something GOOD, "well grounded", as it is in Matthew 18:4 and 23:12, where the Greek for 'humble' comes from Strong's #5011 which means, "not rising far from the ground", that is, "humble", 'feet on the ground, well grounded'... But AFTER the Catholics take over in 1066, after they have murdered 200,000 Orthodox Christian Angles and Saxons, after they have gutted all of England's then-renowned Universities and Libraries of their treasure troves of BOOKS, many IN ENGLISH.... after they have scattered those precious BOOKS of learning and wisdom across Europe, where, due to the Catholic church's hegemonic wealth, they are all eventually bought up by Rome and percolate back down the knowledge drain into the vast "Secret Archives" beneath the Vatican... after they have ripped the Words of God out from the Orthodox English... and replaced them with the tyrannical and Imperialistic Latin that the common folk are never allowed to know... after they have done all this, and the memory of the Word of God begins to fade away... "humble" morphs in meaning from something GOOD, something BLESSED and PRAISED, "having your feet on the ground, close to the ground, stable, steady".... and is ground into powder and melted down and reforged in the fires of Hell as something to be SCORNED! The Catholic Normans SCORNED the word "humble", making it a term of OPPROBRIUM, as in "those pious humble Catholic subjects, ha ha ha ha ha, PAY YOUR TAXES PUNKS!!!" Perhaps, you have not read about "William's Harrying of the North", and perhaps you have not seen BECKET (1964) with Richard Burton. So perhaps you think I am being "too synical" or "too harsh" on the Normans. After all, they only murdered 200,000 Orthodox English! What's that amongst God-fearing men? But, unambiguously, no sooner do the CATHOLIC NORMANS march in... then the HOLY WORD of HUMBLE... goes from LAUDED AND PRAISED and PRIZED... to a term of SCOFFING SCORN AND CONTEMPT!!! Is that "Good Fruit", or thorns and briers? Here is more proof. Look at ANOTHER WORD, based on 'Humble', that the NORMANS coined: humiliation c.1386, from O.Fr. humiliation, from L.L. humiliationem (nom. humiliatio) "humbling, humiliation," from L. humiliare "to humble," from humilis "humble." Humiliate is c.1533, a back-formation of this. So, you see, the Catholic Normans, who ruled England up through the early 1400s, and whose power did not even begin to wane until the late 1300s... THE EXACT TIME that the Catholic church was torn asunder by internal conflicts in the "Western Schism" of 1378-1418. This "Western Schism" gave rise to BOTH John Wycliffe "Morningstar of the Reformation" and John Hus, who influenced Martin Luther. IOW, the Catholic Normans were propped up by the Catholic Church, and their fortunes were wedded. So when the Church weakened enough in the late 1300s for long-suppressed voices of Reform -- spear-headed by John Wycliffe and his noble guardian, John of Gaunt -- to come to the fore, THEN the Catholic-backed Normans began to fall from power too! (Note that Edward 1 "Longshanks", the "Cruel Pagan" in Mel Gibson's 'Braveheart', was a Norman Catholic and would actually have been SPEAKING FRENCH like Sophie Morceau, FYI, English was OUTLAWED until c.1415 CE, and even PARLIAMENT spoke not in English until about 1385 CE. That, again, is about the time John Wycliffe was active, so we see that the WEAKNESS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH gave BREATHING ROOM to the long suppressed Orthodox Christian Angles and Saxons, who JUMPED at the chance to slough off the "Norman Yoke".) But again, my main point is that the CATHOLIC NORMANS coined the word "humiliation" no later than 1386, according to etymonline.com cited above. This is exactly the time of the "Western Schism" and the writings of John Wycliffe. Perhaps the Normans saw their slippage from power as a "humiliation". Whatever the specifics, however, it is clear that to the CATHOLIC NORMAN RULERS, to be "humble" was to be "humiliated", which was not something GOOD IN THEIR EYES, as it was in the Messiah's eyes according to Scripture, and as it would then seem to be in ALMIGHTY GOD'S EYES by extension... but rather something SHAMEFUL, TERRIBLE, AWEFUL, BAD, to be AVOIDED if possible... And I just have to ask, if the NEW TESTAMENT says "humble is good".... And the CATHOLIC NORMANS, as proven by their own use of the word, say that "humbleness is humiliating and bad".... Then how can the CATHOLIC NORMANS represent the NEW TESTAMENT? The WORD ROOTS, the 'ETYMOLOGY' clearly shows that "humble" USED to be good, or at least 'neutral', having the sense of '[feet] on the ground', 'not rising far from the ground', 'well grounded'. And that was the meaning up until the transition from Old English to Middle English... which was caused by the NORMAN INVASION of 1066... AFTER WHICH... the meaning of "humble" began to change, from a VIRTUE, or at least something kinda good like "well grounded", to something SCORNED, as in "humiliation", you DON'T WANT TO BE HUMILIATED DO YOU?? But to be HUMILIATED just means to be MADE HUMBLE... So, you've just said that BEING HUMBLE IS BAD... Have I been clear? The NORMANS, who were CATHOLICS, and were sent into "Heretic (Orthodox) England" in 1066 on a CRUSADE by Alexander 2... changed the meaning of HUMBLE from GOOD "well grounded"... to BAD, "humiliation"... in the context of SCRIPTURE... does that bode WELL or ILL? That I ask you.