HEED THE VOX POPULI, AND TAKE THIS WORD OF THE DAY QUIZ!
What does Ebenezer mean?
In this sense, Ebenezer (or ebenezer) is sometimes used as a term for someone who is especially greedy, or someone who grumpily refuses to participate in Christmastime festivities, as in Only an Ebenezer like you would cancel the toy drive. However, it’s his last name, Scrooge, that’s much more commonly used as a term for such people (often in lowercase as scrooge).
Ebenezer also has two other uses. It can refer to a kind of memorial or commemoration of God’s help, especially a stone memorial or a kind of altar. It is also used as a slang word referring to anger or one’s temper, especially in phrases like get your ebenezer up or raise your ebenezer, though it’s now very rarely used in this way.
Where does Ebenezer come from?
Ebenezer is traditionally a name for males. It comes from a Hebrew phrase that means “stone of help.” The name appears in the Biblical story told in the Book of 1 Samuel, in which the Hebrew prophet Samuel sets up a stone to commemorate the help that God had given the Israelites. In the account, he names the memorial ebenezer, after the name of a place where the Israelites had camped before battle.
By the late 1600s, the word Ebenezer had entered English as a way to refer to such a memorial. Later, the word began to be used to refer to a type of chapel or church used by certain Christian denominations.
Like many names found in the Bible, Ebenezer came to be used as a proper name. Ebenezer Scrooge wasn’t the first person named Ebenezer, and he’s not the only one in literature, but he’s certainly the most famous now. The character of Scrooge in A Christmas Carol was so memorable that the word scrooge became a term for someone who is particularly greedy and grumpy. His full name is so well known, though, that people sometimes instead use his first name to mean the same thing. It is used in both uppercase and lowercase.
Did you know ... ?
How is Ebenezer used in real life?
The most common use of Ebenezer is in reference to Scrooge. It is also used in religious contexts referring to a memorial to God, especially in the form of a rock.
When did I become such an Ebenezer?
— Ashlee Awesome (@AshleeAUSome) November 26, 2016
Anyone else starting to see the Ebenezer Scrooges of the world and wishing we had the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future?
— Smilingatu (@The_Smiley_One) March 30, 2020
A full survey of Rome’s churches, shrines, and hospitals would constitute a summa of the Christian faith, with no doctrine neglected, no duty of love overlooked, no divine favour forgotten. It is a credo in stone, an ebenezer to the mighty works of God.https://t.co/UxNDEWSDjS
— Matthew Schmitz (@matthewschmitz) November 8, 2018
— Grey Powell (@coach_powell) August 6, 2018
Try using Ebenezer!
True or False?
Charles Dickens created the name Ebenezer for his novel A Christmas Carol.
Example sentences from the Web for ebenezer
Ebenezer Scrooge made terrible decisions along the way and lost the love of his life because of it.Happy Birthday, Charles Dickens! ‘Lost,’ ‘NCIS,’ ‘Big Love,’ ‘Veep’ Writers on His Legacy|Jace Lacob|February 7, 2012|DAILY BEAST
From Ebenezer Scrooge to Arthur Jensen in Network, here are some of the most famous one percent characters from books and movies.
The doughty and aggressive Captain Ebenezer Allen harassed their rear whenever opportunity was given for striking a blow.Vermont|Rowland E. Robinson
"I'll see her," repeated Ebenezer, not changing the tone of his voice.The Secret of the Storm Country|Grace Miller White
The person who accompanied him was a simple lackey, named Ebenezer Radburn, who acted merely in the capacity of turnkey.Twelve Years a Slave|Solomon Northup
Ebenezer Bowsprit, with half a dozen cronies of his own choosing, led the way over the side, in high good humour.The Adventures of Billy Topsail|Norman Duncan
Enter Clapboard, with a lighted candle, which he places on table, followed by Ebenezer.A Tender Attachment|George Melville Baker