More about shammes
Shammes, “the candle used to kindle the candles in the Hanukkah menorah,” is a borrowing of Yiddish shames, which comes from Hebrew shammāsh, “server, attendant.” As we learned from the Word of the Day cherubic, many Hebrew nouns add -im to become plural, which is why one shammāsh in Hebrew becomes multiple shammāshim and one shammes in English becomes multiple shammosim. Though Hebrew shammāsh is easily confused with Shamash, an Assyrian and Babylonian sun god, the two are not related; while Shamash comes from a Semitic root meaning “sun,” shammāsh appears to come from Egyptian šmsw, “follower, servant.” Shammes was first recorded in English in the late 1940s.
EXAMPLE OF SHAMMES USED IN A SENTENCE
She had the honor of lighting the shammes and the first candle on the first night of Hanukkah.