One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A field of bloodshed; a scene of slaughter or butchery; a wretched place.
Early 17th century; earliest use found in Lodowick Lloyd (fl. 1573–1607). From Hellenistic Greek Ἁκελδαμά (Acts 1:19; more usually Ἁκελδαμάχ; also Ἁχελδαμάχ) from an unattested Jewish Palestinian Aramaic phrase *ḥăqal dĕmā, lit. ‘the field of blood’ from ḥăqal, construct state of ḥaqlā field, field measure + dĕmā, emphatic form of dām blood.
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