rest his soul: Idiom Meaning and Origin

What does ‘rest his soul’ mean?

The idiom "rest his soul" is used to express condolences for a deceased person, wishing for their soul to find peace and rest in the afterlife.

Idiom Explorer

Guide to departing spirits.

The idiom "rest his soul" is primarily used to express condolences or respect for someone who has passed away. It is typically used in a religious or spiritual context, implying a wish for the deceased person's soul to find peace or tranquility. The phrase is often employed in obituaries, eulogies, or other forms of remembrance. It is commonly preceded by the word "may" or followed by the phrase "in peace." The idiom can be traced back to ancient religious beliefs and practices that centered around the idea of the soul's eternal rest or repose after death.

The genesis of the idiom can be found in various religious traditions and beliefs. In Christianity, for example, the concept of wishing for the deceased's soul to rest in peace stems from the belief in an afterlife and the hope that the departed will find eternal rest in the presence of God. Similar notions exist in Islam, Judaism, and other major religions, where the idea of the soul's repose and ultimate reunion with a higher power or state of existence forms a significant part of the religious narrative.

I need some soul-rest to ease my mind.

The phrase "rest his soul" has deep historical and cultural roots, dating back to ancient times. In addition to symbolizing a wish for the deceased to find peace, the phrase is also related to other idioms that revolve around death and remembrance. One such idiom is "lay to rest," which carries a similar meaning but emphasizes the act of burying the deceased and giving them a proper farewell. Another related idiom, "offer one's condolences," highlights the importance of expressing sympathy and support to the grieving family and friends. These idioms are often used interchangeably with "rest his soul" to express empathy and convey a sense of compassion in the face of loss.

The origin and usage of the exact phrase "rest his soul" seems to be difficult to trace definitively. It has likely evolved from older idiomatic expressions that conveyed a desire for the deceased to find solace or serenity in the afterlife. The idiomatic form of the expression may have emerged over time through its consistent use in religious ceremonies, funerals, and other commemorative events. The phrase has since become a well-established idiom, widely understood and employed across different cultures and contexts.

The idiom "rest his soul" can be seen as a linguistic relic, preserving ancient beliefs and customs associated with death and the afterlife. It evokes a sense of solemnity, reverence, and empathy for the deceased, acknowledging the importance of honoring their memory and wishing them eternal peace. The idiom's enduring usage reflects humanity's enduring fascination with mortality and the desire to find comfort and closure in the face of loss. While the literal meaning of the idiom may not hold any tangible significance, its figurative and symbolic power continues to resonate with people across generations and cultures.

Example usage

Examples of how the idiom "rest his soul" can be used in a sentence:

  • When we heard about his passing, our hearts went out to his family. May he rest his soul.
  • She led a difficult life, but in death, may she finally find peace and rest her soul.
  • He was a kind and generous man who touched the lives of many. May his soul rest in eternal peace.

More "Deceased" idioms

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