Ate was the daughter of Zeus and Eris (some claim Alcmene was the mother), sister to the Litae (who try to clean up the trouble she causes) and the personification of blind folly. When the mother was about to give birth Zeus declared that the next child to be born into the house of Perseus would be the future king of Mycanae. But, Ate blinded Zeus to Hera's plot to postpone the birth of Heracles ("Glory of Hera") so that Eurystheus, would be the first born that night. For this, Ate was banished from Olympus. On earth she reigned over evil and misfortune and her mischief led many men to ruin.

in tagalog (the main dialect of the philippines), "ate", pronounced ah-teh, means "older sister".

it is most often used as a title, appearing before the person's name much in the same way "uncle" is used. thus, the youngest child would preface the names of his older female siblings with "ate", obtaining, for example, such extended names as ate maria and ate beth. in context, "ate" can be used by itself without a name following it, becoming an abbreviation for the compound name itself.

also like the word "uncle", it can be used nominally. it can simply mean "older sister", literally.

tagalog: "pero ikaw ay ate niya"
english: "but you are her / his older sister"

tagalog: "sino ba ang ate mo?"
english: "who is your older sister?"

much like other asian cultures, titles are given to people with an eye kept toward some sort of social hierarchy. the title spoken is in reference to yourself (Cf: japanese honorofic language, keigo), here indicating a subserviance brought on by age and birth rank. though this term can also be used in addressing older female cousins, there is no word for "little sister".

"Ate" can also be used as a term of affection made to an older female who is not related to the speaker. it can also be abbreviated verbally with "te".

More on the Tagalog word "ate": (pronounce Ah-teh).

Ate is derived from the word "ah-tsi," which means elder (or eldest) sister in Hokkien. Hokkien is a dialect spoken in the Fujian province in southern China, from which most of the ancestors of the Philippines' native Chinese population comes from.

In a few places, the words "ditse," "sanse," and "sitse" are still used to refer to the second oldest sister, thrid sister, and fourth sister, respectively. These also derive from Hokkien.


The personification of Error. A goddess of lightness whose feet rested only on the heads of mortals, and that without their knowing it. When Zeus made the oath in which he pledged himself to give pre-eminence to the first descendant of Perseus to be born, and in this way exalted Eurystheus above Heracles, Ate deceived him. Zeus took his revenge on her by casting her down from the summit of Olympus. Ate fell to earth in Phrygia, on the hill which took the name of the Hill of Error. That was the spot where Ilus built the fortress of Ilium (Troy). When Zeus cast Ate down from high heaven he forbade her ever to stay in Olympus and that is why Error is the sad lot of mankind.


Table of Sources:
- Hom. Il. 9, 503ff.; 10, 391; 19, 85ff
- Lyc. Alex. 29 with Tzetzes ad loc.
- Apollod. Bibl. 13, 12, 3
- Steph. Byz. s.v. 'Ιλιον

Ate ,

the preterit of Eat.


© Webster 1913.

A"te (#), n. [Gr. .] Greek. Myth.

The goddess of mischievous folly; also, in later poets, the goddess of vengeance.


© Webster 1913.

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