Nickname for elevated, in reference to trains. In Chicago, some people refer to all CTA trains as "the el," even when they're subways.

the filename extension used to denote emacs lisp files. (like "foo.el", or whatever)

sort of a funny(?) pun, if you are a geek; "el" could be pronounced "E L", as in "Emacs Lisp", or just "ell", which sounds exactly like "L", which is the extension used to denote Common Lisp files.

(actually, I just made that last bit up; please don't hurt me!)

The Spanish and Catalan masculine singular definite article.

In other words, Spanish or Catalan for "the".

The Spanish plural form is los; the Catalan plural form is els.

A suffix meaning G-d in Hebrew. Appears in angel names like Gabriel, Sammael, etc. but not in Metatron, which seems to be of Greek derivation. Another example is Daniel, which means "G-d is (my) Judge".

I just learned from the Catholic Encyclopedia article on Hebrew Names that it is not just a suffix: Elisama means "G-d heard". That source says of 'El that "some derive the word from a root 'wl, "to be strong", others from y'l, which might connote the idea of "being the first" others finally from 'lh, by which, at an early stage of the development of the Semitic languages the idea of mere relation (esse ad) was conveyed".

Strong's Hebrew Dictionary has this to say about 'el:

shortened from ''ayil'; strength; as adjective, mighty; especially the Almighty (but used also of any deity):-- God (god), X goodly, X great, idol, might(-y one), power, strong. Compare names in "-el."\

According to the Genealogy Resource Center (, -el is also a Germanic or Slavic diminutive suffix. The example they give is the patronymic Wenzel, which they derive from Wenze.

The name of the Ugaritic/Canaanite king of the gods, the archetype of kingly succession. Kings said they were sons of El in order to have a divine justification for their rule. Later was adopted as one of the names of the Hebrew monotheistic god. That the Hebrews were from the same region is no small coincidence. They often adopted the old names of gods and incorporated them into the personifications of their own supreme being to illustrate he was the one true god and to convert the surrounding peoples. Religion is often one big P.R. machine for those who wish to have power and sovereignty.

The Kryptonian family name of Superman, meaning "star". Like many human cultures, the family name is handed down through the male side of the family. The first and last names of male children are hyphenated, whereas the female children have two separate names, a first name followed by the full name of their father, which is replaced by the full name of her husband upon marriage.

Superman's full name is Kal-El ("star child"), son of Jor-El and Lara Jor-El (nee Lara Lor-Van). Superman's father, his grandfather Jor-El, and his great-grandfather Var-El were all scientists, like many of their ancestors. The House of El was a distinguished one, featuring many key figures in Kryptonian history: Val-El, a great explorer who invented the compass; Sul-El, a great astronomer who invented the telescope and first spotted Earth's sun; Tala-El, a great lawyer and author of Krypton's constitution; and Hatu-El, discoverer of electricity.

Superman's uncles, brothers of Jor-El, were Zor-El of Argo City, father of Supergirl, and Nim-El of Kandor, father of Don-El.

Mon-El was actually a Daxamite who, under the influence of amnesia and a misunderstanding, believed he was Superman's brother for a time.

All this information is pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths.

Memory jogging provided by

EL is also a common abbreviation for electroluminescent, a kind of light-producing technology now often found in commercial products. Marketed by Osram Sylvania and Durel.

El is the Spanish masculine singular definite article.

Let's break that down. 'Definite article' is just a fancy was of referring to the word 'the'. In most Romance languages there are both feminine and masculine versions of the word 'the'. In Spanish, these are 'el' (masculine) and 'la' (feminine). Nouns also have a gender, and you must match the gender of the article with the gender of the noun; thus, "el perro" (the dog, masc.), but "la vaca" (the cow, fem.).

And likewise, there are both singular and plural versions of the definite article. The plural of 'el' is 'los' ("los perros" means "the dogs"). The plural of 'la' is 'las', ("las vacas").

'El' has entered peripherally into the English language when used in phrases like El Dorado, el cheapo, and El Nino. It also makes appearances in El Cid and El Salvador.

While 'la' appears in a handful of European languages, as far as I can find 'el' appears only in Spanish and Catalan.

The definite articles of most Romance languages, including those used in Spanish, come to us from Latin. While Latin did not use definite or indefinite articles, languages descending from it took the Latin ille, meaning 'that', to form their own definite articles. Both 'el' and 'la' are forms of ille, as are the definite articles in French, Italian, and Portuguese.

It is interesting to note that while English has roots in the Romance languages (i.e. French) and in Old English, which also had gendered nouns and articles, we don't use them at all. Old English se (masc.), seo (fem.), and þæt (nuet.) compacted into the single þe, and then into 'the'.

It should also be noted that the Arabic definite article, al-, is sometimes transliterated as el-. It is always used as a prefix, and not as a stand alone word.

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