resource: https://www.artic.edu/artworks/126484/the-haloed-sun

If I want to portray a deity (take Thor for example) with a halo around him, then should I say "Haloed Thor", "Haloing Thor" or "Halo Thor"? Or none of such expressions is commonly accepted among native speakers, I should use other words?

A purely linguistic question.

  • Hi Zhang Jian! We say 'haloed'. It is like 'a crowned figure' or 'an armoured tank'. He has been equipped with a halo, or had it bestowed upon him or painted around him. – Old Brixtonian May 30 '20 at 1:53

"Haloing Thor" means that Thor is placing a halo on someone because the participle "haloing" describes what Thor is doing. A "nursing mother" is not getting milk from her infant, but giving milk to her infant.

A "haloed Thor" means that someone or something has placed a halo around Thor's head just as a "burned building" means that someone or something has burned the building. It describes what has happened to Thor.

The question of which is more common is much more difficult. Common among whom?

I do not know what cultures have portrayed divinities and the divinely blessed with a halo. (The first that I am aware that did this was the Byzantine culture, but they may have imported it from elsewhere such as Persia or Syria.) Nothing I know even suggests that haloes were a "thing" in Nordic religion although I have some recollection that early Indo-European divinities were generally considered "bright." Of course, the great majority of readers of comic books have no inkling of the traditional iconography of Nordic or any other religion. You can say that the Buddha was Thor's mother, and virtually no one who reads graphic novels will even blink.

The issue of how common is the idea of Thor bestowing haloes or having one bestowed on Him is an esoteric question that may require the combined erudition of those who study comparative Indo-European mythology and those who study iconography.

  • When I asked whether it's "common", I simply meant whether one of those expressions is commonly accepted. A purely linguistic question. However, your answer is more instructive than I expected. – Zhang Jian May 30 '20 at 2:42
  • From a purely linguistic perspective, either is permitted, but they mean different things. So use the one that fits your intended meaning: both will be understood. However, my other point is that I suspect both will be considered odd among those who know something about Indo-European religions because, as far as I know, Nordic religion had no concept of haloes. You have linguistic freedom, that does not exempt you from criticism, informed and ignorant. – Jeff Morrow May 30 '20 at 3:03
  • Thanks for your advice. Now I ditch my old idea "Haloed Thor Gunship". This is my new question, which you might be interested in: worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/177490/… – Zhang Jian May 30 '20 at 5:41
  • In what circumstances you would say "Haloed angel", and in what circumstances you would say "Haloing angel"? – Zhang Jian May 30 '20 at 11:30
  • 2
    A "haloed angel" would be an angel wearing a halo. A "haloing angel" would be an angel bestowing a halo on someone else. Might a haloing angel also be a haloed angel? Yes, but the focus of using the word "haloing" is on what the angel is doing. – Jeff Morrow May 30 '20 at 13:47

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