The word angel in English is a blend of
Old English engel (with a hard g) and
Old French angele.
 Both derive from
Late Latin angelus "messenger", which in turn was borrowed from
Late Greek ἄγγελος aggelos,
 commonly transliterated by non Greek speakers in its phonetic form ángelos. According to
R. S. P. Beekes, ángelos itself may be "an Oriental loan, like ἄγγαρος [ángaros, 'Persian mounted courier']."
 The word's earliest form is
Mycenaean a-ke-ro, attested in
Linear B syllabic script.
The ángelos is the Septuagint's default translation of the
Biblical Hebrew term
mal’ākh, denoting simply "messenger" without specifying its nature. In the
Latin Vulgate, the meaning becomes bifurcated: when mal’ākh or ángelos is supposed to denote a human messenger, words like nuntius or legatus are applied. If the word refers to some supernatural being, the word angelus appears. Such differentiation has been taken over by later vernacular translations of the Bible, early Christian and Jewish exegetes and eventually modern scholars.