SALT OF THE EARTH

What is the connection between: salt, soldier and salary? Going back in time and ending up today - not a lot has changed in the language and even the references still continue to a certain extent.


It is thought that the words ‘Soldier and Salary’ derive from the word salt – ‘sal’ in Latin.
 
In roman times the soldiers were partly paid in salt.  Salt was a scarce and expensive commodity and its value was legendary. 
 
Sayings that we still use today, such as; ‘he’s not worth his salt’ and ‘a cut above the salt’ are connected to those ancient times when sitting above or below the salt inferred a precedence in seating arrangements at a feast, according to rank.  Not be worth one’s salt was considered a great insult.
 
Even in the Bible we can find references to compliments of some men as being ‘the salt of the earth’. 
 
Short etymology:
Sal – salt
Sal dare – Soldier
Salarium - Salary
 
Here at the lowest place on earth, the Dead Sea, a lake with 33% higher levels of salt than the Mediterranean, our salaries are not from salt.  But there is no doubt, that even today, salt enables us to thrive with industry, tourism and environmental attractions which ultimately give us our incomes.
'Salt of the earth' is even given as the name of our pre-military programmes for young soldiers who train to prepare themselves for military life.  

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