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My experience (at least in the Orthodox Ashkenazic community) is that it is common knowledge that we may not say Elohim in everyday speech. On the other hand, it seems like in many cases in Tanach or Talmud the name Elohim or similar is used in conversational terms or at least not directly in a blessing.

Is this true Halacha as many Ashkenazim appear to think it is, is it more of a minhag that has the force of Halacha, or is it not true?

And if it is forbidden as many seem to think it is, then why can't we say God's name? Also is there one name that is forbidden while other terms are not? For example many places and names include "el" in them and that seems to be fine.

Also, in practice, if you speak Hebrew and want to teach a child about God, do you actually use a fake word like "Elokim" to discuss it?

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    Who says we aren't? – Double AA Sep 30 '12 at 3:38
  • Well aside from the other answer quoting Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, common knowledge. (But I don't understand why, and "fear of God" doesn't really explain it.) Unless you have a source or example to the contrary? – A L Oct 3 '12 at 6:13
  • Can you edit into your question the reason why you perceive you are not allowed to pronounce the name, and the rest of the question and information that you provided in the comment below that the moderator suggested you include. These will strengthen you question by making it more clear. – user2411 Jul 8 '16 at 17:25
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Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (6:3) writes:

אסור להוציא שם שמים לבטלה וכל המוציא שם שמים לבטלה עובר על מצות עשה דכתיב את ה' אלהיך תירא וכתיב אם לא תשמור וגו ליראה את השם הנכבד והנורא וזהו מכלל היראה שלא להזכיר שמו הגדול כי אם בדרך שבח וברכה במה שהוא מחויב או בדרך לימוד ויירא ויזדעזעו אבריו בשעה שהוא מזכיר את השם יתברך שמו אבל לא להוציאו חס ושלום לבטלה ולא שם המיוחד בלבד אלא כל השמות המיוחדים לשמו יתברך ולא לבד בלשון הקודש אסור אלא אפילו בכל לשון אסור

It is forbidden to say G-d's name (lit. ''the Heavenly Name'') in vain, and everyone who says G-d's name in vain transgresses a positive commandment, as it is written: ''The Lord your G-d you shall fear;'' and it is (again) written: ''If you will not observe ... to fear the glorious and awesome Name.'' This (we learn) from the concept of fear, that one should not mention His great Name except by way of praise or blessing whenever required, or when (Torah) learning. One should be fearful and one's entire body tremble when mentioning the name, blessed be His name, but one should not say it G-d forbid, in vain; And (this applies) not only to the special Name but to all the names specially referring to Him, may He be blessed. It is not just in (Hebrew) the Holy Tongue, that (mentioning the Name) is forbidden, but even in any language it is forbidden.

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    There's a big gap between "in vain" and "only while learning Torah or praying". – Double AA Sep 30 '12 at 3:58
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    @DoubleAA Seems like Kitzur Shulchan Aruch considers any other use as in vain. – Michoel Sep 30 '12 at 4:00
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    It is not universally accepted or practiced to avoid saying the English equivalent of Hashem's name (see Shach YD 179:11). – Fred Sep 30 '12 at 4:08
  • My question is why can't we say God's name, not is it forbidden. Meaning, if it is forbidden, why does it seem like in many cases in Tanach or Talmud the name Elokim or similar is used in conversational terms or at least not directly in a blessing? If you speak Hebrew and want to teach a child about God, do you actually use a fake word to discuss it? Also what does it refer to by "the Heavenly Name"? Is there one name that is forbidden while other terms are not? For example many places and names include "el" in them and that seems to be fine. – A L Oct 3 '12 at 6:11
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    @AL Why not include all of that in the question? Remember, the clearer and more explicit you make your question, the better the responses will be. – Double AA Oct 3 '12 at 6:20

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