I have noticed that some people are careful to not say the word "sheid" (demon) and say "shin-daled" instead. What's that all about?

  • 2
    Also page and chapter numbers for 304 are often written דש rather than שד. – msh210 Jan 15 '17 at 10:46
  • 2
    Superstition, perhaps? – ezra Jan 15 '17 at 17:11
  • Perhaps related to the fact that if you're not particular about them they're not particular about you, and do not mentioning their name is an attempt to avoid poking the bear? (I think it does the opposite, though, as showing that you're particular about avoiding them should incite them more than keeping them away.) – DonielF Jan 16 '17 at 14:58
  • sheer superstition. – Bach Jun 28 '17 at 1:26

Rav Shmuel Vital (17th century) in the siddur חמדת ישראל says this:

גם צריך להזהר מאד שלא להזכיר בפיו שם סמא"ל וזהו סוד מש"ה אלהים אחרים לא תזכירו וכו' ובפרט בלילה שאז היא שליטתו וממשלתו.ולא עוד אלא שגם הוא אסור להזכיר מעין דברים אלו כגון בני אדם הרגילים לומר בלשון לע"ז איל דייאבל"ו וכיוצא בדברים אלו אין להזכירם כלל לפי שגם השדי"ם הם בחלקו ומגביר כוחו כשיזכיר אותם.

... And similar things to this should not be said at all, since also the sheidim are in his (סמא"ל's) portion and his strength becomes greater when one mentions them.

(translation is of the bolded portion)

(Based on this answer by Y K)

  • I don't see how this addresses the question. This discusses saying names of Shedim, not the word "Shed". – Double AA Apr 28 '17 at 19:14
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    @DoubleAA He doesn't say mention their names, he says mentioning them. Also take not of what he says "כגון בני אדם הרגילים לומר בלשון לע"ז איל דייאבל"ו". In addition, sheidim is not written properly: "השדי"ם". – Ploni Apr 28 '17 at 19:20

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