origin: (1525–35) Hebrew; הַלְּלוּיָהּ = “Hallel” + “Jah” or Praise Jehovah/God
“Hallel” means to praise, shine forth, or be worthy of commendation. “Jah” is a shortened form of “Jehovah“, transliterated from the Hebrew word יהוה or YHWH -- a word that is not actually meant to have a proper pronunciation nor is it a formal name. Hallelujah has also come to mean an expression of relief or joy in general; the equivalent to Homer Simpson's "Whoo-Hoo!"
You may hear people state that The King James version of the bible is a very literal and plainspoken one (purposely) in comparison to the former Hebrew. I realize that may seem strange given our current state of language, where even King James is seen as out-of-date and obfuscated. However, in order to fully understand the poetic depth, psychology, and delicious complexity human language can offer when reading/translating these ancient documents, please sample the nuances found within this singular word. This is exactly why theology is an important form of study and one that creates an extra layer of joy to an appreciator of language and words!
A Happy Easter or Springtime from me and Mr. Bean!