Word Origin & History
late O.E. castel, from O.N.Fr. castel, from L. castellum "fortified village," dim. of castrum "fort;" cognate with O.Ir. cather, Welsh caer "town" (and perhaps related to castrare "cut off"). This word had come to O.E. as ceaster and formed the -caster and -chester in place names. Sp. alcazar "castle"
is from Arabic al-qasr, from L. castrum. The move in chess is recorded under this name from 1656. In early bibles, castle was used to translate Gk. kome "village," causing much confusion. Castles in Spain translated a 14c. Fr. term (the imaginary castles sometimes stood in Asia or Albania) and probably reflects the hopes of landless knights to establish themselves abroad.