Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The ע Ayin-to-H Shift

Some letter shifts from their Edenic origin to English are not intuitive and anatomical, like Grimms' Laws (published first by Rashi).

Carol Long, the intelligent designer at Lightcatcher Books, is working on the new edition of The Origin of Speeches. This post fits into Chapter Four.

  ע  Ayin is already GH, so  becoming an H is hardly a “shift.”  That Ayin-to-H change is seen in borrowings as when the Ayin of  [I]BHReeY is rendered as the H of Hebrew. 

While S[A]eeYR  (goat, satyr) normally involves goat hair, the Palahvi (Middle Persian) word for the wool-bearing sheep is saora.


Other ע    Ayin (GH)-to-H changes include:


1) Foreign words like Basque baby, haurra, from  עולה GHOOLaH (suckling, infant – Isaiah 49:15) and  עולל GHOALaiL  (child, infant Lamentations 2:11) – see “GIRL.”


Dutch, Danish and Norwegian hals (neck) from Ayin-Lamed, עול  GHoaL , yoke, – see “COLLAR”  and French hier (yesterday) from Ayin-Bhet-Reshעבר  , past – see “OVER.”  The Modern Greek village,   horio, is from Ayin-Yod-Resh  עיר  (city – Genesis4 :17).


  ע  Ayin/ GH-to-H shifts occur in languages as close as Anglo-Saxon, where hrǽfen and  עורב [O]WRai[V] mean raven, and also occur in languages as exotic as Maidu (California Indians), where hin and  עין  [A]YiN mean eye.


Or, using just English words:


2) HAMADRYAD (a wood nymph) from Greek hama (together, with) plus drys, tree (seen at “TREE”) – hama is from Ayin-Mem,  עםGHeeM (with – a likely source for HOMO- and HOMEO- words as well).

3) HARLOT (lewd woman, servant, churl, via Old French) from Ayin-Resh-Lamed,    ערלGHaReL    (uncircumsized – Exodus 12:48… thus a source for CHURL; ערלה  GHaReLaH came to mean       a gentile woman ).

4) HEATHEN and HEATH from Ayin-Tsadi,  עץGHaiTS, (forest, wood – see “LUTE” – via IE kaito     (forest).

5) HEDONISM (from Ayin-Dalen-Noon-Hey ,  עדנה  GHeiDNaH, pleasure – see “HEDONISM”)

6) HELIX (spiral—Greek) from Ayin-Gimel-Lamed ,  עגלGhaGoaL (round – see  “CYCLE”,

   with other GH-G-L terms metathesizing to HL plus guttural, like HELICOPTER.

7) HERD from Ayin-Dalet-Resh, עדר GHeDeR (flock, herd – see “HERD.”)

8) HERMES (originally the Greek god of “cunning” –Webster’s) from Ayin-Resh-Vav-Mem,

 ערום     GHaROOM,   “subtle” (KJV) or “cunning”  – Genesis 3:1.  See “IRONIC.”

9) HONEY from Ayin-Noon-Gimel, ענג GHoNeG (delight – see “HONEY”

10) HOVER  from Ayin-Phey,   עף GHahF (to fly – see “AVIATE”).


Like HOVER and AVIATE or UP, ע Ayin can provide a word beginning with a vowel, along with a cognate that begins with an H.

OVER and HYPER are both from עבר GHaBHahR, over.  See the “HYPER” and OVER” entries.   


At the 8th candle, the day finally starts to get longer.
We can banish the darkness.

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Posted via email from Isaac Mozeson