Tuesday, May 17, 2011


THIEF        TaFa$     Tahf-Phey-Samekh


ROOTS: The AHD has no Indo-European “root” for catching the common THIEF. 

Webster’s offers Anglo-Saxon thefe, the bramble. Edenics would be too embarrassed to offer such a stretch, but one guesses that thorns might "catch" one’s clothes.

The older and more logical source is תפש TaFaS, to seize – Deuteronomy 4:17 or

22:28.  It is also in Jewish Aramaic. In Proverbs 30:9 it is specifically rendered “steal.” 

 חטף [K]HaDTahF is to snatch (Judges 21:21), spelledחתף   [K]HaTahF in Job 9:12.  Amharic (Semitic, Ethiopia) has qatafi to mean "cheater." (Any similarity to a Libyan dictator may be purely coincidental.)

 תפס TaFa$ is the modern spelling  of  תפש TaFaS.    אסף  A$ahF is to collect or gather .

   ת-פ   Tahf-Phey is the “grabbing hold” sub-root of  תפר TaPHahR, to sew together.  The second sub-root is  Phey-Resh,  פרורים PeROORiM  or crumbs, pieces, (see “FRIABLE”), or, reversing פ-ר  P-R,  the shards that have been  טרף  DTaRaF (torn or ripped apart)  – see “TROPHY.”        תפר TaPHahR, to stitch or sew together, then, is the grabbing hold of that which has  been torn or



BRANCHES:    Tet–Bet is largely evident among Germanic THIEVES:  German dieb, Dutch dief, Danish and Norwegian tyv and Swedish tjuyv.

Latvian dabuo and tap,  to take, hold, seize, has been linked to Sumerian dab and dib, to hold, taske, seize.  

The Hungarian tolvaj and the Japanese  nusubito (reversing  תפש  TaFaS) may also be caught in a lineup of suspects. Also reversing  תפש Tahf-Phey-Sin is tsivot,  number five for the Hopi Indians near Utah. As seen elsewhere,  Edenic “hand” words provide natural terms for the number five.

Only a dental shift away is  Polish dopasc, to reach, catch or overtake.  Greek klepto (as in KLEPTOMANIAC) and Modern Greek klef’tis have a dental-bilabial, but are closer to a more violent snatching,  טרף  DTeReF – see “TROPHY.”  Also see “KNAVE.”

Back in NYC, if you took your eyes off it (even a chained-up bike)  -- it was gone.
Here in Israel, people are aggressive
about returning lost objects.

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Posted via email from Isaac Mozeson