The Edenics Sound-Color Key:
bilabial lip letters: B, F, V, W],
fricative whistling letters: Soft C,S,TS]
guttural throat letters: Hard C,G,K,Q]
dental tooth letters: D, T, TS]
liquid tongue letters: L,R]nasal nose letters: M,N]
BASIL BeeTSaiL Bet-Tsadi-Lamed
BEE-TSAIL בצל [B-(T)S-L]
ROOTS: BASIL is an herb whose leaves are used as seasoning. It has no pretend Indo-European (IE) “root.” Old French basile, the basil plant, is thought to come from Greek basilikos, royal.
There were onions long before there were kings, or palaces with onion-shaped domes. An onion in Phoenician is basil. Basal is the Arabic. Obviously, the word for onion preceded one for royal architecture. Insipid, Semitically-challenged etymologies like this could make a grown man cry.
The post-Biblical בצל BeeTSaiL, to flavor or spice (as with onions) is from the בצל BaTSahL, onion, seen in Numbers 11:5. Here the freed Israelite slaves cry over not having onions: "We remember the fish ... in Egypt . . . and the leeks, and the onions and the garlic." It is easier to take people out of slavery, than to take the slavery (passivity, victimhood) out of people.
The Hebrew root implies similar vegetables like the onion and shallot.
Onions almost peel themselves, thus the similarity between בצל BeeTSaiL and פצל PeeTSaiL, to peel or split. Chopping and mixing the bilabial-dental/fricative-liquid etymon gets תבלTeBHeL, spice (Aramaic, Syriac).
Edenicist Al Ansley points out that the crucial צ-ל Tsadi-Lamed sub-root. צל TSaiL means “shadow,” as in a protective shadow (Genesis 19:8) and in the shadow’s duplication (the artist shadowing divine design is Bezalel – Exodus 31:2). The onion is בצע BeTS[A]h, broken down (Amos 9:1) , by these duplicate, “shadowed” ( צל TSaiL) layers of skin. Like nature's Russian nesting doll.
The protective onion layers resemble the skin-shedding snake, thus the BASILISK below, whose breath was as lethal as an onion-eater.
Similar to פצל PaTSaL (to peel off – Genesis 30:37) is פסלPa$aL (to sculpt – Exodus 34:1), as the sculptor removes outer layers to reveal his artistic replica. [Al Ansley]
The חבצלת [K]HaBHaTSeLeT of Songs 2:1 has been translated lily, crocus, tulip or rose of Sharon. It is a flower with overlapping petals patterned like the onion. More on the צ-ל Tsadi-Lamed sub-root of duplicate forms below. More צל TSaiL shadows at “SILHOUETTE.”
BRANCHES: The dictionary offers the puzzling term basileous ("king" in Greek) as the source for BASIL. Citing the mythical BASILISK snake only confuses the lexicographers still more. The eternal onion, where a mystery lies within a mystery, as endless layers are peeled off, inspired the sacred onion shape of domed Eastern European houses of worship. (Also, secular towers of power like the Kremlin.) Dig up the onion for the source of BASILICA (via Greek). The Rumanian word for church has undergone a conversion of liquids, from BASILICA to biserica.
צל TSaiL is a shadow, a duplicate or shadow image (Genesis 19:8). This sub-root has sacred implications since Genesis 1:27 where Man is fashioned in the צלם TSeLeM, “image” or “likeness” of the creator [Alejandro Soutric]. Another religious צל TSaiL of note is Psalms 121:5, where the Lord is one’s “shade” or protection. On a deeper level, this verse has the Creator “shadowing us,” returning the energy that we put out, in Isaac’s Third Law of Theological Thermodynamics (for every action there’s an equal … reaction).
An audible, rather than visual likeness, is צליל TSiLeeYL, ring, sound, tone.
Getting back to our mundane onion, many tongues like the flavor of בצל BeeTSaiL. (Remember that the צ Tsadi/TS can be a fricative or a dental.) An easy #1-#2 letter flip (M213 metathesis) of B/TS/L is TS/B/L. Here's the TSIBELE that a Yiddishe mama cooks with, along with the CIPOLLA, ZWIEBEL, CEBULA, and SIPULI (onions all) that Italian, German, Polish, and Finnish mamas have cried over for centuries. There’s also the Czech onion: cibule, Portuguese: cebola, Slovak: cibule, Slovenian čebula.
NE African, Somali basal, is most like the Hebrew onion, בצל BaTSahL. Only in Africa did onions begin with the Lamed/L 3rd consonant: Hausa: albasa, Igbo: alibasa and Yoruba alubosa.
In Estonia it’s sibul, while in Latvia it’s sīpols. Irish has a basil-like word, but the verb of flavoring, blastaw, comes from somewhere else. One of the only fricative/dental variations for the צ Tsadi not used above is seen in the Ukrainian onion: tsybulnya.
Tipula is an onion in Basque, the language with "no affinities." (This is not borrowed from Spanish cebolla nor from the French oignon.)
CHIVE is from Latin cepa (onion), ultimately from a shifted, reversed and chopped ב-צ Bet-Tsadi. The Cebuas and Filipino onions, sibuyas, and the Kazakh onion, pïyaz, did not come from Latin.
Dropping the ב Bet instead of the ל Lamed, Sol is an onion for Kiowa: Tanoan natives of central Amerind.
Repeating the quaint Darwinian myths that words are meaningless, evolved from animal signals in different locales, and that distant human words are unrelated can give one bad breadth.