Friday, June 10, 2016


PLAIT           PaTahL               Pey-Tahf-Lamed
Pah-TULL            פתל             [P -T-L àPLT]
ROOTS:   A PLAIT or BRAID of hair, like a PLEAT or fold in clothing, is traced to Old French pleit, fold.  Then comes the usual twisting by the Latin Lovers, as the PLT word is then credited to Latin plicāre (to fold).  This new fiction is then given the make-believe Indo-European (IE) “root” plek (to plait), linked to כפל KaPHahL (to fold) at entries like “COUPLE.”

PLAIT and PLEAT should be gently re-folded via an M132 metathesis  to  פתל               PaTahL , to twist, but not mangled to PLK. In Biblical Hebrew the adjectival form is reduplicated to  פתלתל   P’TaL’ToaL  (twisted, perverted -- Deuteronomy 32:5).
For the noun of twisted fibers, פתיל ,  see “FUSE.”  In New Hebrew  פתל  PeTeL is a spiral-shaped bacteria.  In Aramaic-Syriac  פתל  PiTaL means “he twisted.” 

The son of Jacob and tribe of  נפתלי NAFTALI (Genesis 30:8) is named for wrestling, contesting (same verse)… which involves twisted, intertwined limbs.
Designed opposites: פצל PaTSeL, to divide, split [SPLIT
                                   פתל PaTeL, to twist together, braid or plait
To INTERPRET (see “INTERPRET”)  a dream or foreign word is פתר  PaTahR; an INTERPRETATION is a    פתרון PiTaROAN (both Genesis 40:8).  Untangling and tangling is bilabial-dental-liquid.
A further bilabial-liquid-dental opposite of entwining is  פרד PaRaD, to separate, divide  --
 see  “PART.”

BRANCHES:  Arabic  fatala means he twisted together or PLAITED. The Ethiopic is identical, while Akkadian patālu means “to wind.”
BRAID, the same twisted bilabial-liquid-dental, is traced to Old English bregdan (to weave).

An old-fashioned twisting or rolling on the dance floor may be a labial-liquid-dental form of  פתל  PaTahL  that became German and English WALTZ.  Polish falda is to PLEAT or FOLD.  Polish  pląt  (tangle, to entangle)  is a post-Tower of Babel tangled or twisted PTL.    There is little risk in considering TWIRL (spin)  as a possible derivative (M213), since TWIRL is from “origin unknown.”
SLAVIC languages will help the historical linguists to untwist the pigtail:
פתיל  P’TeeYL, a wick or twisted cord (the noun)
(In almost all below: twist the root with an M132 metathesis, bilabial-dental-liquid to bilabial-liquid-dental)

FiTiLj   (wick, fuse) -- Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian
FiTiL'   (wick) -- Bulgarian,  Macedonian, Russian фитиль  
PTLa (noose) -- Polish
oPLeTka  (braid) -- Russian оплетка
oPLieTka (braid) -- Belarusian
PLeTenec (plait, braid) -- Czech, Slovak (string, twist, rope)
PLeTenica (a braid, plait, twist) -- Bosnian, Czech, Serbian
PLeTenka (braid) -- Macedonian
PLiTka (a plait, braid, pigtail, rope) -- Bulgarian M132, Macedonian (a plait)
sPLeSTi  (a plait) -- Slovene
sPLeŤ  (a tangle) -- Slovak
sPLeTinnya (a tangle) -- Ukrainian

פתל PaTahL, to twist, braid,  plait (the verb)
(All these verb forms of  PLAIT twist  PTL to bilabial-liquid-dental.) 

PLąT  (to entangle) --  Polish
PLéST (to twist, plait, hand-weave) -- Czech
PLeSTi (to spin, braid, twine, plait) -- Russian плести , Serbian
PLeSTi (to entwine, weave, plait, weave) -- Ukrainian
PLiTka (to plait)  -- Macedonian
prePLeT  (to entwine, twist) -- Slovak
sPLaTać (to braid, splice, entwine, interlace) -- Polish
sPLiTam (to entwine, knit, plait, braid, wreathe) -- Bulgarian
uPETLjati (to entangle) -- Bosnian
uPLeSTi (to twist, entwine, enmesh, weave, wreathe) -- Croatian
uPReSTi (to entwine, twist) -- Bosnian
vPLITam (to entangle) -- Bulgarian
zaPLiTaty (to plait)  -- Ukrainian
zaPLéST (to entangle, to entwine) -- Czech
zaPLeSTi (to braid) -- Bosnian
zaPLeTať (to braid, to plait)  or zaPLiaT   (to plait) -- Russian заплетать,
    Belarusian, Slovene, Slovak (+ to tangle)
zaPLuTaty (to entangle) -- Ukrainian     

See “PYTHON” and  “PUZZLE.”