SIFT SHaFahDT Shin-Phey-Tet
Shah-FAHT שפט [SH-F-DT à SFT]
ROOTS: SIFTING is associated so much with food preparation that we can forget that SIFT means distinguishing the truth by careful examination. “To make a careful examination” is the 3rd definition of the AHD -- no sieve or flour needed. “Sift the evidence” (AHD) is the job of a judge, not a chef.
There is no “Indo-European root” for SIFT. Middle English siften can only be traced back to Old English siftan.
The portion of Shoftim (Judges, also the name of a Biblical book) begins in Deuteronony 16:18 with the command to “appoint judges” (KJV and older JPS), שפטים SHoaFDTeeYM , who will שפטו SHahF’DTOO, “judge” (plural verb), a “righteous judgement ,”
TSeDeQ (righteous or just) may be parsed as צד TSahD (side -- see “SIDE”) + דק DahQ (fine, minute, thin -- see “ACUTE”). And so the SIFTER of evidence, or judge, does have to SIFT as with a sieve through the two opposing sides of a legal case.
BRANCHES: SLAVIC sifters < שפט, SHaPHahDT, to judge
iSPiTa (investigate) -- Macedonian
iSPiTati (examine, sift, test, search, assay, investigate)
-- Bosnian, Croatian
iZViDJETi (investigate) -- Bosnian
PyTaCCa (inquire) -- Belarusian M231
raSPiTati se (inquire) -- Bosnian, Croatian
VyŠeTriť , VyŠeTrovať (investigate, screen, find out, study, inquire)
-- Slovak M213
VyŠeTrovat (investigate, try, sound, inquire)
-- Czech M213
ZaPiTvam (inquire) -- Bulgarian
ZBaDać (investigate, examine) -- Polish
ZePTat se (inquire) -- Czech
Other possible vestiges of שפט, SHaPHahDT:
apšaubīt (question) -- Latvian M213
Ichoputa (investigate, verify) -- Igbo
Pētīt (investigate, delve) -- Latvian fricative dropsPyeS (interrogate) -- Albanian ß dental drops