GR 1163          EKHO

H 0023          א ח ז

Concept of root : seize and keep

Hebrew word


English meanings

א ח ז


seize, keep firmly

Related English words


Comparison between European words and Hebrew




English meanings

Similarity in roots


א ח ז 


seize,   keep firmly

a gh . z




seize,   keep firmly

e kh



Proto-Semitic *AGHAZ < *AGH- --- *EKHO Greek



  • Hebrew. This item, "aghaz", is with all probability related to the root in entry number E 0654 (Hebrew 0018), "agh". Hebrew, with already various different uses for " agh ", has chosen to diversify and express this concept of seizing and keeping firmly by adding a Z as third consonant.


  • Proto-Semitic. In part of the Semitic languages we find a root " א ח ד, Aleph GH D", such as in Aramaic and Syriac. Arabic has "'aghadą = he seized". Our " א ח ז, Aleph GH Z" we find besides in Hebrew and Moabite, also in Akkadian and Amharic .


    It is possible that "D" and "Z" interchange in or among Semitic languages. Therefore it remains difficult to guess if Proto-Semitic had as third consonant a "D" as some sustain, or rather a "Z" , or perhaps also still an older two consonant root " א ח , *Aleph GH", as we suppose on the basis of normal development in Semitic. The two consonant root " Aleph GH" anyhow has been extended with various different third consonants in order to diversify and create various meanings that had to be expressed.


  • Greek. In modern language our word "ekho", which has no relation to the well-known word "ego" that means "I", is used to express "to have". This was necessary as Greek just as Hebrew had reserved the root of English "have" to express the concept of love. The origin of both roots touches the concept of holding and keeping .


    There is a widespread opinion that "ekho" comes from a fully hypothetical earlier "*sekh", that is found nowhere. There are many verbal forms that have "skh" in them and these are thus seen as belonging to "ekho". But some of these obviously have other sources, like the verb "σχεθω, skhetho = to have, to keep, to arrest, resist". Some of these meanings are near those of "ekho" but the two verbs in our view do not have a common origin. Other forms with "skh" in them , like "eskhe" = he held ( the power)" or "he took ( a second wife), may recall an older verb "*skheo" of even the existing "skhao", that carries a.o. the meaning of "to arrest, stop" like "skhetho". Consequently we fear that this is a case in which an established view is off the mark.


    There is in Greek a second verb "ekho", with the meaning of "to carry, transport", originally "wekho", that has cognates in Latin "veho" , Old Indian "váhati", Avesti "vazaiti" and Slavic "vezo".


  • Indo-European. With just this Greek word, we have not ventured a hypothesis for Indo-European different from Greek.





Created: Tuesday 6 November 2007 at 22.30.54 Updated: 24/09/2012 at 10.32.59