E 0310          ETYMOLOGY

The word "etymology" is of Greek origin

H 0039            ת מ א

Concept of root : truth

Hebrew word


English meanings

ת מ א



Related English words


Comparison between European words and Hebrew




English meanings

Similarity in roots


ת מ א



e m t


ετεος ; ετυμος

eteos ; etumos

actual, true

e t . ;

e t m



Hebrew *EMET --- *ETÜM-OS Greek



This comparison between two not too similar words from Greek and Hebrew, with a very similar meaning does not bring clear conclusions. The first thought upon comparing these two words is of a metathesis. This is a frequent phenomenon in languages, in which two letters within a word change their relative positions. A well-known example is that of English "burn" versus German "brennen" but in fact also with English "brand". Here that means " E+M+T" versus "E+T+M".


Another , and probably better supposition in this case is the following . Both Greek and Hebrew have an original basis in "*et", indicating "time, period or moment". To this basis an "M" would have been added to pass, via the concept of "actual" to that of "truth". This would be in line with the ways of thinking of English-speakers, who often use the word "actual" to say "real, true". The Greeks would then have added the "M" behind their root "et" in "etumos", meaning "real, true", but originally in this supposition only "actual". Yet, the Greeks also have shaped, more directly from "et-", the adjective "eteos" with the same meaning already of "actual, true".


The Hebrews would thus have inserted their "M" instead of adding it after the root "et".


  • Etymology. Studies of etymology often leave us uncertain . Odd, if we think how the word etymology itself is based on the Greek word "etumos" = true, of this entry. In Ancient Greek the word " ετυμολογια " was already in use .


  • Proto-Semitic However important this Hebrew word is, there is no evidence available for an etymology and with that a Proto-Semitic root is hard to hypothesize. Some scholars suppose it comes from the root ""א מ נ *Aleph M N ", seen in Entry E 0574 (Hebrew 0035) with the message of "to believe", but regretfully this remains uncertain.





Created: Tuesday 6 November 2007 at 22.30.54 Updated: 24/09/2012 at 17.20.13