E 0288         EDMÆLE

The Old English word " edmæle " is of Germanic origin .

H 0077           א ת מ ו ל

Concept of root: yesterday

Hebrew word


English meanings

א ת מ ו ל



Related English words

Old English : edmæle

Comparison between European words and Hebrew




English meanings

Similarity in roots


א ת מ ו ל



e t m . l

Old English


12 , 24 hours, feast

e d m . l




24 hours

e t m . l



Proto-Semitic *ETMOL --- *ETMĀL Proto-Germanic



The nearness of the two concepts, respectively "the day before today" and "a day and night" or "twenty-four hours", is interesting . The similarity is, as often, between Semitic and Germanic.


  • Hebrew. In Biblical Hebrew the pronunciation of "etmol" can also be "etmul" or "itmul" and the word is also used to say "time ago", but not precisely yesterday.


    There exists also a version " tmol ",without the initial Aleph, in Biblical Hebrew as well as in for example Aramaic . In this case it is more probable that the original form has that Aleph, on account of the similarity with the Germanic words . But also on the basis of the fact that the first part of "etmol" carries the concept of " time ", combined with the meaning of the word itself, "yesterday", that is as well a concept of time .


  • Proto-Semitic. This word is found without initial vowel in Ethiopian temalem, with or without initial Aleph, in Hebrew


    א ת מ ו ל etmol and


    ת מ ו ל temol,


    in Aramaic


    א ת מ ל י, itmalé and


    ת מ ל י, temalì ,


    and in Syriac


    א ת מ ל א, etmalà and


    ת מ ל, temal .


    Further there is, with or without initial vowel " I "


    in Akkadian timali, itimali , that also has "ina timali" .


    The normal tendency is to say that the initial vowels have been added , and then as so often without changing meaning of the words. But also in the various Germanic languages there figures an initial vowel, which creates some doubt. That vowel in Germanic is usually E or A , but there is also Old High German "itmali" with an "I" like Akkadian .


    Proto-Semitic may have had already both versions as well : "* א ת מ ו ל " and "* ת מ ו ל "


  • Proto-Germanic. The etymology in Germanic tongues is unclear. The messages of the words vary from "24 hours, day and night period", to "24 hours period" and "12 hours period", which are not essential variations. As meaning one finds also, as in Old English, that of special (religious) festivity of long duration and this may be a derived message. Such festivities easily had an official duration of "from evening to evening", or 24 hours. We see:


    Old English : edmæle ;


    Old High German : itmāli ;


    Old Frisian : etmē ;


    Middle Low German : etmal, admal ;


    Middle Dutch : edmael, admael ;


    Dutch : etmaal ;


    German : etmal (out of use).


    Proto-Germanic may have had "*ET M Ā L".


  • Indo-European. We have no information from other groups of Indo-European languages to support a hypothesis.





Created: Tuesday 6 November 2007 at 22.30.54 Updated: 26/09/2012 at 16.48.51