E 0629          OFER

The Old English word "ofer" is of Germanic origin

H 0108            ר ב ע

Concept of root : the other side

Hebrew word


English meanings

ר ב ע


other side, -bank

Related English words

over ; Old English : ofer

Comparison between European words and Hebrew




English meanings

Similarity in roots


ר ב ע


other side, -bank

‛e v . r

Old English




Überseite ; Ufer

überseite ;


other side ;


ü b . r


overkant ;




other side,

-bank ;


 o v . r



Proto-Semitic *‛EVER --- *P Ā R, *P È R Indo-European



The particular meanings found in this entry are just examples of a specialized use of the same root of the other entries of the group that is specified here below. Here the root is made to indicate the destination that is reached when passing across a certain stretch, that can be a river or a dry place , but is anyhow " the other side ".


German and Dutch share with Hebrew the fact of an initial vowel, though the specific choices are not identical, with Hebrew having an E , German a sharp Ü and Dutch Ū or Ō .



  • Hebrew and Proto-Semitic. Proto-Semitic is considered as having used the same root that is present in Hebrew, "*ע ב ר, Ayin, B,R " . It is used in Aramaic, Syriac, Arabic and Akkadian. This entry is one of a group of six, all based on the same Proto-Semitic and Hebrew root , that has known a particularly rich development of related meanings, which have their counterparts in various European languages. The six entries are :
     E 0651 over                       (Hebrew 0104, to pass over)
     E 0331 ferry ( Dutch "veer")      (Hebrew 0105, to cross (over)
     E 0345 ford                       (Hebrew 0106, ford)
     E 0939 OE beran (Latin fero)      (Hebrew 0107, to pass, transport )
     E 0629 OE ofer(Du "overkant")     (Hebrew 0108, other side)
     E 0344 for                        (Hebrew 0109, for, before)
    Perhaps also E 0468 (Hebrew 0110) should be considered part of this group.


  • Germanic. It must be pointed out that these Germanic words should not be seen as related to Greek " ηπειρος , èpeiros ", because this word does not have the supposed meaning of "coast", but that of "mainland, continent", that has led to the name of an important region in North-Western Greece.


    Nor do they have any relation with a preposition like Greek "apo-" or English "off-". Some see "ufer" and "ofer" as comparatives of "off" : "more off" . Nice way of guessing, but semantically little probable.


  • Proto-Germanic. With
    Middle High German "uover",
    Old Frisian "over, overa" ,
    Middle Dutch "oever,  pronounced "uver"
    Old English "ofer", 
    Old Saxon "ofer" ,
    Proto-Germanic may have been "*O V (E) R", but even more probable is "*U V (E) R. We find no Nordic sisters .


  • Indo-European. The introduction of an initial vowel, " Ū " or " Ō ", probably has accompanied the separation of groups from Indo-European. Consequently there may have been a form "*P Ā R- or rather already a "*P È R-".


    Old Indian has a noun "pārá = the further bank, the opposite side".


    Avestan , much like Old Indian, uses "pāra- for "(other) bank".




Created: Tuesday 6 November 2007 at 22.30.54 Updated: 22/12/2012 at 9.51.47