GR 1138          AMERGO

H 0148            ר מ ע

Concept of root : to pick

Hebrew word


English meanings

ר מ ע


to pick, collect, harvest

Related English words


Comparison between European words and Hebrew




English meanings

Similarity in roots


ר מ ע


to pick, collect

‛i m r

*‛a m r




to pick

a m r



Proto-Semitic *‛AMER --- *MÈRG- Indo-European



The concept of picking is that regarding agricultural products, natural fruits etcetera. But this entry is to be read in relation with GR 1138 (Hebrew 0149).


  • Greek. Scholars see as the root of "amergo" : " *merg" . This may well be right, though there are other words that indicate differently. We cite "αμερδω , amerdo", that means "to take away" or "to take from" and is related to "amergo".


    This difference suggests that the differentiation might depend on the choice of the extra consonant, like a " G " or a " D ". This can also mean that the aleph as the opening sound of these two verbs is not a confirming (epitaktiko) one, but a denying (sterčtiko) one. We look as a confirmation to the root "μερ , mer" which indicates a part of something. By picking or taking away that part it inevitably stops being such. This would be expressed by "a-mer-". Other meanings of "amerdo" confirm this thesis : "bereave" and "abduct".


  • Hebrew. Some scholars see the root of this entry as a metathesized form af a root "ע רם". This root is present in Hebrew and carries the meanings of "to heap up, pile up", which is decidedly not identical to "to gather, collect". Thus the idea of a metathesis has unsufficient foundation.


  • Proto-Semitic. This root, referring to the collecting of grain, gives the words " 'omer = cut ears, sheaf" and " ' amir = small sheaf ". But also the famous "Omer = Measure of Grain", that has given its name to the days after Passover. The first has a sister word in Aramaic "ע מר א, ‛umer'ŕ = sheaf, omer (measure)", for both mentioned meanings.


    If this root would indeed have been due to a metathesis as indicated in the previous note, it would be uncertain if that development might have taken place in Proto-Semitic or later, perhaps in Hebrew, that has the two versions. But as things stand there is a small but acceptable base for supposing an identical Proto-Semitic root: "* ע מר".


  • Indo-European. Our Greek "amergo = to pluck, harvest" is often seen as related to words from other Indo-European languages, as Old Indian "vi-mārga- = wiping off", but the intention of the action is very different. Much nearer comes Latin "merges =sheaf of grain", with a related name of a harvesting instrument mergae = fork", a two-pronged one to gather the grain. Latin and Greek together give some basis, be it a limited one, for Indo-European "M È RG-". The introduction of a "G" as third consonant probably has taken place earlier.





Created: Tuesday 6 November 2007 at 22.30.54 Updated: 01/10/2012 at 14.48.26