GR 1138          AMERGO

H 0149            ר מ ע , ר מ ע ת ה

Concept of root: to harvest

Hebrew word


English meanings

ר ם ע , ר מ ע ת ה

‛immèr, hit‛ammer

to harvest, to treat brutally

Related English words


Comparison between European words and Hebrew




English meanings

Similarity in roots


ר מ ע ,

ר מ ע ת ה

‛immèr ;


to harvest, treat brutally

‛a m r


αμεργω; αμειρω,



ameiro, amerdo

to harvest;

deprive, rob


. a m r



Hebrew *‛AMER --- * AMER- Greek



This entry is related to number GR 1138 (Hebrew 0148), in which there is a comment on the relation between the various Greek words.


Though the similarity does seem rather reasonable, the meaning of the second couple of words raises some questions. In the case of Hebrew it is possible that there are two similar roots with different meanings.


  • Hebrew has for this root a much concentrated meaning of plucking and harvesting. The same root gives the word "‛omer" for ears of wheat that have been taken or plucked. Perhaps plucking was the system ? And also for a sheaf, ‛amir" this root comes in handy.


    But then we see a second meaning: to treat brutally; to treat as a slave, exploit". This meaning is found, oddly enough, also in a medio-passive version "hit‛ammèr" . It has perhaps an Arabic cognate : "ghimr = rancor, malice".


  • Proto-Semitic. In fact it is quite possible that we see here two identical roots with different meanings. The first refers then to harvesting, the second to mistreatment , in Deuteronomium 21-14 and 24.7 the cruel treatment of a slave. Arabic has "ghimr = rancor, malice" . True, a Hebrew Ayin may correspond to an Arabic GH, but this word is a bit too far off.


    For both meanings, that of "harvesting" and that of mistreatment, the existence of Proto-Semitic "* ע מ ר, " is possible.


  • Greek "amergo" is somewhat less specific regarding what and how is plucked. And its sisterwords, as they seem to be, pass via incorrect taking away to rightaway robbing. There is a logical semantic development in this.


  • Greek and Hebrew in some way meet each other again when the first with a medio-passive version "hit‛ammèr" passes to treating brutally. Perhaps also to "harvest" fruits somebody else has plucked ?


  • Indo-European. Our Greek "amerdo = to deprive" is often seen as related to words from other Indo-European languages, as Avestan "marĕd = to destroy", Armenian "mart = battle", Old Indian mádati = to press, crush, smash"" and even Latin "mordēre = to bite", but there is too little similarity in meaning . So regretfully there is no information from other groups of langugaes for a solid hypothesis for Indo-European.





Created: Tuesday 6 November 2007 at 22.30.54 Updated: 01/10/2012 at 14.56.28