E 0990 WEIGH

The word " weigh " is of Germanic origin .

H 0212 ק ו ע *, ק י ע ה

Concept of root: weighing

Hebrew word

pronunciation

English meanings

ק ו ע *, ק י ע ה

oq, he‛iq

to weigh, oppress

Related English words

to weigh

Comparison between European words and Hebrew

Languages

Words

Pronunciation

English meanings

Similarity in roots

Hebrew

ק ו ע ,

ק י ע ה

‛oq, he‛iq

to weigh,

oppress

יi q <

יo q

English

to weigh

to weigh

w . g

Old English

wegan

to weigh

w . g

German

wiegen;

wgen

wigen :

wgen

to weigh

w i . g ;

w . g

Dutch

ijken;

-

-

wegen

eiken ;

-

-

wghen

to establish precise weight ;

to weigh

i k ;

-

-

w . g

Middle Dutch

iken

iken

to establish precise weight

i k

 

 

Proto-Semitic *‛OQ --- WOG German < *WEG- Proto-Germanic

 

 

 

This similarity has a complicated but yet clear story. Germanic very often has W at the beginning of a root, where Hebrew once had a "waw", that sounded like W. This W usually has changed into an "Y". In the actual case there has been as well a guttural accentuation, a complicated way of saying that the consonant "Ayin" has been placed in front of the opening vowel "I". The peculiar fact of this entry is that the Dutch word "ijken" seems also to have changed like Hebrew, an initial W as we still find in "weigh", into "I", acquiring gradually a specialized meaning.

 

And aside of that, English "to weigh", German "wgen" with the newer form "wiegen" and Dutch "wegen" have maintained that old original "W" at the beginning of their roots.

 

Note:
  • Dutch has used the word "ijken" especially for the activity of establishing and then regularly verifying weights and later other measures. Obviously the origin is in "weighing".

 

Note:
  • Proto-Germanic. The combination "W E G" in Germanic can carry various meanings, amongst which that of "way (road), wagon" , that of "to move, shake, swing" and the meaning of "to weigh", that is seen in this entry.

     

    Sister verbs of "to weigh" in the infinitive have a vowel "E", that in later German was spelled "" and then changed into "IE" in "wiegen". The same vowel "IE" is already found in some verbal forms of the present. In past verbal forms there is a vowel "O" : "wog, gewogen"( Dutch woog, gewogen") . Related nouns may have a long "A" as in German "Wage= balance, weigh-house". In the Nordic languages the initial consonant is "V" , pronounced like the West Germanic "W". Old Norse had "vega" and Old Saxon and Old English "vegan". Probably Proto-Germanic had "*W E G-", with the use of "O" and "A" in some verbal forms and nouns.

 

Note:
  • Hebrew in the Bible has both "’oq" and "iq". Normally the root with the "waw" or "O" is the older version, that easily will have disappeared in this form from Modern Hebrew. The root with the "yod" or "I" is the newer one. The explications of their meaning are not all unanimous, but "weight that presses" and "balancing" seem to be among them. This means that we have the same concepts that still today are that of English "to weigh": "to have weight" and "to establish a weight" .

 

Note:
  • Proto-Semitic. There is little information that might justify a hypothesis. Arabic "‛āqa" stands for "he hindered, impeded" and might be related. Proto-Semitic "ע ו ק *Ayin W Q " may have existed, but this remains uncertain.

 

Note:
  • Indo-European. The common view is that in Germanic languages there exists a single root that expresses the two concepts of "to weigh" and "to move", that then sometimes are linked through a meaning of "to carry". An example is Old High German "wegan", used to say "to weigh" as well as "to move". The two concepts are very distant though, and a similarity of old roots with different messages seems more convincing. Each of the similar verbs has developed its own figurative meaning. For example those of "to weigh", as "to ponder, think over". And "German "bewegen" in "to motivate", The developments of words with a prefix "be-" or a similar one as in German and Dutch "bewegen" for "to move" may well have taken place to make clearer distinctions.

     

    It has been tried to see a cognate in for example Latin "vehere" = "to carry, transport". This verb has no link to a meaning of "to weigh" and cannot be seen as a cognate in this sense. It may well be related to English "wagon" instead. Related to "vehere" is Sanscrit "vâhati", that also has only meanings in the field of "carrying, driving"

     

    . Consequently we have no hypothesis for Indo-European related to this entry.

 

 

 

 

 
Created: Tuesday 6 November 2007 at 22.30.54 Updated: 23/12/2012 at 10.21.07