E 0349          FYNE, FYNIG

The Old English words " fyne " and " fynig " are of Germanic origin .

H 0229          ש א ב

Concept of root : rotten

Hebrew word


English meanings

ש א ב;

ש א ב ו



to be rotten, stink, be hateful;


Related English words

Old English : fynignian

Comparison between European words and Hebrew




English meanings

Similarity in roots


ש א ב;

ש א ב ו

ba’ash ;


to rotten, stink, be hateful ;


b . sh

Old English

fyne, fynig, fynignian

wetly moulded

f . n

Old Norse







to rot;

rotting; rotten

f (ú) n; f (ú i

Middle Dutch



to be bad, rotten, depraved

b . s





rotten, spongy

v . s



Proto-Semitic *BA 'ASH --- *PUS Indo-European



The comparison between Hebrew and the Dutch words shows a certain similarity. The shown vowels are different, because they are the standard form of the third person, male of the past time. Indeed the same Hebrew root "ב א ש" also gives "bo’esh" for "rottening" and "ba’ush" for rotten. In comparing roots we first have to look at the consonants and not let ourselves be guided too much by differences in vowels, that regard some specific forms out of more.



  • Proto-Semitic. The difference between Proto-Semitic and Hebrew final "SH" as to Germanic final "S" is not fundamental, as one can see from the fact that also other Semitic languages have that final "S". The root "ב א ש, B Aleph SH", is used in Aramaic and Syriac. It is further found in Akkadian "ba'ashu = to be bad". It is considered to have cognates in Arabic "ba'isa = to be unhappy" ( which we doubt) and Ethiopian "ba'sa = to be bitter" , which may be right. Proto-Semitic probably had the same root still used in Hebrew: "*ב א ש".


  • English no more uses this Old English word , that, together with Old Norse does not offer a clear picture of similarity with the Hebrew root of this entry. Whereas we see in Dutch a nasalized version " vuns " besides a more original " boos " and between these two "voos" , Old English has apparently abolished the final " S". This is not quite certain.


  • Dutch in modern language uses "boos" for "evil" and for "angry. It has either shifted the meaning of "boos = rotten, depraved" to "evil" and also to "angry", or modern " boos " is just similar but of different origin . The same reasoning goes for the modern German word "böse".


    We do not believe that these words are linked to the concept of "swelling" or "pride". Thus also English "to boast" does not have the same origin. The words "voos" and "vuns" are also frequently used figuratively, such as for being morally rotten.


    Both Dutch words, "voos" or older "boos" and nasalized "vuns", are seen as related to a word "vuil" = dirty" that is certainly related to English "filthy" and possibly also to "foul".


    The three words in bold show a certain similarity with Hebrew, especially if we consider the participle "bo'esh".


  • Proto-Germanic. The existing hypotheses are "*fausa-" and "*fauska". The first one recalls Semitic "ba'as", the second one "ba'ash" as also seen in Hebrew. The hypotheses are influenced by Old Norse "fausk = rotten or mouldered wood" and that is still used in modern Norwegian. The diphthong "AU" has its origin commonly in an older " U " or also " O " to which an "A" has been added to spell the new sound. The "O" is indeed still found in Swiss German with "gefosen" = "rotten". There was also an Old Frisian "fussig = decaying".Probably Proto-Germanic has "*F Ō S-", though the presence in Middle Dutch of an initial " B " as in Semitic obliges us not to exclude a "*B Ō S-". A consonant " F " may have developed out of an earlier " P " or, less frequently, an earlier " B ", but a " B " can hardly develop out of an " F ".


  • Indo-European.


    Latin. Italian has the words "puzzare" for "to stink" and "putrido" for "rotten". The "ZZ" in "puzzare" comes from Latin "TI" in "putidus" that means "fetid" just like the other Latin word "fetidus". Also interesting are the verbs "putesco" =" to rot, begin to stink" and "putreo = to decay, rot". And putor = "rotting, stink". All this indicates a "*P U T-", but that also is a root in Latin for "to clean". Then there is also the word "pus = pus" that deals with a process that can be compared to that of this entry. It indicates "*P U S" and it is possible that Latin in the diversification has used the original final consonant " S " for "pus", shifting the concept of "rotting" to the new fonal consonant" T ".


    Greek, different from Latin, serves both concepts with "πυος, püos = rotting, pus". The verb "πυθω, pütho =to make rot, to rot" makes us suspect that a consonant " S " was the predecessor of the " TH". That would mean an indication "P U S", but this is not certain and it may still be "P U T".


    Baltic shows a Lithuanian "púti = rot", but then diversifies between "púliai = pus" and "piaulaī = rotten" .


    Sanscrit has "pītis = rotten", but without " T " pīyati =stink"


    Indo-European probably had either "*P U S-" or "*P U T-". The " P " may have developed out of an earlier " B ".





Created: Tuesday 6 November 2007 at 22.30.54 Updated: 23/12/2012 at 14.24.35