GD 1070          POGEN

H 0242            ן ח ב

Concept of root : trying

Hebrew word


English meanings

ן ח ב

ן ח ב ו



to try out ;

trying out

Related English words


Comparison between European words and Hebrew




English meanings

Similarity in roots


ן ח ב ;

ן ח ו ב

baghan ;


to try out;

trying out

b gh n




to try

p gh

Middle Dutch



to try

p gh



Hebrew BOGHEN < Proto-Semitic *BOGH- --- *POG-EN Middle Dutch



This similarity looks rather perfect. We will look into it a bit further. The difference between a Hebrew B and a Germanic P at the beginning of a word is quite possible as a development on basis of a common origin.


  • Dutch has even the final N like Hebrew, but this is misleading. The suffix "-en" is just that of forming an infinitive. That leaves us with only the first two consonants plus the meaning of our words in similarity, which is quite sufficient if the Hebrew N has been added later.


    Important is that Dutch "poghen" is a completely isolated word, not found in other Germanic languages besides in Low German. As we know, Low German in origin is the same language as Dutch .


    In fact we see that Dutch has retained old roots and words that surprisingly find relatives in Ancient Hebrew. Here we have just one example . This kind of findings gives a strong confirmation of the hypothesis of the former existence of the common language called Nostratic.


  • Hebrew has , besides "baghan" of this entry also the word " ב ח ר , baghar ", that says "to choose, prefer" . This is sufficiently near to "baghan" to suppose the possibility that both have been developed in the process of differentiation by adding a third consonant to a common origin of a two-consonant root "*B GH", near what we find in the Dutch word.


    Really there is another aspect still. That old Hebrew root might have had a "waw" in between, which is a very frequent phenomenon, and thus having a pronunciation "*BOGH" which is still nearer to the Dutch word "POGHen". And a Hebrew participle is "BOGHEN".


  • Proto-Germanic and Indo-European. Seen the fact that the Dutch word is fully isolated, with no cognates known in other Germanic languages, no hypothesis for Proto-Germanic or Indo-European is feasible.


  • Proto-Semitic. This root is found , as so often is the case, also in Aramaic and Syriac, "beghan = to try, test" . In Arabic there are two related roots. The first in the word "baghatha = he examined, searched", the other in the composed verb " maghana to probe, examine". It is quite possible that Proto-Semitic used the same root we find in Hebrew : "*ב ח ן, B GH N ".


    Referring to the reasoning in the above Note on Hebrew, one may suppose that Proto-Semitic originally had a root "*ב ו ח, B W GH , bogh".





Created: Tuesday 6 November 2007 at 22.30.54 Updated: 08/10/2012 at 13.43.43