GR 1154          BOSKOS

H 0257            ר ק ו ב ; ר ק ב

Concept of root : herding bovines

Hebrew word


English meanings

ר ק ב

ר ק ו ב

baqar ;


herd of bovines

bovine herdsman

Related English words


Comparison between European words and Hebrew




English meanings

Similarity in roots


ר ק ב ;


ר ק ו ב


baqar ;




herd of bovines ; 


b . q . r







bosko ;




to herd ;



 b . s k



Proto-Semitic *BAQAR --- *BOSK-OS Greek



The first thing that comes to mind is the Greek word "bous" that means "bovine", and of course Latin "bos" that says the same. But the above words , again at first sight , do not seem to carry an element of the word "bous" or "bos". We must have a look at the details. These will show that the basic concept of the words of this entry is that of "to take care of, look after, feed ", especially animals.



  • Hebrew. The root "B Q R" has several very different meanings. First "boqer" is "morning". Second: "biqqer", which should be the intensive form of meaning of the root, as a verb says "to care for, look after". Third: the basic form "baqar" as a noun refers to a "herd of bovines", as distinghuished from small cattle like sheep. Fourth: the intensive form "biqqèr", in the Bible means to examinate or investigate, while some scholars read the nominal form "biqqoret" as "punishment". That should really be only a possible consequence of an investigation. Fifth: Another nominal form of the basic verb sounds "baqarà" and says "care". Finally we see also "to visit" as a meaning of "biqqer".


    In modern Hebrew "biqqer", the intensive form, says "to control, check, criticise", but also neutrally "to visit" (friends, school) and "biqqoret" is "criticism". The basic form "baqar" is only used as the same noun for "bovines". The nominal form "baqarà" now has come to mean "control, check, revision".


  • Proto-Semitic. Proto-Semitic had this root that lived on in Hebrew. We find it in various related meanings, such as "herd" in Aramaic and Syriac "ב ק ר(ת)א, baqer(et)à" and in Arabic "baqar, baqarah = herd". Proto-Semitic probably used: "*ב ק ר, B Q R".


  • Greek. The root "B S K" through the four words mentioned in this entry clearly indicates the phenomenon of a herd of bovines guided to and controlled at its pasture, but this is a developed specialized meaning, at the basis of which lies the verb "βοσκω, bosko = to feed, to feed oneself, maintain (soldiers, women)" and then also "to take to pasture".


  • Hebrew and Greek. In the comparison we see no clear and certain way out. The various meanings of the Hebrew root cannot easily be reconciled or reconducted to one common origin. Some say that "boqer" for "morning, where its logical message should be "investigating" or "looking after" can be explained as "morning, the time to distinguish". This seems a bit far-fetched. Looking after, visiting and investigating cannot just be put together, but must have different stories of development, also from that of a specific herdsman for bovines. Further research seems necessary.


    And yet, perhaps… Greek scholars say : bous >< boous = boo (root) plus us(suffix for noun). And they also say that "boskos" has the same root "boo" with a different suffix (sk+os). We say that English "care" and "cure" may correspond to Hebrew "Q R". We go into that in entry E 0277 (Hebrew 0258) . Meanwhile Hebrew "boqer", herdsman of bovines, may mean "bo-qer", or the "bovine-caring" one. It is nice to let phantasy have some leeway now and then.





Created: Tuesday 6 November 2007 at 22.30.54 Updated: 23/12/2012 at 16.14.06