E 0082 (TO) BEAR , BIRTH, BORN

The words " to bear ", " birth " and " born " are of Germanic origin .

H 0264 א ר ב

Concept of root : create

Hebrew word

pronunciation

English meanings

א ר ב

bar’

to create

Related English words

to bear, born, birth

Comparison between European words and Hebrew

Languages

Words

Pronunciation

English meanings

Similarity in roots

Hebrew

א ר ב

bar’

to create

b . r .

Old Norse

bera

bera

to give birth, bear child

b . r

Dutch

baren

baren

to give birth, create

b . r

German

gebren

geberen

to give birth, create

b . r

English

to bear

to bear child ; produce

b . r

Swedish

barn

barn

child

b . r n

Middle Dutch

baren, beren ;

boren, beuren

baren, bren ;

boren, beuren

to create; bear child

to carry

to lift

b . r

Latin

pario

to create, bear child ; to bring into the world

p . r

 

 

Proto-Semitic *BAR 'À --- *BĀR- Indo-European

 

 

This Hebrew word is one of the first used in the Bible "bәr’eshit bar’a elohim "In the beginning God created". Perhaps on account of this sacred use, the word has remained reserved for the Creation by God. But naturally the original meaning was general.

 

 

Note:
  • Proto-Semitic. Proto-Semitic already had this root that continued into Hebrew. It is found in Aramaic and Syriac "*ב ר א, ber' = to create", Arabic has "bara' = to create" and we see no reason why this word should be considered a loanword from Aramaic. Mahri shows "bere = to bear a child", in a very convincing similarity with Germanic languages. And then there is Old South Arabic with a related "מ ב ר א, mewar' = building, structure" that is very important as it leads us back to that originally more general meaning of "to create" that this root beared. This Proto-Semitic probably had "*ב ר א, B R Aleph".

 

Note:
  • Latin. The verb "pario, parere = to create, to bear child, to bring into the world" uses a consonant "P" instead of the "B" seen in Hebrew and Germanic, but is certainly related. Latin also has the word "forda" especially used to say "pregnant" of cattle. But "fero= to bear", as in many tongues also has the "pregnant" meaning of "to be pregnant". The initial "F" may well be a development out of "B" or "P".

 

Note:
  • English " to bear " has several different meanings, but there are two main categories of these. One is the group of actions of " to carry ". The other one, belonging in this entry , deals with concepts in the realm of "creation" and "production ". It should not be presumed hat these two groups are of common origin , even if we find for example already, or better said still in Old English the identical sound " beran " as a verb used to express both concepts : " to carry " and " to produce ".

     

    The same is valid for the Nordic languages . In Middle Dutch we see a clear distinction , that has been continued in modern Dutch . Yet there is some complication as seen in the next paragraph .

 

Note:
  • Middle Dutch "baren" has a number of meanings, that are mostly independent from each other or only very far off related. Such meanings are: to give birth, to show, to utter, to reveal, to behave oneself, to pretend, but not "to carry". One must conclude that there is more than one verb "baren". The verb of this entry is the only one that has regularly resisted in modern language . It has a number of figurative uses as "to create", such as "to create unrest, worry, a fuss".

 

Note:
  • English. "to give birth to" is only one of the many meanings expressed by "to bear". All other messages are about litterally and figuratively carrying. We believe that we have here two verbs that are either different in near-origin or have diversified very early between "carrying" and "creating". The indication for this lies in Dutch, where one of the versions is originally a strong verb, as shown in the past participle "geboren " that stands for "borne" of a child. The other version is a weak verb. The distinction between strong and weak verbs is very old.

 

Note:
  • Swedish "barn" for "child" is certainly related to this entry, but it has become an isolated form, be it with all occurring compositions, without a relative verb. It originally was the past participle of the verb " bra , bra" that says " to bear" and was also used for " to bear child ".

 

Note:
  • German has a prefix "ge-" to this verb, but its meaning is the same as in Dutch. The figurative meaning of "to create" is mainly limited to older fixed expressions. The West-Germanic prefix "ge-" is much used in the shaping of verbs and verbal forms. With an infinite form it has various possible functions, among which an emphasizing or intensifying one. In fact we find the form without prefix in Old High German, where it was used for both "to carry" and "to create".

 

Note:
  • Proto-Germanic. The final "N" in the words of the above table is a suffix. In verbs the vowel between "B" and "R" usually is an "E", as seen in Gothic, Old English , Old Saxon and Old Norse, but quite a few times there is also the "A", pronounced as "E", written "", as in German. Sometimes both are present in the same tongue, as in Old Saxon and Old English. In other verbal forms we see English "birth", German "Geburt" and Dutch "geboorte", and English "born" with German and Dutch "geboren". But the Dutch verb "baren" and the abovementioned specific Nordic noun "barn" have an "A". Proto-Germanic probably had developed already "*B E R -", but should as well still have had "*B A R".

 

Note:
  • Indo-European. "* BH E R D- " besides "* BH E R E- " is a standing hypothesis for Indo-European, with the meanings of "pregnant" and "to give birth". We would rather consider a "* B E R- ", without a final consonant "D" and with an uncertain length of the vowel.

     

    It must be remarked that the mentioned hypothesis for "to be pregnant, bear child" is indeed not identical to that of "to carry, bear", that sounds "*B E R A-". Slavic is also seen with final "D", based on Old Church Slavonian "brezjda = pregnant" . But that "zjda" is an extension plus suffix and again we propose "*B E R-, with an uncertainty regarding the length of the vowel. One notes that Russian, indeed without a "D", has "б е р е м е н е т ь, bermennetj = to become pregnant ", in which the basic element is a similar "B E R-".

     

    Albanian has "bare = pregnant ".

     

    Indo-European can be supposed to have had for "creation", also through child bearing, a "*B Ā R-", besides possibly "*B Ĕ R-". A pronunciation with aspired "BH" can have been used, but is not to be considered a fundamental characteristic of the root.

     

     

 

 

 
Created: Tuesday 6 November 2007 at 22.30.54 Updated: 09/10/2012 at 16.40.49