E 0244 DEBILITY

The word " debility " is, via Old French, of Latin origin .

H 0303 א ב ד

H 0303 ב ו ד

Concept of root : weakness

Hebrew word

pronunciation

English meanings

א ב ד;

ב ו ד

daw’;

dov

to weaken;

to weaken, pine away

Related English words

debility, from Latin

Comparison between European words and Hebrew

Languages

Words

Pronunciation

English meanings

Similarity in roots

Hebrew

א ב ד;

ב ו ד

daw’;

dov

to weaken; to weaken, pine away

d . b .;

d w b

Latin

debilis

debilis

weak

d . b .(l)

English

debility

debility

d . b .(l)

 

 

Proto-Semitic *DOB --- *DEB-I-LIS Latin

 

 

With this entry we are anyhow on partly slippery ground, as very different meanings have been given for the first of these two Hebrew roots, "D B Aleph". For the second one, D W B", the terrain is solid. It is also a sister, perhaps an older version of the root "D Aleph B"of entry GD 1041 (Hebrew 0300) .

 

Some scholars say hat the message of "D B Aleph" is " weakness" or "losing strength ", others "strength" or also "abundance, outflow". And some just are uncertain about it . Whenever there will be agreement on this matter, our comparison will be easier .

 

With this similarity we deviate from the common opinion about the etymology of Latin "debilis". Let us see what is said about this.

 

Note:
  • Latin debilis is analysed in "de- bil - is" : "DE " would say "NOT", "BIL" stands for "STRONG" and "IS" a suffix for the shaping of an adjective. We have to disagree. "DE", if it were a prefix, would say "away from", and is not just a straight negation. There are other prefixes for that. " B L" is a frequent root in Indo-European languages, with various kinds of messages. In English it stands for the roundness of a ball and other things. In Greek we find a root "belt" for better. That may indicate a basic root "bel" or as is also said "beli" that stands for "good". No wonder if we have "better" and "best" in English, somewhat alike. And the word "good " in some circumstances may mean "strong", if we talk about boxeurs or warriors. But good is not per definition strong.

     

    We rather believe that "debilis" is related to Hebrew "dab’". Then the root is "D.B", with the vowels E and I completing the word . "LIS" is a suffix for the shaping of an adjective .

 

Note:
  • Hebrew. This hypothesis we make is weakened by the fact that scholars do not all agree on the stated meaning of Hebrew " dab'" . Some again consider its meaning uncertain.

 

Note:
  • Proto-Semitic. The uncertainty about the meaning of the root "D B Aleph" together with the lack of evidence from other sources makes it impossible to hypothesize a root for Proto-Semitic for it. But the other root, "D W B", is also found with the same meaning in Aramaic and Syriac. It may have been used already in Proto-Semitic: "*ד ו ב, D W B". It is used in the comparison of this entry.

     

    We have no indication that the change in the pronunciation of the consonant " B " into " V " may have begun already in Proto-Semitic.

 

 

 

 

 
Created: Tuesday 6 November 2007 at 22.30.54 Updated: 23/01/2013 at 16.26.00