E 0266 DOVE

The birdname " dove " is of Germanic origin .

H 0305 ן ו י ב ד

Concept of root : dove

Hebrew word

pronunciation

English meanings

ן ו י ב ד

divion

dove

Related English words

dove

Comparison between European words and Hebrew

Languages

Words

Pronunciation

English meanings

Similarity in roots

Hebrew

ן ו י ב ד

divion

dove

d . v .

English

dove

dove

d . v

Proto-Germanic

*dubon

dubon

dove

d . b

Old High German

tuba

tuba

dove

t . b

German

Taube

t(au)be

dove

t . b

Swedish

duva

dva

dove

d . v

Dutch

duif

d(ui)f

dove

d . f

 

 

Hebrew *DIV-I-ON --- *DŪV- Proto-Germanic

 

 

The Hebrew word is found in the Bible (2K 6:25), in the plural "divionim". "On" or perhaps "ion" is a complex suffix, with an " I " that would indicate an adjective and " ON " to form a noun, together on the basis of an existing root. We have no knowledge of such a root, but the similarity with the Germanic words is there. The hypothetical ancient Germanic word "*dubon" is very near Hebrew .

 

Others translate the word "divionim" as "doves dung", A normal word for " dove" is in fact "yon, pl. yonim" and the first part of the word "div " would then have to mean "outflow", on the basis of an Aramaic noun "dov'", linked to Hebrew " dov' = strength, abundance, outflow, affluence." This reasoning seems to be at least as far off as our comparison with Germanic. The text in 2K 6.25 tells about the siege of Samaria by the Syrian King Benhadad. It says that there was terrible hunger and a donkey's head was sold for 80 shekel and a quarter of a "qav" of "gharei ionim divionim" for 5 shekels". A "qab" should be between 1.2 and 2.5 liters, so a quarter of a "qab" 0,3 to 0,6 liters , more or less a pound!

 

The translation is not clear, as the word "ghar''im" has an Aleph after the "R" and does not mean "pure excrements that might have some value (?) but "manure" and even "mud". A donkey's head would thus value the same as some 16 pounds of manure. Impossible ! Therefore of the words of the text "ghariyonim divionim" only the first part is translated and then wrongly as it seems. Besides the official texts, the legend of the siege and hunger must have been passed on during the generations . And thus people recalled something about "doves". Those "divionim" may exactly have been "doves" . And then the high price in relation with the donkey's head is no more so surprising.

 

Note:
  • English. There is some uncertainty as to the etymology of the word " dove ". Some say that it has to do with Old Irish " dub " that says "black". Black is hardly ever seen in doves, but the reason would then be that doves have smoke-coloured feathers, which they do only seldom have though .
    Others see the name of the bird as an imitation of its voice . This is possible, as we see that the voicing or sound making of doves in Italian is expressed with the verb "tubare ". But it remains far from certain regarding the name of the bird as such , that in Italian is a "colomba" or " piccione " ( English "pigeon") .

     

    Italian scholars say that the verb "tubare" comes from Latin "tuba". A "tuba" in Latin was a wind-instrument, and in particular a war-trumpet. Odd to have this sound used for the voice of the bird of peace, as doves are considered today. This similarity between Latin and Old High German is incidental.

     


    In Spanish, as many know , the name is " paloma ". More probably this verb "tubare" comes from a Germanic name for "dove". As already mentioned, Old High German had "tū:ba" for "dove".

 

Note:
  • Proto-Semitic. We have no information from other Semitic languages on which to hypothesize a root different from Hebrew.

 

Note:
  • Proto-Germanic. To the words in the above table we add Gothic "dū:bo", Old Saxon "dūva", Old Swedish "dūva" and Old Norse "dūfa", with modern Norwegian "due". The first consonant of the Germanic words for "dove" is nearly always a "D", with German and its predecessors preferring as they very often do, a "T". The following vowel is "Ū", changing in English into "O" and in Dutch into "UI". The second consonant is mostly "B" or its fellow sound "V", with only Old Norse and newer Dutch having "F". Proto-Germanic probably had "*D Ū V-". With this Proto-Germanic shaped a noun with a suffix "ON", as also found in Hebrew. See "*dubon" in the table .

 

Note:
  • Indo-European. We have no information on which to hypothesize a root different from Proto-Germanic.

 

 

 

 

 
Created: Tuesday 6 November 2007 at 22.30.54 Updated: 13/10/2012 at 14.00.39