E 0364††††††††† GEDĒON

The Old English verb " gedēon " is of Germanic origin .

H 0310†††††††† ה ג ד

Concept of root : to proliferate

Hebrew word


English meanings

ה ג ד


to proliferate

Related English words


Comparison between European words and Hebrew




English meanings

Similarity in roots


ה ג ד



d . g . y

Old Saxon

thīnhan ;


to grow, proliferate

th . nh ;

th . h

Old English


proliferate, grow

d .<

*d . h

Middle Dutch

diŽn, digen,

ghedÓen; ghedeghen

diŽn, digen,

ghediŽn; ghedeghen

to grow, proliferate;


d . g

Old High German




d . h



Hebrew *DAGÀ --- *DĪG , *DĪGH Proto-Germanic



In Old Saxon and Middle Dutch we see the birth of the prefix " gi- ", respectively "ghe-" for this root, like the modern version "gedijen". But we also find still present the older version without prefix and very similar to Hebrew. The verb "diŽn" is an abbreviated form of "digen".
We see the Hebrew G correspond with Germanic in two versions : G in Dutch and H in the other tongues .


  • Hebrew. Fish can multiply nicely, and form impressive shoals . This fact had induced various scholars to link the verb of this entry to the word " dag" = "fish", of entry E 0408 (Hebrew 0309) . In fact a noun, extended with an accentuated vowel "Ā", is used to say "fish" in the collective sense. But the similarity we have found with European words, makes such an origin improbable. Besides this, the verb "dagŗ" does not only mean "to multiply" but also " to prosper ".


  • Proto-Semitic We have no indications from other Semitic languages to give support to the existing hypothesis, based on Hebrew, of a Proto-Semitic "* ד ג ה , D G Hť (accentuated vowel)" . It may well be right.


  • German in modern language has "gedeihen".


  • English has abolished this root, at least for these forms of use .


  • English "thick" seems to be related to this entry, together with German "dick", Dutch "dik" and Swedish "tjock". But this is not a narrow relationship. "Thickness" is a common result of diverse kinds of flourishing, which also belongs to the various meanings of the Middle Dutch prefixless words of this entry. But it does not cover the results of "to proliferate". A bit nearer to this comes another Dutch word, "dikwijls = often, many times", composed of "dik" and "while". Here "dik" has the sense of "many", one of the normal results of proliferating.


  • Proto-Germanic. There is a hypothesis "gedeon ". We find in various Germanic words a first consonant "D" and a second consonant "G". The first consonant "D" sometimes becomes a "TH;", as in Gothic "thihan, "theihan " and Old High German "thihan", but it must be noted that Middle High German with "dihan" returned to a "D". The second consonant "G" corresponds in Gothic and Old and Middle High German to an "H", that also remained in modern German, where it is not pronounced as such. In Middle Dutch we see two forms, "digen" and a shortened "diën". This last one recalls Old English "(ge)ðeon". In Old Dutch there was "thion".


    The change of "D" into "ð" or "TH" and back indicates temporary developments in some Germanic languages. The same goes probably for the use of "H" or as in participles "GH" after an initial "G" ( as seen in Hebrew). The vowel in between is mostly a long " I ", with the exception of Old English with a vowel "E". The long "I" has developed into "EI", as seen in Gothic with both versions, in German "gedeihen" and in Dutch "gedijen". It must be remarked that the participium of Dutch "gedijen" has conserved the old "GH" in "gedegen". Proto-Germanic probably had the form "*D I G-", but also may have had "*D Ī GH-. Among the speakers of Proto-Germanic, as in many languages, there may have been variations in pronunciation between "H", "HH", "GH" and perhaps "G".


    "Thick" has a number of Nordic sister words that have different vowels, "O" "U", "Y", that in various case are preceded by "I" or "J". A particularly interesting aspect is that the various languages have more than one version. Old Norse: "dykkr, djokkr, djukkr ( the R" is just a suffix)". Old Danish "thiuc, thioc, thiÝc". The other Nordic tongues use also "Y", "U", or "O", with or without "I" or "J". The West Germanic languages instead use invariably a short "I". There is a theory that the Nordic variation is based on an extension of an older vowel "E", but there is no real indication for that, other than a trial to link Germanic to other Indo European languages.


    The Nordic vowels might have been an extension of an older "I" that may have developed out of an original "O" or "U" , of the type of vowel seen in Hebrew with the versatile sound "W" - "U"/"O"-"YU"/"YO"- "I". In that case the development of West-Germanic would have been completed in a more straight way, with "I" as result, whereas North Germanic would have continued on a new road. But more probable would be that the Scandinavians have followed their own road without completing the development to "I". Consequently one must presume that Proto-Germanic had "*D WO K-" and also already developed "*D I K-".


  • Greek . The verbs " α λ δ α ι ν ω, aldaino = to make grow, prosper. strengthen" and " α λ δ ο μ α ι, aldomai = to grow, prosper" carry meanings related to the Germanic words of this entry. But there is no known prefix "al" in Greek" and scholars see the origin in a brief root "ald-" or even "asl-". Thus they seem rather related to the words of entry E 0021 (Hebrew 0125).


  • Indo-European . The available information outside Germanic is limited. There is Old Indian "rdhati, rdhyati, rnaddhi = to grow, increase, prosper " and "árdhuka- = prospering". Then Avestan offers "arĕdat = to make prosper" and "ĕrĕdāt = creating prospering". If the "R" is a later addition that also in the Old Indian verbs caused the loss of the initial "A", a root "* A D H ", developed out of "*D GH" may have existed, but the material is too varied to draw any solid conclusions. These words from Old Indian and Avestan had to be mentioned also in entry E 0021 (Hebrew 0125).


    For our comparison with Hebrew we must limit ourselves to Proto-Germanic. as so many times is the case.





Created: Tuesday 6 November 2007 at 22.30.54 Updated: 24/12/2012 at 14.01.50