E 0385         -GRADE

The final wordpart " -grade " is of Latin origin

H 0328            ך ר ד

Concept of root : to step forward, walk

Hebrew word


English meanings

ך ר ד



to step on;

way, road

Related English words


Comparison between European words and Hebrew




English meanings

Similarity in roots


ך ר ד

darakh; derekh

to step on; way, road

d . r . kh




to walk rapidly

t r . kh




to step, go, proceed

g r . d




g r . d




way, road

d . r . g



Proto-Semitic *DARAK --- *DRĀK- Indo-European



As is mentioned in entry E 0384 (Hebrew 0327) , Latin in this word "gradus" seems to have had a metathesis. It is to be remarked that Russian, contrary to the Indo European habit, has two full vowels within this three consonant root.


It is probable that the development leading to the referred English final word part has proceeded independently from the birth of the word "grade" of entry E 384 (Hebrew 0327) . There we have, in all probability, a Germanic word that is related to Latin, but here we have a derivation from Latin .



  • TR and DR. There are very many words in many languages, and roots of course , with these two consonants that deal with walking and stepping, in general moving forward with one’s feet.


  • Greek. One notes that the Greek word has put some speed in this root . Today it even says "to run". It is therefore useful to make a comparison with the use of the Germanic root of English " to leap ". We find the verbs "lopen" ( Dutch ) and "laufen" ( German ) saying "to walk", whereas Southern Dutch dialect as well as the Nordic languages (Danish "lobe") use it for " to run" .


    Many words related to "trekho" have "THR" instead and some have "K" for "KH". Then Doric has "trakho". Probably the original form is "*TH R Ā K-". One notes that "TH" may have come from an earlier "D". The Greeks use for the conjugation of "trekho" often alternatives on the basis of a different root, "dr(a)m-", that also gives the noun "δρομος= dromos = way, road, run, course". This is found in English composed words like "velodrome". The verb "δραμω, dramo" is certainly related to Indo-European "*drak-". It is further found in the specific meaning of "theatrical piece", be it "drama" or "comedy".


  • Hebrew. The words of this entry and those in number E 0384 (Hebrew 0327) are strongly related, with the third consonants different , probably for diversification of meanings.


  • Proto-Semitic. Proto-Semitic had in use the root we still find in Hebrew. One sees it in Aramaic and Syriac "ד ר ך, derakh = to tread ". OS Arabic "ד ר ך , he reached, overtook", perhaps is related , as its Arabic sister "adraka". Ethiopian "madrak = threshold" uses the same root though its meaning is nearer that of the related root of entry E 0384 (Hebrew 0327). Proto-Semitic probably used the root "*ד ר ך , D R K" .


    The change of the pronunciation of the third consonant " K " into " KH " hardly could have begun in Proto-Semitic, as the " K " is still present in several languages.


  • English, upon comparing with entry E 0384 (Hebrew 0327), now shows a way in which it has undoubtedly followed Latin .


  • Proto-Germanic. As remarked before, "grade" comes perhaps from Latin , following the common opinion. Yet that is not quite certain, as its sisters can to be found in many , also much older, European languages . Such words have as well a wide range of derived meanings, mostly figurative. Old Norse "graða", different from Old English "grād", is not limited to the meaning "step, grade" and possible figurative derivations, but also says : "ledge, border, edge, ridge", all places where we "step up". These meanings were not part of the realm of Latin "gradus = step, grade", that is related to the verb "gradior = to stride (along), step". The wider field of messages for Old Norse is an indication of an independent origin, separate from Latin "gradus". But striking is then that the same metathesis is seen in Latin and Germanic or in Indo-European. Anyhow as things stand we have a narrow basis to make a hypothesis for Proto-Germanic as "*G R Ā D-".


    But, in Germanic there are also similar roots. The first one has a hypothesis of "*grit-" for Proto-Germanic. This has a solid basis in Gothic "gri&#THORN;s, acc. "grid" for "step, pace" and Middle High German "grit" with the same meaning. The change from "D" into "T" occurs frequently in Germanic tongues. The use of " I " instead of " A " may indicate an emphasizing of the action. Proto-Germanic "*GR Ī T-" is possible, but it may rather have been "*GR Ī D-".


    The second one, with the meaning of "to stride", has a prefix "S" in front of "GH R D", as in Dutch "schrijden". This is preceded by Old Saxon "skrīdan", Old English "scrīdan = " and Old Norse "skriða" all with the same message and other related ones. But the probable Proto-Germanic form "*SKR Ī D- does not seem to carry the meaning of "step, grade". .


  • Indo-European. An existing hypothesis is "*dhregh-" with the meaning of "to run" based on Greek "trekho", mentioned in our table. Sometimes mentioned words, like Armenian "durgn = turning lathe" or Old Irish "droch = wheel" cannot give a contribution as their meaning is too far off.


    A hypothesis of "*D R Ā K-" seems reasonable. The development of diversified forms with other vowels like "E" or "I" may have begun .


    The existence of the mentioned Greek verb "δραμω, dramo, that serves to same concept of "trekho", is an indication that Indo-European may have used earlier a two-consonant root with vowel , "*dra-". In Greek this is used with a different message, "to act, do, accomplish".





Created: Tuesday 6 November 2007 at 22.30.54 Updated: 23/01/2013 at 17.23.50