E 0918          THROUGH

The word " through " is of Germanic origin .

H 0329            ך ר ד

Concept of root : through

Hebrew word


English meanings

ך ר ד


through ( by way of )

Related English words


Comparison between European words and Hebrew




English meanings

Similarity in roots


ך ר ד


through ( by way of )

d . r . kh





d . r kh




th r . kh

Middle Dutch






d . r gh



Proto-Semitic *DARAK --- *DORGH Indo-European



This Hebrew word is the same of the entry E 0385 (Hebrew 0328), but here it is present in a different meaning, that of "through" , which is a quite understandable development from that of "way". The interesting thing is that Hebrew uses this same root and word to express the concept "through" , while the Germanic words are of an identical root, but with the only difference of having an O-sound as vowel.


In the language of the Bible this word "derekh" is used to say : "way, travel, trip", but also in many figurative ways, such as "way of doing , usance, behaviour" and even "life, health". It is in Modern Hebrew that it is also used simply as "by way of, via, through (figuratively) ". This does not fully exclude that "derekh" was used to express the concept of "through" also in Biblical times, be it without written testimony.


There may be a common origin for the words of this entry, but the literal material meaning of English "through" is not found in Hebrew. The case of similarity remains too interesting to leave it out of the List.



  • Proto-Semitic. We refer to entry E 0385 (Hebrew 0328). 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 door, together with German Tuer and Dutch "deur" , but also Greek "θυρα, thϋra" , all as the point where one passes through, may be of the same basic root. It has been established that the original words for "door" were dual, indicating the two posts between which one passed "through". Only later on the word came to be used for the, usually wooden, object that was made to close the original passage, the thing we call "door" today.


  • Proto-Germanic. In order to define the origin of "through" we find information in Old English "durh ,ğurh" and "derh, ğerh" ( near Hebrew "derekh"), Old Saxon "thuru", Old High German "thuruh", Middle Low German "dörch, dor" Middle High German "durch, dur" and Middle Dutch "dorgh, door". The first consonant is either a "D" or a developed "D", that is indicated as "TH" or as "Ð". The following vowel is a long or short "U", except in Dutch and Low German that have "O". The closing consonants are "RKH" or "RGH" except where the "KH" or "GH" has been abolished in a later stage. Presumably Proto-Germanic had "*D U RGH", though the final guttural may have been a bit weaker, as in "*D U RH-".


  • Indo-European. Meaning "door". In the supposition that the words "door" and "through" are related, there is the following information regarding "door".


    Old Indian has "dvāram = door".


    Old Church Slavonic dvorzj has a different but in this case possibly related meaning of "(inner) court)". The final "ZJ" corresponds with "GH".


    Old Irish shows "dorus = door".


    Greek has "thüra = door".


    Together with Proto-Germanic this indicates a possible Indo_European "*D O RGH-".


    Meaning "through there have been metathesis along the way.


    Proto-Germanic "*durgh = through"


    Old Indian "tiragh = through"


    Avestan "tarō = through"


    Celtic has Old Irish "tre, tri" and Welsh "tra" for "through". Here the third consonant has been abolished.



    Indo-European probably used three consonants in a form "*D/T R . GH", but there has been found no solution how Latin "trans", well known from many loanwords in English, can be fit into the picture. Our abovementioned "DORGH" may be right but remains uncertain.






Created: Tuesday 6 November 2007 at 22.30.54 Updated: 23/01/2013 at 17.27.22