E 0223††††††††† C U T

The verb " to cut " is of Germanic origin .

H 0348††††††††† ד ד ג

Concept of root : cutting

Hebrew word

pronunciation

English meanings

ד ד ג

ד ד ג ו

gadad;

goded

to cut;

cutting

Related English words

cut

Comparison between European words and Hebrew

Languages

Words

Pronunciation

English meanings

Similarity in roots

Hebrew

ד ד ג;

ד ד ג ו

gadad;

goded

to cut;

cutting

g . d . d

Latin

culter, cultellus

cultŤr, cultŤllus

knife

small knife

c . rt

Italian

coltello

coltello

knife

c . lt

Middle English

kytten

kŁtten

to cut

c . t

English

to cut

to cut

c . t

Icelandic

kuta

kŁta

to cut with knife

k . t

 

 

Proto-Semitic *GAD --- *KŬT- Proto-Germanic

 

 

We must confess that the difference between the two combinations, the soft and voiced one "G D" in Hebrew and the hard and unvoiced one "C T" in Latin and Germanic , is there. But as is generally believed , this is part of the range of developments that may occur on the basis of one root with one meaning. Certainty is a precious thing in etymology, and hard to obtain.

 

No etymology is known for English "to cut". It is of probable North Germanic origin and may have been brought to England in the Middle Ages. But we also see another factor. When a given word is used for a "forbidden" thing, it may be abolished from its original meanings: this seems to have happened with " to cut ". In Dutch it has given the name to the female sex-organ. And in a nasalized form (inserting of an N ) it has done the same thing in English, which made an abolition anyway unnecessary. Besides it is , also in this nasalized form, used in Middle Dutch. It also meant "ass" and as such is still official in Dutch, be it with the vowel "O". Those anatomical parts look like having been "cut", and derivations of another Germanic word for "to cut", are used with the same end.

 

Note:
  • Hebrew "G D D" must have developed from an older "*G D" with the same meaning. It has nothing to do with the word from entry E 0360 (Hebrew 0347. Also in Hebrew we find fortuitously identical roots with totally different messages. This is inevitable with the limited number of sounds available and of sound-combinations practicable in a given tongue or way of speaking.

     

    That a briefer root "*G D" carried the meaning of "to cut" is certain, because there are two more three-consonant roots , beginning with the combination " G + D " , that also say "to cut" : "G D M" and "G D ע" , with some more specialized messages .

 

Note:
  • Proto-Semitic. We refer to our note in Entry E 0360 (Hebrew 0347) : "It is not easy to reconcile, and it should not be the scope of this neutral investigation, the two similarities of old Semitic ""ג ד , G . D " in this entry and entry E 0360 (Hebrew 0347) , respectively with English ""C u T" and Germanic "G a D en" ".

     

    Interesting is to note that in Akkadian "gadadu" the root "G D D" is used to say " to separate", with Arabic "jadda" saying "to cut off". Akkadian "gududu" with the extended root "G D D" also expresses "marauding band", while Syriac "gud, gudŗ " just say "troop, band", thus a "gathered group of men". Notwithstanding the semantically interesting comparison with English " section", the probability on basis of the available information is that there were in Semitic two or even three identical separate roots "*ג ד , G . D " , both already alive in Proto-Semitic."

 

Note:
  • Latin and Italian have the same word, but that is just official Italian. Many, for example in both Rome and Milan, speak in their dialects of "cortello" or "curtell ". Anyhow, the original " L " may have been inserted later in an original root "C (U) T".

 

Note:
  • Proto-Germanic. Our root is present in Old Swedish "kotta", Norwegian "kutte" and Icelandic "kuta". Old English has a hypothetical "*cyttan". And an Old Norse "kuti" is a "knife". This is not too much in regard to the total of Germanic languages, but it is quite possible that these words, together with English "to cut", came from a Proto-Germanic "*K Ŭ T-".

 

Note:
  • Indo-European. A not uncommon explanation for the Latin word "culter", is that an original consonant " R " has changed into " L ", which would not be not a surprising development. The root "K . R . T " is found in entry E 0814 (Hebrew 0511), that refers also to Latin.

     

    Sanscrit has a root "KUT" that says "to divide, to break up", and that may attain the same result as "cutting", but is as such not the same action.

     

    This remains uncertain and we will limit our comparison for now to Semitic and Germanic.

 

 

 

 

 
Created: Tuesday 6 November 2007 at 22.30.54 Updated: 18/10/2012 at 14.44.06