The word " chamber " is, via Old French and Latin, of Greek origin .

The word " camera " is, via Latin, of that same Greek origin .

H 0367 ץ מ ג

Concept of root : cavity-room

Hebrew word


English meanings

ץ מ ג


, *gamats


Related English words

chamber, camera

Comparison between European words and Hebrew




English meanings

Similarity in roots


ץ מ ג

gumats, *gamats

cavity; dug out space

g . m . ts




cavity, vaulted space

k . m . r


chamber ;


chamber ;


ch . mb . r ;

c . m . r



Proto-Semitic *KAMATS --- *KAMA-R-A Greek



In this similarity the Hebrew word has a different third consonant from the Greek one, but the basic root of Greek "kamara" is anyhow composed of two only consonants that are not far from those in Hebrew , that is "K M", respectively "G M". Also in and among Semitic languages the sounds G, C(K) and Q now and then interchange . Apparently the final R in Greek and TS on Hebrew are the result of developments after the languages split .


In Hebrew our root has a very isolated existence. In Greek we see derived words, also quite a few of them, that indicate arch, vault e.o. . When people found , ameliorated or even made cave-dwellings, these usually did not have a flat roof, but a curved, vaulted one. This is the probable origin of the later meaning of "vaulted space".


But two words have to be looked at further. The first one is "καμινος kaminos"" or "fireplace, chimney". Being a construction out of stones, it is considered as based on the same root as "kamara". We suppose that "kaminos" has a different root, and is related to another Hebrew word, "GHAM", that has the message of "heat, warmth", which is the goal of a fireplace in a dwelling. See entry E 0166 (Hebrew 0431) .


The second one is "καμαρος, kamaros " that stands for "secure, stable". Security was a principal thing people were after in procuring themselves cave-dwellings. Therefore this word is a logical adjective based on the female noun "kamara".


Some doubt remains when one looks at the many other Greek words that begin with "kam-" and have varied meanings.


  • Greek kamara, like so many Greek words, has made its triumphal inroad also into modern languages that are full of its offspring. A room in Latin or Germanic languages is based on Greek "kamara" , via Latin "camera" that still also stood for "vaulted space".


  • Proto-Semitic. This Hebrew word is also spelled "ג ו מ ץ, gumats" In Aramaic there is the related word "כ ו מ צ א, kumats' = pit, cavity" . It is possible that Proto-Semitic had a root "*כ מ ץ , K M TS".





Created: Tuesday 6 November 2007 at 22.30.54 Updated: 20/10/2012 at 16.29.13