E 0437 HEATH, HEATHER, HD

The word " heath" and Old English " hd " are of Germanic origin .

H 0389 ה ד ה

Concept of root : stretching out

Hebrew word

pronunciation

English meanings

ה ד ה

ו ר ד ה

had;

hadur

to spread out;

rugged grounds

Related English words

heath, heather, Old English " hd

Comparison between European words and Hebrew

Languages

Words

Pronunciation

English meanings

Similarity in roots

Hebrew

ה ד ה

-

ו ר ד ה

had;

-

hadur

to spread out;

rugged grounds

h . d .

Gothic

haidi

uncultivated land; heath

h . d

Swedish

hed

hd

uncultivated land, heath

h . d

Middle Dutch

hede ;

heide

hde;

heide

stretch of flat and uncultivated land;

heath

h . d

Middle High German

heide

heide

untilled land. heath

h . d

Old English

untilled land, heath, waste

h .ðd

English

heath ;

open waste land; heath

h . th

 

 

Hebrew *HADÀ --- *HĒD- Proto-Germanic

 

 

The similarity as we pose it seems clear, but the basis is not wide nor too solid. This Hebrew root has disappeared from modern language and is found only once in the Bible, in Isaia 11-8, where it means "to stretch (out)". In the specific occasion it refers to the stretching out of , probably, a hand. But the stretching, or spreading, required that the hand should be mentioned expressly in "vayado had". This means that the root had wider application in the field of stretching and spreading out, even if there is no written testimony. Anyhow it hardly could be limited to such a specialized meaning of stretching out just a hand. This finds support in another word that is also found once, and in the same Book of Isaia , 45-2 : "hadur", that stands for "rough grounds ( one has to pass through )" , though there is no full certainty about the text, nor full agreement over its meaning. A root (verb) "H:D:R*" from which this "hadur" otherwise must have been formed, is not found .

 

Comparing "had" with the Germanic words of this entry, we see that nearest to Hebrew was Middle Dutch, that had also diversified between " hede " and " heide ". Swedish has maintained only the word "hed", with two meanings, but not specifically the flatness of the stretch of uncultivated land. Old English had both messages in " hd ", of which the final D was already pronounced like TH in modern "heath". The meanings of the words "heath" and "heide" have now been concentrated as is known. The supposition is that the root "H D R " has developed out of the earlier " H D ", by adding R as a third consonant. There are several other meanings carried by an identical root "H D R", such as " to honor" and " to repeat", but these have no semantic link to the words of this entry.

 

Note:
  • German "Heide = heath ", together with the same word "heide" in Middle Dutch and Dutch, is a sisterword of " hede ", that was only used in Low German, together with "heide". The same name is used for the typical plants that form the growth in heaths and that in Italian and Latin has the name "erica".

 

Note:
  • Proto-Germanic All Germanic words have an initial H. The following vowel is mostly "EI", with in Middle Dutch besides "heide" also an alternative "hede" with a long "Ē". Also Swedish and Danish have a long Ē. The second consonant I mostly a "D". Exceptions are Old Saxon with "hetha", Old English with "h", English with "heath" and Gothic with "haii". All four show a proper natural development on the basis of a dental "D". The existing hypothesis "*GH AI 8-" is dubious because no language uses "GH". There is little reason to suppose that the actual "H" has been developed out of an earlier "GH". Furthermore "AI" is present only in Gothic (East-Germanic) and there is no reason to see Gothic as having remained nearer to Proto-Germanic than the other groups. The "EI" in many words is a common development out of a long " Ē ". This is neatly confirmed when we see both versions in Middle Dutch: "hede" and "heide", the second being the newer version that continued into modern Dutch. Probably Proto-Germanic had a form "*H Ē D-".

 

Note:
  • Proto-Semitic. We have no evidence on which to base a hypothesis.

 

Note:
  • Indo-European. An existing hypothesis says "*kait-". This is based on Gaulish "cē;to-" in names of places, combined with Old Welsh "coit", that in modern language has become "coed". The problem is that this last word does not mean "heath", but "wood". And in defining characteristics of the landscape one of the most important distinctions is that between "heath" and "wood". So we can not make use of the above hypothesis, but have to compare, as so very often, just Hebrew and Germanic.

 

 

 

 

 
Created: Tuesday 6 November 2007 at 22.30.54 Updated: 22/10/2012 at 15.02.16