E 0633          ONHAGIAN

The Old English word " onhagian " is of Germanic origin .

H 0395         ן ו ג ה

Concept of root : appropriate, likable

Hebrew word


English meanings

ן ו ג ה



Related English words

Old English : onhagian

Comparison between European words and Hebrew




English meanings

Similarity in roots


ן ו ג ה


appropriate, befitting

h . g (n)

Old English


to be appropriate , to please

h . g

Middle Dutch

hagen, behaghen

haghen; behaghen 

to like, find appropriate

h gh

Old Norwegian

haga; hagr

 haga, hagr

to arrange;

be fitting

h g r



Proto-Semitic *HAG --- *HAG- Proto-Germanic



This Hebrew word has a sister in " ה ג ן hogen" standing for "convenience, as should be". The Middle Dutch root has many variations of meanings, like "strength, help, approval", and the most important one has remained as sole survivor in modern language : " behagen " now stands for " to please ", also shifting subject from the person that finds pleasure to the object he finds pleasure in. Comparable shifts have taken place in other roots as well.


  • Hebrew, Old English and Dutch possibly are showing identical roots, because the final N in Hebrew may not be to be part of the root. Especially for the lack of a verb this is not fully certain. Anyhow the combination "H . G . N", is seen as having a basic meaning of : "to be noble, be worthy". See the note on Proto-Semitic.


    The final N in Germanic " onhagian" and "hagen " is the suffix for forming the infinite form of the verb. Anyhow the interface is relatively narrow on account of the developments in both languages. It would be wrong to suppose that the original meaning would be found in a concept of " to hedge in ( for protection)". These are too different thoughts.


  • Old English " onhagian " is a composed verb, in which the first part, " on- ", is a prefix.


  • Proto-Germanic probably had a form "*H A G-" as seen in all mentioned words.


  • Proto-Semitic. The sequence "H G N " has a cognate in Arabic "hajuna = he was white" with reference to the nobility of belonging to the white race ! A very non-Hebrew idea ! Probably it was there in Proto-Semitic, but then with the Hebrew meaning . Proto-Semitic may have had a root "*ה ג ן, H G N", but more probably just "*ה ג , H G". The use of also an alternative vowel " O " can be supposed.


  • Indo-European Cognates in other Indo-European languages seem not be present and the comparison stays between Semitic and Germanic.





Created: Tuesday 6 November 2007 at 22.30.54 Updated: 22/10/2012 at 16.07.18