E 0474A          HYCGEAN

The Old English verb " hycgean " is of Germanic origin .

H 0421            ם כ ח

Concept of root : knowledge

Hebrew word


English meanings

ם כ ח


wise, intelligent;

able, expert

Related English words

Old English : hycgean

Comparison between European words and Hebrew




English meanings

Similarity in roots


ם כ ח


intelligent, wise; able, expert

gh . kh . m

Old English


to think, remember

h . cg .

Middle Dutch



having knowledge and memory

h . gh



Proto-Semitic *GHAKAM --- *HŪG- Indo-European



The meanings of this Hebrew root are divided into two groups, one that of wisdom and intelligence and the other dedicated to practical capacities. The Dutch word combines the capacity to think with that to recall.


The Germanic root of the Dutch word was present in older languages, as Gothic and Old Saxon, bus has gone out of use except in Dutch.


In order to suppose for this entry a similarity, based on a possible common origin, we must see in Hebrew some indication of related roots without that final M of " ח כ ם   GH KH M ". Enough to keep the question open are " ח ק ר   GH Q R" , as "to examine, investigate" which comes in time logically before "GH KH M" and " ח ק ק   GH Q Q" as "to determine, establish" that can be an phase between the other two. We cannot claim certainty this way, but also full fortuity would not sound convincing.


  • Proto-Semitic . This same root is seen in Aramaic and Syriac "ח כ מ, ghakham = to be wise" . Ugaritic uses the same root for the same meaning. In Arabic "ghakama" it says "he passed judgment" and Akkadian "ghakāmu" means " to understand". Probably Proto-Semitic already had a root like Hebrew: "*ח כ מ, GH K M".


    It is not probable that the change in pronunciation of the consonant " K " into " KH ", as seen in Hebrew and Aramaic, has begun in Proto-Semitic. Related words in other Semitic languages have the unchanged " K ", as the already mentioned Akkadian "ghakāmu = to understand" and Arabic "ghakama = he passed judgment". Obvisouly the " K " is also present in various verbal forms in Hebrew.


  • Old English and Middle Dutch . Old English has shifted already a bit further towards the modern meanings for this root, stronger concentrated versus the concept of memory .


    Middle Dutch has maintained, nearer to Hebrew, the idea of knowledge and wisdom, besides that of memory .


    But with the same or same-sounding root it expresses also other concepts, like that of desire, joy and testimony. But also of making high, lifting and increasing . This last group is not based on the same root, but on a similar one. In modern Dutch things have changed very much, and the new version "heugen" is concentrated on "to remember".


  • Proto-Germanic . We refer to entry E 0474 (Hebrew 0394), with related Germanic words and the remarks from the Note regarding Proto-Germanic : Old Norse, often an interesting guide for etymology, offers two verbs : "huga = to think, devise" and "hyggja = to think, meditate, remember". These are obviously related, with a common origin. We compare this with Old English showing "hogian = to think about, reflect, intend" and "hycgan = to think, consider, meditate, remember". These verbs cover a common ground of "to think" plus diversified specific meanings. Old High German had "huggen" and "hogen". Nouns with meanings around the concepts of "thought, meditation, deliberation, remembering" are Old Saxon, Old High German and Old Norse "hugi", Gothic "hugs", Old English "hyge" and Middle Dutch "hueghe, heughe, hōghe". Proto-Germanic probably had a basic form, also to shape verbs from it, of "H Ū G-.


    This Proto-Germanic form is probably also the one related to the Hebrew words of this entry.




Created: Tuesday 6 November 2007 at 22.30.54 Updated: 24/01/2013 at 10.26.20