E 0370          GIELD

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

H 0427            ף ל ח

Concept of root : right substitution or compensation

Hebrew word


English meanings

ף ל ח

ף ל ה ח



to change;

to substitute, exchange

Related English words

Old English : gield

Comparison between European words and Hebrew




English meanings

Similarity in roots


ף ל ח

ף ל ה ח



to change;

to exchange, substitute

gh . l . ph

Old English


payment, compensation,

substitute, exchange

g . l d







to be valid

g . l d

Middle Dutch



to com- pensate,


gh . l d



Proto-Semitic *GHALAP(H), *GHELEP(H) < *GHAL, *GHEL". --- *GH È LD Indo-European



This Hebrew root, in the basic active form "ghalaph" says a.o. "to go away, further" . In the intensive form " ghillèph" it says "to change, change (oneself)" . Finally the causative form "héghéliph" tells about "to exchange, substitute". This is the nearest to the Germanic word.


All the same there is the difference between the so-called third consonants of each root, that are respectively P and D or T. We find support for our comparison in another root , that at least in the basic form gives a meaning like that of the basic form of "galaph". This root is " ח ל ץ, ghalats" which says a.o. "to go away" like "galaph". It further means "to take out of" and in the intensive version of "ghillèts" it stands for a.o "to free". "TS" is a letter that can be nearer to a sibilant like S or to a dental like T or D, according to the circumstances of a development. An important related root is found in entry E 0415 (Hebrew 0429) . This is "ח ל ק , GH L Q" , with the meanings of "to divide, distribute, to award", meanings obviously related to those of "GH L P". This means that in all probability a two consonant combination was at the basis of these two three consonant roots, carrying a message of "to give a right compensation or part".



  • English. Old English "gield" in a common development has become "yield" in English. There has been a change in meanings, with "to give way, surrender" substituting the original messages of "payment, substitute, exchange".


  • Proto-Semitic. This root is found as well in Aramaic and Syriac "ח ל ף , ghalaph; gheleph = he exchanged, substituted; instead of, for". With a meaning of "to come after, succeed" it is used in Arabic "ghalafa, which can be seen as a form of "change". It may well have been used in Proto-Semitic with the Hebrew meanings "*ח ל ף , GH L P".


    It is unclear but possible that the change in pronunciation of the consonant " P " into " PH ", as seen in Hebrew and Aramaic, has begun in Proto-Semitic, as one finds the " PH = F " also already used in Arabic.


  • Proto-Germanic. The consonants one sees in the old and new Germanic languages, are basically "G . LD-", with a few exceptions. German "Geld = money" has a "D", but the verb "gelten" has substituted the "D" with a "T". The "T" was already in use in Old High German. Old Frisian "jelda" has changed the "G" into "J" ( a "Y"-sound) and English "yield" shows a very common development of the same kind, from Old English "gieldan". The vowel used is either a brief " E " (as in "pen") or, less frequently, " I ", as in Gothic . In Swedish and we find "gjäld", with Old Norse showing a real "A" in "gjald" but with Norwegian having "gjelda". The probable hypothesis is Proto-Germanic "*G E LD-".


  • Indo-European. An existing hypothesis is "*gheldh-" for "to pay". We rather suppose a version without the "H": "G È LD-" for "to change, exchange". It is quite possible that in many cases a "G" was pronounced "GH", as is the case in Dutch, but the basic indication remains "G". We let the "GH" its position in the above comparison. Also the "D" may be pronounced "DH" or rather "TH" as in English, but the basic indication remains "D".


    The hypothesis is firstly based on Germanic.


    Slavic has a hypothesis of "*zjeld-", in which the "ZJ" corresponds with Germanic "G". This confirms the thesis of "*geld-".





Created: Tuesday 6 November 2007 at 22.30.54 Updated: 24/01/2013 at 10.43.07