E 0212 (TO) CROUCH , (TO) CREEP

The verb " to crouch " is probably of Germanic origin .

The verb " to creep " is of Germanic origin .

H 0504 ע ר כ

Concept of root : get/move in low position

Hebrew word

pronunciation

English meanings

ע ר כ

kar‛

to kneel, crouch,

collapse

Related English words

to crouch, to creep

Comparison between European words and Hebrew

Languages

Words

Pronunciation

English meanings

Similarity in roots

Hebrew

ע ר כ

kar‛

to kneel,

crouch, collapse

k . r .

English

to crouch ;

to creep

to crouch ;

to creep

k r . ch

Old English

creopan

to creep

k r . p

Middle Dutch

crupen

crpen

to creep

k r . p

German

kriechen

crighen

to creep

k r . gh

 

 

Proto-Semitic *KAR ‛A --- *KRĪKH, *KRŪP, * Proto-Germanic

 

 

Here we have a similarity where English is the nearest to Hebrew.

 

 

Note:
  • English. It will be obvious that we are not certain that English "to crouch" has been derived from Old French "crochir" that means "to be bent". This is one of those cases where the similarity with Hebrew is useful to clear questions of etymology. As so often there is an Old French word that has no basis in Latin, is of Germanic origin and has a pronunciation influenced by the development of the Neo-Latin French language of the Franks that were of Germanic stock.

 

Note:
  • Proto-Semitic. This root is seen in Aramaic "כ ר ע , ker‛ = he bowed down, knelt down". Ugaritic uses the same root for the same meaning and Arabic "kara‛a = he knelt down". This has also acquired the meaning of "to put one's mouth into water in order to drink", derived from the classic kneeling down at a source of water. This indicates a probable presence in Proto-Semitic: "*כ ר ע , K R Ayin".

 

Note:
  • Germanic and Hebrew. The Hebrew third consonant, that particular letter "ע", in this case as in others, corresponds with the use of the "U" or "I" as a vowel in Germanic. Modern English in "to creep" no more has this vowel still found in Old English.
    But besides that, Germanic has added third consonants, such as "P" in order to insert into the concept of a physically lowered position that of moving forward in such a position, that is "to creep".

 

Note:
  • Germanic. It is generally believed that the Germanic words of this entry are related to some root , like *G R" or "K R", that is found in the English word "curve". We do not think that the basic element of "to crouch" and "to creep" lies in a curving movement, but in being or moving in a low position. Consequently German "kriechen" and its predecessors do not mean "to curve".

     

    And so we see Germanic building on the same root we find in Hebrew.
    Another remark to be made is that we find Germanic using as third consonant a P or GH, this time with German having the "GH" and Dutch the "P" and English both. There is a clear distinction in function between those two in English "crouch" and "creep", but that is not generalized.

 

Note:
  • Proto-Germanic. . Nearly all Germanic languages have ""KR . P", also spelled "CR . P". Exceptions are found in Danish "krybe" with a typical "P > B" and Old Frisian "kriafa" in which the "P" has become a "PH" , spelled "F". The central vowel is mostly " Ū " or " Y ", that in Nordic tongues is pronounced between " Ü " and " Ī " , with an exception in Old English "creopan", but related to similar "cryppan = to bend ". Old Franconian had "criepan" and Old Frisian kriafa". Old Norse had "krjupa", that has become "krype" in modern Norwegian, comparable to Swedish "krypa". The probable Proto-Germanic form was "*KR Ū P-".

     

    The forms, like German "kriechen", were already present in for example Old High German "kriochan" and we cannot exclude that this split into two forms, without any recognizable diversification in message, may have taken place already in Proto-Germanic, with a "new" root "*KR Ī KH-".

 

Note:
  • Indo-European. Information outside Germanic seems hard to come by. The proposed Greek word "γρυπος, grüpos" means "curved", and this is rather far from the moving action of " to creep". So the comparison remains between Semitic and Germanic, as so very often happens.

 

 

 

 

 
Created: Tuesday 6 November 2007 at 22.30.54 Updated: 01/11/2012 at 16.06.22