E 0208 CROFT

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

H 0520 ך ו כ

Concept of root : cavity in structure

Hebrew word


English meanings

ך ו כ


niche, recess, hollow

Related English words

Old English: croft

Comparison between European words and Hebrew




English meanings

Similarity in roots


ך ו כ



recess, hollow

k . kh

Middle Dutch

crocht, crucht



cavern, cavity,


k r . kh

Old English


cavern, tomb

k r . f



Proto-Semitic *KUK(H) --- *KRŬKH-" Proto-Germanic



This entry has a question-mark. The Dutch final T is a normal addition that is not part of the root, but the inserting of an R is less common and not based on any general rule. It is also quite uncertain if these words are related to the Greek verb "κρυπτω, krΰpto", that means to hide. That Greek word has, via Latin, led to the word "crypt", and the two concepts have mingled .


  • Germanic. We find the common diversification between KH-sound and PH-sound before a final T. This final T is a frequently used suffix that often does not change the meaning of a word.


  • English in modern language does no more use this word "croft" in this same meaning. Today a "croft" is an unfrequently used word for a small farm or a small enclosed field.


  • Germanic. The introduction of the R in Dutch "krocht" is not necessarily without an explanation. In entry E 0193 (Hebrew 0517) we find the English word "cot" , a sister of and corresponding with Dutch "kot". Now there is another word in Dutch : "krot" that as Dutch scholars say can not be separated from "kot" and that has received an "emphasizing" R . The same may well have happened in the case of "krocht" . Thus the original similarity with the Hebrew root of this entry becomes clearer .


    In Middle Dutch we find the versions "crocht, crucht, crochte, crufte, cruft, croft". Proto-Germanic may have been in a comparable situation, having both "KR Ŭ KH-" and "KR Ŭ FT-".


  • Proto-Semitic. This root can be seen in Aramaic and Syriac "כ ו ך , kukh" and "כ ו כ א , kukh'" with the same meaning. Then Arabic has "kūh = cabin".


    Some scholars see this Arabic word as loaned from an identical Persian word, which is perhaps possible. Then they expand this to Hebrew and Aramaic with their fundamentally different meanings. This does not convince and Proto-Semitic in all probability had "*כ ו ך , K W K". The pronunciation of the closing consonant may still have been " K ". We leave both alternatives in the above comparison.





Created: Tuesday 6 November 2007 at 22.30.54 Updated: 25/01/2013 at 16.40.28