E 0155 CĒNE

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

H 0523 ן נ כ *, ן ו כ

Concept of root : readiness, preparedness

Hebrew word


English meanings

ן נ כ ,ן ו כ

kon, konen

to prepare, ready

Related English words

Old English cēne

Comparison between European words and Hebrew




English meanings

Similarity in roots


ן ו כ

ן נ כ



to prepare, to ready,

to place, establish

k w n

k (o) n n




bold, courageous

k (u) n

Old High German





k (uo) n

Old English


wise, bold, powerful,

c . n




k . n

Middle Dutch >



> koen



selfassured, ready, calm, courageous;bold, daring

k (u) n



Proto-Semitic *KON --- *KŪN Proto-Germanic



In Entry E 0143 (Hebrew 0493) , dealing with the root "K N" and some daughters of it, we mentioned that the concepts of "readiness" and "preparedness" we find here in E 0155, may or may not be linked to those of "knowledge" and "ability". The fact is that the two roots we are looking at now, are mostly found in composite words, and that the basic verb "*K W N" , *KAWAN or *KON, is "out of use".


  • Germanic. The general supposition is that the words of this entry are related to those of entry E 0143 (Hebrew 0493) , with the meanings of knowledge and, consequently, ability. The modern meanings are that of bravery and courage, but earlier Middle Dutch "coene" and its sisters indicated preparedness and selfassuredness in facing things. Old German "kuoni" , developed earlier towards modern use, says "strong, courageous". As often, the interface between Hebrew and Germanic lies between Hebrew and Dutch.


  • Hebrew gives us a series of composite words, such as :


    causative form hkhin to prepare
    causative form hikonen to be established
    reciprocal form hitkonen to be established
    to prepare oneself
    passive form nakhon to be ready, solid
    intensive form kiwwn to sharpen
    to direct
    reciprocal form hitkawwn to have intention
    causative form hikhwin to regulate
    intensive form kiwwn to regulate


From this complex group we must try to understand the original message of the basic verb, that may have been "KAWAN" or "KON" or both in different periods. We suppose that this message was that of preparedness and readiness, the same concept we find in the above mentioned Germanic words. And the more faraway origin may have been in the sequence of knowledge and capability or ability.


  • English in Old English does not have the O-sound or U-sound. Modern English "keen" has developed its different meaning more on the basis of knowledge than toward that of boldness. Very interesting is that the development finds some similarity with that of the Hebrew verb "kiwwn", shown above, and that is an intensive form of "*kawan", and that means also "to sharpen".


  • Proto-Semitic. The second root of this entry seems a specific Hebrew development, but the first root is also seen in Aramaic "כ ו ן , kawwn" = he made straight, put right . OS Arabic "כ ו ן , kon = to occur, exist". Ethiopian "kŏna = existed, became" and Akkadian "kānu = to be firm, be right". This root was probably already in use in Proto-Semitic : "*כ ו ן , K W N".





Created: Tuesday 6 November 2007 at 22.30.54 Updated: 02/11/2012 at 18.05.24