E 0840áááááááá (TO)á SMART

The verb " to smart is of Germanic origin .

H 0567á ááááááááááר א מ

Concept of root : hurting

Hebrew word

pronunciation

English meanings

ר; א

ר א י מ

ma’ar;

ma’ýr

to hurt;

hurting, painful

Related English words

smart

Comparison between European words and Hebrew

Languages

Words

Pronunciation

English meanings

Similarity in roots

Hebrew

ר; א

ר א י מ

ma’ar;

ma’ýr

to hurt;

hurting. painful

m (.) r

English

to smart

to smart

s m . r t

Middle English

smerten, smarten

to smart

s m . r t

Old English

smeortan ;

smeart

to smart ;

painful

s m . r t

Middle Dutch

merren ;

smerte

merren;

smerte

to hurt;

pain

m . r;

s m . r t

German

Schmerz

pain

sh m . r z

 

 

Hebrew MA'AR --- *MAR- Proto-Germanic

 

 

This Hebrew root is an old one, and the corresponding verb is out of use.
In the Bible we find the causative form " ה מ א י ר, him’ir " that meant "to hurt". The basic form "*ma’ar" may have meant either "to be hurt, to suffer" or "to hurt". Anyhow the concept of hurting was in its message. This is where we see the similarity with English, and even more clearly with Middle Dutch. And also this verb "merren" went out of use. "To hurt" was not its only meaning, but also "to hamper, hinder" or, intransitive, various ways of hesitating or delaying. The interface justifies the supposition of a common origin.

 

The noun "smerte", in German "Schmerz" and in Modern Dutch "smart", is an example of the common way in Germanic languages of adding a prefix S and a suffix T to , lightly, diversify messages of roots. This development is already clearly demonstrated within Middle Dutch , as we find there still the obviously older, more original root without S or T, in the verb " merren " . This is one of many examples in which we find Dutch having conserved longer old roots . And among those old roots many are visibly related to Hebrew roots .

 

Note:
  • English uses a word "smart" also for a quite different concept, of quick, bright thought, brillant action etcetera. The verb "to smart" is recognized as derived from Indo-European "*mer", similar to Middle Dutch and Hebrew. For the adjective "smart" no etymology has been found and it is hard to imagine that it be based on a concept of "pain" or "hurting". And we have found no link to Hebrew for it.

 

Note:
  • Proto-Semitic. There is very little evidence for a hypothesis. In Arabic there is a word "ma'ira", used to say of a wound that it is getting worse, like by "breaking open". But we should like to have more evidence before making a hypothesis.

 

Note:
  • Proto-Germanic. The Middle Dutch verb "merren", also "marren", gives a special opening versus the usual thesis that the root of the words "smart" and (German) "Schmerz" have been developed out of an earlier root without an initial "S". It is known that anyhow Germanic in many cases has introduced a prefix "S" and/or a final "T" without changing thereby the meaning of the root.

     

    One must remark that the verb without initial "S" and final "T", or a similar one, in Middle Dutch also is used to indicate the actions of "to impede, disturb, stop, make lose time". Proto-Germanic presumably used the root seen in about all languages , though the final consonant in German became a Z", pronounced "TS". Thus "*SM E RT-", but with a use in various forms as well of "*SM A RT" And the older form without initial "S" and final "T" , found in Middle Dutch, should also still have been present : "*M E/A R-".

 

Note:
  • Indo-European. It has been tried to relate the root and concept of this entry to Latin "mordere = to bite". Biting can sometimes hurt a person, but the concept is way off. Things are not better with Greek "smerdnos = terrible", Latvian "merdēt = emaciate" and Old Indian "mrdnati = he presses, rubs", all things that can be or not be unpleasant, but with concepts that are very different as such from "to smart".

 

 

 

 
Created: Tuesday 6 November 2007 at 22.30.54 Updated: 05/11/2012 at 17.50.34