E 0252 DEON

The Old English verb " deon " is of Germanic origin .

H 0633 ב ד נ

Concept of root : to push

Hebrew word


English meanings

ב ד נ<

ב ד

nadav < dov

to push

Related English words

Old English deon

Comparison between European words and Hebrew




English meanings

Similarity in roots


ב ד נ <

ב ד *

nadav <


to push, incite, impel

n . d . v <

* d . v




to push, incite, impel

d . w <

* d . b

(Middle) Dutch

duwen, douwen

dwen, douwen

to push

d () w

Old English

deon, dyn

to push

d (o) ; d (y)



Proto-Semitic *NADAV < *DOB --- *DŎW- Indo-European



This entry is seen as related to number E 0251 (Hebrew 0390) . The presence of N as an initial consonant in Hebrew, while the other two correspond with Germanic, is a rather frequent phenomenon. Such an N was originally a prefix that did not change the meaning of the previous two-consonant root.


Besides this, the main difference is that we have in Germanic (Dutch) a W, and in Hebrew a B that is pronounced as a W.


As shown, Hebrew like English with " to push", uses this root to express figurative ways of "pushing", and this has become in Post Biblical Hebrew " to be donated" and "to give freely" and in modern language also in the reflexive form the message of " to volunteer" .



  • Russian "dawitj" is still nearer to Hebrew than the Dutch words. Russian has lived the phenomenon of B becoming W also at the beginning of very many words. Russian writers therefore have decided to use two different letters. One is the В , that looks like English B but is pronounced W. The other one is Б , that looks a bit different ( more like b ) but is correctly pronounced B.



  • Hebrew has a verb "dibbr", root "ד ב ר ", meaning among other things "to push off", for example an attack. This reinforces somewhat our supposition that in NADAV, the first consonant N is a prefix, not essential for the meaning of the root.


  • Proto-Semitic. This root is seen in Aramaic " נ ד ב, nedav; nadav = he was willing, he did willingly", obviously indicating the result of the action of "inciting, impelling". In Hebrew these meanings are expressed with the same root, but with the reflexive form of the verb. Arabic "nadaba = he impelled, incited". This root may have been in use in Proto-Semitic. "* נ ד ב, N D B".


    The consonant " B " certainly had the original pronunciation, as seen In Ethiopian and Arabic as well as in several Hebrew forms. The earlier form we hypothesize should also have been present in Proto-Semitic: "* ד ב, D B", possibly pronounced "DOB" .


  • English in Old English had an O instead of the "OU" in Middle Dutch and Dutch "douwen" and in another version had concentrated the "UW" of "duwen" into a single Y.


  • Germanic. Regarding the etymological origin of the Dutch word "duwen", some scholars seek help in the German verb "verdauen" = "to digest". They say this word is related to "Tau", that stands for "dew" and this root would mean "to liquify", as takes place in digestion . Well, of course digestion is far from only liquifying. It is a.o. separating liquid from solid.


    To solve this problem, we take a look at Middle Dutch, that has the composite verb "verduwen", a full sister of German "verdauen". And "verduwen" means various things , such as "push away, push off" and also "to digest". Obviously the German verb "verdauen" comes from the concept of "pushing through and off" i.e that what one has eaten.



  • Proto-Germanic. The Germanic words of this entry in origin have a very brief root, consisting of two consonants: "D + W". Then the "W", as shown in out Chapter "The willing and willful W" opens the way for many various developments, using a group of related sounds that consists of consonants and vowels: "W, V, F, U, O, " as well as combinations of these. Such combination are clearly seen in Middle Dutch as well as Dutch "duwen, douwen = to push".


    Another development, based on the necessity or just the wish or pleasure of speaking, is that of inserting a vowel or semi-vowel . This one finds in Middle High German "diuhen, tiuhen" after Old High German had already introduced an "H", which is very much to German taste and leaves no room for adding a "W": "dūhen". Middle High German had as well the forms "dūhen, douhen" comparable with Middle Dutch. Modern German has still a hardly used "duven", again near to Dutch.


    Presumably Proto-Germanic may have had "*D Ū W-", but it may have used as well "*D Ō W-".


  • Indo-European. Russian uses a different vowel, " A " instead of " O " or " U " as Germanic. This is not a general tendency. For Indo-European the vowel " Ō " remains more probable: "*D Ō W-".




Created: Tuesday 6 November 2007 at 22.30.54 Updated: 04/02/2013 at 17.52.17