E 0336 FIG

The word " fig " is of uncertain, but anyhow Indo European origin

H 0680 ג פ

Concept of root : fig

Hebrew word

pronunciation

English meanings

ג פ

pag

fig (also while maturing)

Related English words

fig

Comparison between European words and Hebrew

Languages

Words

Pronunciation

English meanings

Similarity in roots

Hebrew

ג פ

pag

fig (also while maturing)

ph . g

Latin

ficus

ficus

fig

f . c

English

fig

fig

f . g

 

 

Proto-Semitic *PAG --- *FIC-US Latin

 

 

 

It is quite uncertain if the similarity in this entry can be seen as an indication of common origin.

 

An initial P in Hebrew may well correspond with an F in Latin. It does so quite frequently. This Hebrew word indicated in the Bible an immature fig, though this not necessarily is expressed by the word itself. The text in the Song of Songs tells about the fig tree having gotten its first fruit, perhaps not yet mature, but the word "pag" probably did not express that concept of "immature", even though it anyhow acquired this idea later. We see it in Modern Hebrew used for immature fruit in general and even for an early-born baby, with or without a word for "child". The similarity with the Latin word remains interesting . Perhaps the difference is just in a shift of meaning towards the idea of immaturity in Semitic.

 

Note:
  • Hebrew. This little word is found only once in the Bible and is translated as "immature fig". The phrase in which it occurs is in Song of Songs 2. 13 and says "the fig tree matures פ ג י ה, pagiy". This "pagiy" represents the fruits that are on the tree, ripened or not. It is unclear why the phrase should be "the fig tree matures the immature figs". Neither is it easy to understand why a language would give two different names to "apple" and "immature apple". In conclusion there is no semiologic reason at all to suppose that the translation should not simply be, as in English :" the fig tree matures the figs". Anyhow the normal word for "fig" in Hebrew is " ת א נ ה, te'n", that has sister words in other Semitic languages and was probably used in Proto-Semitic.

 

Note:
  • Proto-Semitic. This root is found in Aramaic, Syriac and Arabic, referring to different kinds of fruits, and according to some translations with an accent of "not yet being ripened". We consider this aspect of fruit not being (fully) ripened of secondary importance. Proto-Semitic certainly had this brief root and it indicated fig : "* פ ג , P G".

 

Note:
  • Proto-Germanic. English fig and Old English "fĪc", like their sisters in German (Feige), Dutch (vijg) and Danish (figen) or Norwegian (fiken) and Swedish (fikon) not necessarily come from Latin. Already Old Norse ( fikja ) , Old High German ( figa ) and after that Middle High German (vige ) had this word.

     

    Usually all these words are seen as derived from Latin " ficus " that means " fig tree " as well as " fig ". But something does not tally, because Latin loanwords are not commonly changed in all these various ways. On the other hand the fruit as such was not known in the North, and if the Germanic people lived there when they spoke Proto-Germanic, they would have been inclined to loan its name from the Mediterraneans. Their geographical location is quite unknown though . They may have lived nearer where figs were grown.

     

    Whatever the case, the similarity with Hebrew is there, via Latin or not . It is uncertain if a Proto-Germanic form "*F Ĭ G-" or perhaps "*F Ī G-" existed, but it is possible.

 

 

 

 

 

 
Created: Tuesday 6 November 2007 at 22.30.54 Updated: 15/11/2012 at 18.12.56