GD 1069          PRET

H 0723            ט ר פ

Concept of root : having fun

Hebrew word


English meanings

ט ר פ


to make music

Related English words


Comparison between European words and Hebrew




English meanings

Similarity in roots


ט ר פ


to make music

p . r . th





p . r . t



Hebrew PARATH --- *PRET Dutch



This Dutch noun "pret" is one of those rather many words that seem isolated: No sisters to be found in other Germanic languages and no etymology available. Scholars therefore suppose it may have come from what they call a "substratum", that is a language spoken by an original population that was absorbed into the incoming Germanic speakers. Nothing is known about this, and any guess about such languages goes.


For us the new aspect is that there is a nice similarity between this Dutch word for fun, "pret" and the Hebrew root for "to make music". Especially if we consider that this music making is by far not necessarily a concert-like one, but more easily a strumming or thrumming, and even a joyous shouting. All actions that are typically linked to the making of fun that is expressed by the Dutch root. A common origin seems very probable.


Also other meanings are expressed by a root "P.R.TH", such as "to separate, break off, divide". This is related to more three consonant roots beginning with "P.R" ; "P.R.TH", P.R.S(amekh)", "P.R.S(in)", "P.R.SH" and "P.R.T". There is no basis for supposing a link between these roots and the fun of playing music.


Some suppose that playing an instrument comes from "to pluck the strings" and consequently a Modern Hebrew adjective "paruth" was coined to say "pinched, picked". But there is no semantic basis at all for this.


  • Proto-Semitic There are some indications, like Samaritan "parath = to sing psalms" and Arabic " farith = improviser", but this is not sufficient for a solid hypothesis for Proto-Semitic.






Created: Tuesday 6 November 2007 at 22.30.54 Updated: 20/11/2012 at 11.26.07