The word " peak " is of Germanic origin .

The word " apex " is a loanword from Latin .

H 0729 ה ג ס פ

Concept of root : reaching peak

Hebrew word


English meanings

ה ג ס פ


peak, summit

Related English words

peak ; apex

Comparison between European words and Hebrew




English meanings

Similarity in roots


ה ג ס פ


summit, peak

p . s . g


apex, gen.


apex, apicis

summit, peak

(‘) p . c .




(‘) p . x



Hebrew *PISGÀ --- *APEX, APIC-IS Latin



The Hebrew word "pisg" for "summit" is Modern Hebrew. It is related to the verb " פ ס ג ", that in its intensive version "pissg" stands in the Bible for "to climb upon" or "to climb up high", though there is no unanimity on this translation. Some prefer "to pass through". The place is Psalm 48: 14. The object is called "b>א ר מ ו ן, armon", that means "citadel, tower, fortified building", and the translation "to climb (upon)" fits best.


With an identical verb we also find the meaning of "to prune, trim", which is an action that refers to points that are then cut off. This element of points, that mostly go up high, is also important in Latin "apex". But Latin does have a verb "apiscor", that is considered as related and indicates "to reach, obtain", something like the kind of action regarding reaching those peaks meant in "pissg".


The mount on which Mos has to climb in order to see the full panorama of the Promised Land, in which he himself was not to enter, has taken the name of "Pisg".


The similarity between Latin "apex" and Hebrew "pisg" with the same meaning "peak" is limited in that Latin has added a confirming A as a prefix and further does not have the central S we see in Hebrew. All in all there is a not too strong indication of a common origin.


  • Proto-Semitic. We have no reliable information for a hypothesis.


  • Latin. The origin of the cited verb "apiscor = to reach, obtain" is uncertain. It has nearly the same consonants as Hebrew : "P S C" against "P S G", but the last part "SC" is also often found as a suffix. In fact some scholars suppose the existence of an older verb "*apere", with as first person singular "*apio". This would also have been the basis for "aptare = to fix" as an intensivum. Consequently one runs in trouble to establish the meaning of the hypothetical verb "*apere".


    We see as the greater probability the simple similarity between the two roots : Latin "P S C" and Hebrew "P S G", dedicating to points and peaks one gets at.


  • English "peak" is related to Italian "picco", also meaning "mountain-peak". There is some confusion regarding "peak", if one thinks that it is just an alteration of "pike". This last word has its sisters in many tongues, and it is of course linked to the concept of "to prick, sting". Its concept is far from that of reaching a peak.


    These words lack the initial A of Latin "apex" as well as the central S. They are probably related but that relationship then lies much further back.





Created: Tuesday 6 November 2007 at 22.30.54 Updated: 20/11/2012 at 16.50.53