GR 1228ááááááááá PEITHO

H 0733á ááááááááááה ת פ

Concept of root : to tempt

Hebrew word


English meanings

ה ת פ


to convince, tempt

Related English words


Comparison between European words and Hebrew




English meanings

Similarity in roots


ה ת פ


to tempt, convince

p . t .




to induce convince,

p . th


пытать; убедить

pŭtatj; ubeditj

to try, to (at)tempt;

to convince

p . t b . d



Hebrew *PITTÀ --- PEITH-O Greek < *BĒD- Indo-European



This Hebrew root is used for a number of variations about the way people may induce others to do things, from seducing via convincing to deceiving. One of them is "to tempt" and the similarity with Indo European this time is found in Russian and Greek.



  • Greek also uses a related verb "φθειρω , phtheiro" to express the idea of "to seduce, corrupt". Interesting to see that this kind of system of diversifying by adding a third consonant ( R ) to the existing two ( P T ) is very common in Hebrew and here also practised in Greek.


    In both Greek and Hebrew , within the root (P T) of "pittÓ" and "peitho" , there is place for the case in which somebody uses dishonest words in order to try and convince somebody else to do or accept something.


    Besides Greek with "phtheiro", also Hebrew uses this root extended with R as a third consonant. " פ ת ר , patar" means just "to explain, interpret", more innocent than the Greek word "phtheiro = to seduce, corrupt".


  • Russian with this word covers the same concept of "to convince", not with the same root "P T" as Greek and Hebrew, but with "B D". But it also combines with "P T" more than approximately the meanings of English "to tempt" and "to attempt". In English these two words are distinguished by the use of the prefix "at-". By the way, in Italian that uses the same Latin root English has received via Norman French , the verb "tentare" covers both meanings, "to tempt" and "to attempt".


    In these Russian verbs the last parts , "-atj" and "-itj" are suffixes to form the inifinitives. For completeness, Russian also has a verb "ubezjdatj" with the meaning of "to convince".


  • Hebrew. There is another important cultural aspect to the use of this root. People that are na´ve , inexperienced or silly, can be convinced more easily to do or accept things. Thus the basic verb "patÓ" is used to express : " to be inexperienced, silly" and even "to let oneself be enchanted, seduced". And the intensive form, presented in this entry, "pittÓ" expresses the active part.


  • Proto-Semitic. We have no information from other Semitic languages that might allow a hypothesis.


  • Indo-European.


    Latin The well known words "fido, fisus sum; fides", verb and noun, express the concept of "trust". They are usually seen as related to Greek "peitho", of which "trust" is not a basic meaning. Latin shares "trust" just with secondary meanings of some special Greek forms. One is a perfectum with doubled "P" : "epepoithein = to be convinced" and consequently also "to trust". The other is the medio-passive "peithomai", that besides other meanings says : "to let oneself be convinced" and consequently "to give faith to". It is still not wrong to continue to consider "fido" as related: F I D-This is then seen as developed out of "*F EI D", which probably comes from an older root with an initial " P " rather than " B ", and possibly with a long "Ē".


    Slavic has a hypothesis of "*B Ē D-<-/b>" for "to convince" , in harmony with Russian "uneditj" and Old Church Slavonic, but not with Russian "pŭtatj".


    Albanian has a nasalized "bint = to convince".


    Germanic. The group of English "to bid", German "bitten" and many others is often considered related to the words of this entry, but the meanings "to ask, request, pray" are rather distant. This remains uncertain. Greek. As the original Greek form is considered P EI TH-. This might be a regular development out of an older, Indo-European, B Ē D-", that existed as predecessor of English "bid". But it is quite probable that Indo-European still, or also, used consonants "P" and " T/TH", as seen in Greek and Slavic: "P Ē T-".


    For Indo-European. The usual hypothesis is "*B EI DH-", that in our view is better formulated as "*B Ē D-", for two reasons. First the aspirated pronunciations are not to be considered basic. They can vary locally and individually as they do in modern languages, even if spelled with a single letter "B" or "D". Second, the "EI" is generally a normal development out of "Ē".





Created: Tuesday 6 November 2007 at 22.30.54 Updated: 20/11/2012 at 17.31.00