E 0141 CALUMNY

The word " calumny " is , via Old French, of Latin origin .

H 0755 ן ו ל ק ; ה ל ק

Concept of root : dishonoring

Hebrew word

pronunciation

English meanings

ה ל ק

ן ו ל ק

qal;

qalon

to be abased, mortified;

dishonour

Related English words

calumny

Comparison between European words and Hebrew

Languages

Words

Pronunciation

English meanings

Similarity in roots

Hebrew

ה ל ק

-

-

ן ו ל ק

qal;

-

-

qalon

to be abased, mortified;

dishonour

q . l .

Greek

κηλις

klis

dishonour, shame

k . l .

Latin

calumnia

calumnia

false insult, calumny

c . l .

Gothic

holon

holon

to slander

h . l

Anglo Saxon

holian, helan

holian, helan

to slander

h . l

English

calumny

calumny

c . l .

 

 

Proto-Semitic *QALÀ --- *KÈL, KĂL- Indo-European

 

 

The various word we see have differed in their use of suffixes, but are all based on the same brief root "K L", with its variations "Q L" and "C L", that are not real changes, and that carries the messages of dishonouring somebody.

 

In Latin this dishonouring had become a false dishonouring, a calumny. The same happened in Germanic, as we see from the Gothic example.

 

In Greek the basic meaning is clearly carried by the noun "klis = stain, dishonour", together with the verb "κηλιδοω , klidoo = to stain", but the verb "κηλεω , klo", based on the same root, has shifted more towards : "to bewitch, charm".

 

 

Note:
  • Hebrew. The word "qalon" is a noun, shaped by adding the suffix "-ON" to the root "Q L" . This is in fact identical to the way Greek formed and still forms nouns of the neuter gender. In Latin we see the sister-suffix "-UM" in this role. This difference between final M and final N can be compared with that between the suffix for the plural form of nouns in Hebrew " –im " and Aramaic " –in " .

     

    On the same basis another verb had been formed by doubling the consonant L: " ק ל ל ". This was used not in the basic form "*qalal", but in the intensive "qilll = to define in contempt" or even "to curse". And there exists as well the verb " נ ק ל , naqal = to abase oneself". This last verb should have a passive meaning, but we see this kind of rule was not always strictly respected and its message is reflexive instead of passive.

     

    Some scholars consider the words of this entry as derived from the concept of "light" as present in entry GR 1179 (Hebrew 0752) . This is then based on the translation in three grades of for example the passive verbal form "niqel" : "he was lightly esteemed , disgraced, dishonoured". The thesis does not hold, because in this case the "lightness" is just a variation of disesteem and does not stand at the basis of the message.

 

Note:
  • Proto-Semitic. This root is also present, extended with "N" in Aramaic "ק ל נ א, qelan = disgrace, shame" and with an opening Aleph that has not changed the meaning of the root, in Syriac "א ק ל י , aql = he held in low esteem" and it may have been used in Proto-Semitic; "*ק ל , Q L +accentuated vowel ".

 

Note:
  • Proto-Germanic. The false and in fact deceiving talk that is the subject of this entry, in Germanic has led to interesting linguistic results. On the one hand there is Old Norse with "hōl = eulogy; gragging", in which one talks falsely too good of somebody or of oneself. Then there is identical Old English "hōl = vain, evil speaking, slander". Then, or earlier, Gothic in "hōlōn = to slander" has developed the same meaning as Latin expresses with "calumnior". Proto-Germanic probably had a form "*H Ō L-" with the meaning of giving false references, either in praise or in slander.

 

Note:
  • Indo-European has a hypothesis of "*KÈ L-", that perhaps may have been also "*K Ă L-"and perhaps as well "*K Ō L-", for to charm, bewitch; to invoke" , but to this should be added "to beguile, deceive", in which the "false accusations" could fit.

     

    Latin "calumnia" uses a long suffix "-mnia" or "omnia", as can be concluded from the existence of the verb "calvor" that expresses the concepts of "false talk" and "deceit".

     

    Russian "клевета, kleweta = slander" is related to the words of this entry.

 

 

 

 

 
Created: Tuesday 6 November 2007 at 22.30.54 Updated: 31/12/2012 at 10.26.24