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By Isaac Mozeson

under 7O ! COLD IS COMING.


I think autumn is actually coming. I'm not in the Negev desert this winter. In Sderot it only rained kassam rockets from Gaza.  But up here, high in the Galilee, there is some winter weather. 

When I was a kid, winter mean Boston College Pond would freeze over for ice hockey.
But now,  coldness isn't cool.

The entry:

CRYO(GENICS)   QaRaH    Koof-Resh-Hey

Kah-RAH___________קרה______   ___[KR]

ROOTS: CRYOGENICS is the science of freezing things, from Greek kryos (cold, frost).

קרה QaRaH is the "icy cold" of Psalms 147:17.  קר QoaR is cold (Genesis 8:22);  קרח QeRaK[H] is frost (Genesis 31:40).

Greek kryos is also the etymon for CRUST; see CRUST for the Indo European “root” of CRYO-.  For guttural-liquid terms of the opposite, of heat, see below.  A CRUST, such as the membrane formed atop a freezing liquid, is seen in the   ג-ל Gimel-Lamed (also guttural-liquid) terms at “COLD.”


BRANCHES: Edenic extensions of  קר QahR (cold to the touch) include      קרש QaRaSH (to clot, congeal, coagulate) and  קרם  QaRaM (to form a crust).

The usual R-to-L  liquid  (tongue letter) shift brings words like CHILL, CONGEAL, COLD, COOL, GELATIN, GELID, JELL and JELLY - all of which are attributed to the IE “root” gel-3  (cold, to freeze).  These are given  a closer etymon at “COLD.”

 The opposite of guttural-liquid-guttural   קרח  QeRaK[H] ice  is the fiery guttural-guttural-liquid  גחל  COAL – see “COAL.”  More guttural-liquid opposites at “CHAR” and “KILN.”

Turkish snow is kar, just as the cold weather term, צנה  TSeeNaH, gave English SNOW.  See "SNOW."

The GLD/T words recall the Talmudic term   גלד GeLeD (ice), related to the congeal-clot term in Job 16:15 (GeLeD -  weakly translated "sores"  (scabs) or "skin").  הגליד   HeeGLeeYD is to grow skin over a wound.

The CLOTTING, CRUSTING and CRYSTALIZING of cells, a CONGEALING or GELATION,  in the healing process is naturally akin to freezing.  Freezing water grows a “skin.”  Swedish gradde (cream) and Italian gelato (ice cream) are two examples of this skin-cold-cream-GELATIN connection.

The modern Hebrew word for ice cream, גלידה   GLeeDaH, is not a borrowing. In fact, it points to the Semitic origins of ice cream words like glace (French – see “GLISSADE”), helado (Spanish), and jaatelo (Finnish).  Italian gelato not only means ice cream, but also the adjective “frozen.”

Galid is snow and jalida is freeze in Arabic.  Aramaic-Syriac  גלידא GiLeeYDAh is ice. Reverse G-L-S to get SHeLeG (snow). Theluji is Swahili snow.

Not only is the cold COOL from words like    קרורQaROOR (to cool), but the "casual" cool is from  קרי QeReeY, as S. R. Hirsch renders the word in Leviticus 26:21.

Rumanian "cold" reverses to rece, while other COLD terms are closer to Hebrew  קר QaR, such as Japanese kareru (to freeze) and kori (ice). Maya keel is cold; kelil is winter. Cold in Swedish is kall, in Russian khalodni, and in Finnish kylma

One would expect Chinese "cold" words to be reversed, and maybe shifted and nasalized. Thus they have liang, cold, cool  and  leng, cold X387  (<---,  N.  S-G, S-L).

Latin caldus (warm) is the opposite of COLD because the original language (Hebrew) has built-in antonyms like  קלי QaLeeY (toast, roast – see “ALKALI” and “CALORIE”)..   Think TOASTY.

 See CHAR and “SCAR” for antonyms of the cold KR root, like  כור  KOOR (furnace).       See CAUTERIZE for Dutch koud (hot).  Basque hotz (cold) is likely a GLD or KLT variation that dropped its middle L.

Note CHALAZA, from Greek khalaza (hailstone), for its IE “root” gheled (hail). Frozen rain, hail, is much like Arabic galid (snow). We also get, from the Greek-Semitic connection, a better etymon for HAIL than the given IE base kaghlo (small pebble.)

  The Greek rhigos, cold, gave English RHIGOSIS (the sensation of cold).  Simply reverse Koof-Resh, with the guttural downshifting to G.

See CLOT, “COLD,” FROST, and, for an added ski down the GLACIER, GLISSADE.

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