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By Isaac Mozeson


The ע Ayin-to-H Shift

Dec08

Some letter shifts from their Edenic origin to English are not intuitive and anatomical, like Grimms' Laws (published first by Rashi).

Carol Long, the intelligent designer at Lightcatcher Books, is working on the new edition of The Origin of Speeches. This post fits into Chapter Four.

Most Americans are only taught that Ayin is a vowel. Later they meet authentic speakers, and hear that it's often a guttural. 

 

ע  Ayin is already GH, so  becoming an H is hardly a “shift.”  That Ayin-to-H change is seen in borrowings as when the Ayin of  [I]BHReeY is rendered as the H of Hebrew. 

While S[A]eeYR  (goat, satyr) normally involves goat hair, the Palahvi (Middle Persian) word for the wool-bearing sheep is saora.

 

Other ע    Ayin (GH)-to-H changes include:

 

1) Foreign words like Basque baby, haurra, from  עולה GHOOLaH (suckling, infant – Isaiah 49:15) and  עולל GHOALaiL  (child, infant Lamentations 2:11) – see GIRL. 

 

Dutch, Danish and Norwegian hals (neck) from Ayin-Lamed, עול  GHoaL , yoke, – see COLLAR  and French hier (yesterday) from Ayin-Bhet-Reshעבר  , past – see OVER.  The Modern Greek village,   horio, is from Ayin-Yod-Resh  עיר  (city – Genesis4 :17). 

 

  ע  Ayin/ GH-to-H shifts occur in languages as close as Anglo-Saxon, where hrǽfen and  עורב [O]WRai[V] mean raven, and also occur in languages as exotic as Maidu (California Indians), where hin and  עין  [A]YiN mean eye. 

 

Or, using just English words:

 

2) HAMADRYAD (a wood nymph) from Greek hama (together, with) plus drys, tree (seen at TREE) – hama is from Ayin-Mem,  עםGHeeM (with – a likely source for HOMO- and HOMEO- words as well).


3) HARLOT (lewd woman, servant, churl, via Old French) from Ayin-Resh-Lamed,    ערלGHaReL    (uncircumsized – Exodus 12:48… thus a source for CHURL; ערלה  GHaReLaH came to mean       a gentile woman ).


4) HEATHEN and HEATH from Ayin-Tsadi,  עץGHaiTS, (forest, wood – see LUTE – via IE kaito     (forest).


5) HEDONISM (from Ayin-Daled-Noon-Hey ,  עדנה  GHeiDNaH, pleasure – see HEDONISM)


6) HELIX (spiral—Greek) from Ayin-Gimel-Lamed ,  עגלGhaGoaL (round – see  CYCLE,  

   with other GH-G-L terms metathesizing to HL plus guttural, like HELICOPTER.


7) HERD from Ayin-Dalet-Resh, עדר GHeDeR (flock, herd – see HERD.)


8) HERMES (originally the Greek god of “cunning” –Webster’s) from Ayin-Resh-Vav-Mem,  

 ערום     GHaROOM,   “subtle” (KJV) or “cunning”  – Genesis 3:1.  See “IRONIC.”


9) HONEY from Ayin-Noon-Gimel, ענג GHoNeG (delight – see HONEY


10) HOVER  from Ayin-Phey,   עף GHahF (to fly – see AVIATE).

 

Like HOVER and AVIATE or UP, ע Ayin can provide a word beginning with a vowel, along with a cognate that begins with an H.

OVER and HYPER are both from עבר GHaBHahR, overSee the HYPER and OVER” entries.    

 

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At the 8th candle, the day finally starts to get longer.
We can banish the darkness.

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