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By Isaac Mozeson

BARKING up the right tree


BARK     PaRaiQ      Pey-Resh-Koof
Pah-RAKE   פרק      [PRK à BRK]
ROOTS: Tree BARK is from German borke.  There is no Indo-European (IE) “root.”  To BARK means to remove bark or skin. 

פרק PaRaiQ means to remove, break off, unload (Genesis 27:40).
פרע PaRGHah is also the loosening or uncovering of an outer covering (hair) in Numbers 5:18
קלפה  QLeePaH, outer skin or shell, reverses to guttural-liquid-bilabial – see CALIBER.
פקל PaQaL is to peel off skin, like with an onion. EDK relates it to Arabic faqala (he winnowed), and writes that   פקל PaQaL is “related by metathesis” to  קלףQaLaPH. 
The PRQ verb produced nouns like the פרק PeReQ, a chapter or textual break-off. PRQ removal of an animal’s pelt or skin gave English words like PARKA (winter coat) and FROCK – see PLUCK.

BRANCHES: To DEBARK or DISEMBARK means to unload goods or passengers. EMBARKrecalls הפליג (Hee)PHLeeYG (to embark, sail away). For the PLG root see ARCHIPELAGO and BREAK. 

פרקת PoaReQeT is a barge.  In Arabic  fulk is a ship, and bachira is a boat.   Guttural-liquid-bilabial Related boats include: BARK, BARKENTINE, BARGE, FELUCCA (West Indian log canoe) FRIGATE, PIRAGUA (Spanish log canoe), and PIROGUE (Carib log canoe).  BARK can mean a small canoe (perhaps made with waterproof BARK) or a large sailing vessel, like a BARKENTINE. 

 Either way, they may go back to our verbs of skinning a tree, or of sailing, departing,  breaking away from our environment of dry land.

To FLITCH, to strip from the outer tree trunk, is traced to the reconstructed IE base plik (to tear off). FLECHING is the feathers on an arrow. So the FLETCHER (arrow-maker) is not so much an armaments professional as a chicken PLUCKER with a side job.

PARE may be related, see the PEEL entry in the E-Word. (1500 pages, $15 download at  

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