Origin of English word BARB

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The word BARB is addressed in the entry: DEVOUR

English Word


Edenic Word


Hebrew Word







[BH- R-H]


to eat


DEVOUR is from Latin de (an intensifier) and vorare (to swallow whole). ברה BHaRaH is to "eat" (IISamuel12:17).     בער   BHee[A]iR is a term of feeding, eating and consuming.  Shifting liquids from BR to BL, בלע   BaL[A]h is to "devour." (Isaiah28:4) or "swallow" (Psalms69:16).


In Ancient Egypt wr meant “swallow.”

There are several related VR terms like CARNIVORE and VORACIOUS. Perhaps the "S" is unhistoric in SWALLOW and (S)WILL (to gulp) - connected to  BaL[A]h, above.

The IE “root” g(w)ere (to swallow)is the givensource of DEVOUR. Derivatives like CRAW and REGURGITATE are hard to swallow. BR words like ABROSIA, BRONCHITIS and THEBROMINE are better cognates of DEVOUR. PRESS (to pig out or eat rapidly) is a Yiddish and German FR relative.

BahR is grain or corn,  BeeRYaH is food,  (Hi)BHReeY is to fatten and BiReeY or  BaReeYE means fat. These BR terms recall Greek barys (heavy; source of BAR - and BARO- words like BAROMETER). The  BaRVaZ (duck) and the BARB (domestic pigeon) are corn-fed or fattened for the eating.

BALEEN is thought to be a Right Whale, and specifically the keratin plates with which this world’s largest creature, nearly all mouth, plows open-mouthed through a huge school of plankton or small fish and strains out the thousands of gallons of water.  Albanian baleen means any whale,  so does Latin balaena.  So the B-L is far more important  than the name of some bone-like structure, as dictionaries assume.  The ב-ר Bet-Resh of DEVOURING and swallowing whole is clearly in the picture..   (The Albanian,  and link to   BaL[A]h was made by Regina Werling in 2.10.)


Bible Verses

II Samuel 3:35 ויבא כל־העם להברות את־דוד לחם בעוד היום וישׁבע דוד לאמר כה יעשׂה־לי אלהים וכה יסיף כי אם־לפני בוא־השׁמשׁ אטעם־לחם או כל־מאומה׃

“And all the people came to cause David to eat bread while it was yet day; but David swore, saying: ‘God do so to me, and more also, if I taste bread, or aught else, till the sun be down.’”



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