Origin of English word BASIL

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English Word


Edenic Word


Hebrew Word









vegetables like the onion and shallot


BASIL is an herb whose leaves are used as seasoning. There is no Indo-European “root.” Old French basile, the basil plant, is thought to come from Greek basilikos, royal.  There were onions long before there were kings, or palaces with onion-shaped domes.

בצל   B-(T)S-L is to flavor or spice (as with onions). In Numbers11:5 the Jews cry over not having onions: "We remember the fish ... in Egypt . . . and the leeks, and the onions and the garlic."

The Hebrew root implies vegetables like the onion and shallot. Onion in Arabic is basal.

Onions almost peel themselves, thus the similarity between בצל   BeeTSaiL פצל PeeTSaiL, to peel or split.   Chopping and mixing the Bilabial-Fricative-Liquid etymon gets   תבל TeBHeL, spice.

Edenicist Al Ansley points out the crucial   צ-ל  Tsadi-Lamed sub-root.  TSaiL means “shadow,” as in a protective shadow  (Genesis 19:8)  and in the shadow’s duplication (the artist shadowing divine design is Bezalel).  The protective onion layers resemble the skin-shedding snake, thus the BASILISK below, whose breath was as lethal as an onion eater.

Similar to פצל  PaTSaL (to peel off – Genesis 30:37) is   פסל Pa$aL (to sculpt – Exodus 34:1), as the sculptor removes outer layers to reveal his art.   [Al Ansley]



The dictionary offers the puzzling term basileous ("king" in Greek) as the source for BASIL. Citing the mythical BASILISK  snake only confuses the lexicographers still more. The eternal onion, where a mystery lies within a mystery , as endless layers are peeled off, inspired the sacred onion shape of domed Eastern European houses of worship.  (Also, secular power like the Kremlin.) Dig up the onion for the source of  BASILICA (via Greek).  The Rumanian word for church has undergone a conversion of liquids, from BASILICA to biserica.

            Many tongues like the flavor of   בצל BeeTSaiL. An easy #1-#2 letter flip (M213 metathesis) of B/TS/L is TS/B/L. Here's the TSIBELE a Yiddishe mama cooks with, along with the CIPOLLA, ZWIEBEL, CEBULA, and SIPULI (onions all) that Italian, German, Polish, and Finnish mamas have cried over for centuries. In Estonia it’s sibul, while in Latvia it’s sipol.  One of the only fricative variations for the Tsadi not used above is seen in the Ukrainian onion:  tsybulnya.

Tipula is an onion in Basque, the language with "no affinities."   (This is not borrowed from Spanish cebolla  nor the French oignon.)   CHIVE is from Latin cepa (onion).  Solis an onion to Kiowa Indians

Bible Verses

Numbers 11:5 ז כרנו את־הדגה אשׁר־נאכל במצרים חנם את הקשׁאים ואת האבטחים ואת־החציר ואת־הבצלים ואת־השׁומים׃

“We remember the fish, which we were wont to eat in Egypt for nought; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlic.



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