Origin of English word BI-

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The word BI- is addressed in the entry: BOTH

English Word


Edenic Word


Hebrew Word









The two of them.


The Greek BETA is the acknowledged borrowing from "Phoenician" (an academic euphemism for Hebrew).  Israel had more cultural influence than Phoenicia.  Back in Genesis 49:13 the maritime prowess of the tribe of Zebulon was extolled.  Most likely the pre-Hellenic traders they met were more interested in numbers than letters.  But Hebrew numbers ARE letters, and the illiterates of the northern Mediterrannean went on to spread literacy to the Indo-Europeans.

In the Semitic Middle East, the earlier culture where literacy began,  בית  BeTH or BET is the second letter of the Aleph-Bet, thus the number two.   ב gave us the graphic for number two. The original "B" has named our BETA rays and BETA Max. (See BETA.)

English speakers have historical validity in rendering בית BeYT (literally: a house - Genesis 35:2) like the first syllable in BETHLEHEM, BETH ESDA and BETHEL.  The letter   בית Bet more than resembles a two, it signifies "two."  BOTH means "the two" (of them).

The like-sounding built-in opposite of this twoness is   בד Bet-Dalet (isolated, limb) – see BAT and DIVIDED.


ב BaiT or Bai(S) (two) is related to  BahT or Bah(S) (child, daughter, suburb, extension - i.e. a second item like or related to the first). A Ba(S)-QoaL (echo, second voice, or SUB-noise - BS reversed) reverberates with a sense of second best as well as with a sense of repetition. BIS means 'twice" in musical directions. BIS(TORT) is Latin for twice (twisted).   The most common Bet  /  B   (letter two as # 2) is the BI- prefix of twoness that appears in scores of words like BILATERAL, BINARY or BISECTED.  Bi is two in Basque.  Bas means “twice” in French. German “both” is beide.  In Japanese, there is byo (second) and bai (twice). The Japanese number two, futatsu,  has the bilabial-dental of Edenic ב BeT (number 2).   

 The Proto-Altaic “two” (which some claim is close to Japanese) reverses  ב BeT to tybu.

Ba - is the plural prefix in Swahili; "both" is oba in Polish.

roof .

?   bi X31 is composed of two Chinese radicals. One means “roof,” as a house or BOOTH would have, the other means “compare,” as one can only do with two items. For BOTH reasons, George Shen (GS) suggests a link to ב Bet.

Reading BAT like "VaTe" and reversing to T-V allows us to see the Swedish two (tva) and the many TWO words in Germanic and Slavic languages.


Related Words


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