Origin of English word BURNISH

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The word BURNISH is addressed in the entry: BERYL

English Word


Edenic Word


Hebrew Word









Attributed to Latin and Greek,  בירלא BeYRLAh is the Aramaic gemstone describing the one in Exodus 28:9.

ברקת   BaReQeS is a carbuncle, the gem or emerald of Ezekiel 28:13.  ברור BaROOR is usually clear  (see BARE and “BORAX”), but it is “polished” in Isaiah 49:2.  בהיר  BaHeeYR and בהרת BaHeReT is bright, bright spot (Job 37:21, Leviticus 13:2); בר BaR is PURE (Psalms 24:4 – see PURE.). Akkadian, Ugaritic and Arabic also have BR terms meaning pure, clean and bright.  The built-in opposite of these bilabial-liquid bright words are  אפל APHaiL (darkness or gloom), the 9th plague (darkness) employs an extended form of PL in Exodus10:23 – אפלה APHaiLaH,  and  אפר APHoaR (gray), from    אפר AyPHeR (dust – Genesis 18:27).


CHRYSOBERYL is merely an extension, and BRILLIANT, a sparkling, gem-like adjective, requires no great BRILLIANCE to place here. The guttural in BRIGHT and BaRaQ (flashing, shining, glittering in Semitic variations) suggests sparkling gems – see BRIGHT.

 Dictionaries think theBEAR, BRUIN, and BROWN are from Indo-European “root” bher (bright, brown).  Arabic bounni means brown. Related BR words are BEAVER, BRONZE ( see BRONZE), BRUNET and BURNISH.

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