Origin of English word CAPITAL

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English Word


Edenic Word


Hebrew Word







[K- PH-T-R → K-PH-T-L]


top, capital; encircle


CAPITAL is thought to come from a fabricated IE “root” kaput (head). The first use of this versatile word is to designate any physical top or head that caps an object. A CAPITAL crime once called for DECAPITATION. כפת   KeFeT is a button, knob, small head.  The CAPITAL of a pillar is CAPITATE, enlarged at the top.

כפתור    KaPHTOAR is the CAPITAL of pillars in Amos9:1.  It also appears without the ו Vav.  The term means an ornamental crown or "knob" in Exodus25:31.  CHAPITER precisely means the capital of a column, and it perfectly fits כפתור   KaPHTOAR, but an archaic architectural term does not make a good entry name.

Aramaic קרקפת QaRQePHeT (head, skull) is a specific Semitic counterpart for the Indo-European “root” kaput (head).  [The   ק-ר Koof-Resh element is seen in   קרן QeReN (horn, hard head covering, CROWN terms…) – see  UNICORN.]


KaFTOAR is generally defined as a knob or button. Anything knoblike in anatomy or zoology, like the end of a joint bone, is a CAPITULUM, The Latin term caput (head) can work as the source for words like CAPITOL and CAPTION, but is less satisfactory when it comes to words like CAPSTAN (a spool-shaped cylinder aboard ship). The Hebrew term KePHeT (a button, knot, lump or block) is closer to the sense of CAPSTAN.

Words listed under Indo-European “root” kaput (head) include: BICEPS, CABEZON, CADET, CAPE, CAPITULATE, CAPO, CAPRICE, CAPTAIN, CATTLE, CHAPTER (see below), CHIEF(TAIN), HEAD, KER­CHIEF, MISCHIEF, PRECIPITATE, and TRICEPS. They left out the CHEF (head of the kitchen). CAPE (headland) might link up with  KayPH (rock, headland - Job30:6). Emetologically, CAPETOWN may be twinned with K[H]aYPHaH/Haifa.  A coastal beach is a K[H]OAF (Genesis 49:13). As the edge of the land, reversing Het-Phey may tell us why Japanese fuchi means hem.

At their CHAPTER entry, Webster’s  has this textual heading term come from a “diminutive” Latin caputulum (little head).  It is unclear why a CHAPTER is a little head, and why this KPTR term isn’t more likely from   כפתר   KaPHToaR, a CHAPITER or head of a pillar.

HEAD words from the Edenic Kahf-Pey-Tahf include no-brainers like Spanish cabeza, Italian cabeca, German Kopf, and words like Daish hoved.  All manner of CHAPEAU, CHAPEL, CHAPERON or CHAPLAIN are related.

Another important Biblical  “head” word, also with a hard guttural that softened in Europe is KOAPH (ape – I Kings 10:22).  This Koof-Pey animal is named for its strikingly human kop (Yiddish for head, initially from German Kopf, head or top). The Edenic source of APE has little competition, as there is no IE “root” for it, and nothing older than Anglo-Saxon apa.
For heads of state, see HEAD (Appendix A).

Bible Verses

Amos 9:1 ראיתי את־אדני נצב על־המזבח ויאמר הך הכפתור וירעשׁו הספים ובצעם בראשׁ כלם ואחריתם בחרב אהרג לא־ינוס להם נס ולא־ימלט להם פליט׃

“I saw the Lord standing beside the altar; and He said: Smite the capitals, that the posts may shake; and break them in pieces on the head of all of them; and I will slay the residue of them with the sword; there shall not one of them flee away, and there shall not one of them escape.”

Exodus 25:31 ועשׂית מנרת זהב טהור מקשׁה תיעשׂה המנורה ירכה וקנה גביעיה כפתריה ופרחיה ממנה יהיו׃

“And thou shalt make a candlestick of pure gold: of beaten work shall the candlestick be made, even its base, and its shaft; its cups, its knops, and its flowers, shall be of one piece with it.”



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