Origin of English word CHERISH

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English Word


Edenic Word


Hebrew Word









CHERISH is the word we use to describe holding something dear or valuing something highly. Old French cher and Latin car(us) mean "dear."

The #3 definition of CARE, a liking or regard, is disregarded as it is believed that CARE derives from Indo-European gar (to cry out).

Love cries out for a sensible  KR etymon. יקיר YaQeeYR is the dear and precious of “beloved” (Ben-Yehuda).  In Jeremiah31:20  "Ephraim is a dear son."   יקר YaQaR is dear, prized or valued.        יקר YeeQaR is to honor, and  HOAQeeYR is to honor.  Koof-Resh is clearly the core root.  Updated translations of Isaiah43:4 will replace "honored" with CHERISHED: "Because you are precious to Me, and honored, and I love you." The concordance translates  (Ya)QaR with Latin carus.

The built-in opposite of    קר Koof-Resh  cherishing and costliness, is the קל  Koof-Lamed (liquid shift) in  קלה QaLaH (esteemed lightly – Deuteronomy 27:16) and the reduplicated  קלקל      QiLoaQaiL  (“mean, worthless”—Harkavy – Numbers 21:5). More Koof-Lamed at ACCELERATE.


Official cognates include CARESS and CHARITY. Some of the world’s “love” words using The Koof-Resh root include Swedish karlek and Norwegian kjaerlighet. Finnish reverses to rakkaus. In Spanish there is: quer encia (affection), querer (love), querido (dear).  More affection at entries like AMITY and LOVE.

Antonyms of the KR Hebrew root include (KR → RK)  RaQaH (good for nothing), (KR →  KL), QahL (unimportant) and (Hee)QLaH (to treat with contempt). HECKLE (to taunt a speaker) might better be linked to this last Hebrew term than to a Middle Dutch word for cleaning and dressing flax, etc.  “Dear” can infer something expensive, so “costly” is a guttural-liquid like YaQar in Arabic ghali, Finnish kallis, Modern Greek akrivon and Swahili ghali. One has to ignore the first letter, and to reverse the words, to see Yod-Koof-Resh in  (nasal8ized) Indonesian harganja and Russian daragoy.

Reversing  RayGHah (friend), RaQ (only) and  RaK[H](aM) (to love) recall KR words that are near [QaROABH] and dear [QaRa(BH), to befriend].  One would expect to find YaQaR in words meaning “costly.”  In Modern Greek akrivon’ includes a “von” suffix, while in Arabic and Swahilli ghali Koof-Resh has shifted gutturals and liquids.  

In Japanese there is kirai na (beautiful) and kirei na (pretty, lovely, clean).  The Japanse word that uses the Yod, Koof and Resh of YaQaR is the M312 with a Resh-to-W shift: kawaii (dear, lovely).

The first, guttural-liquid element of CALISTHENICS is likely from YaQaR, dear.  The Resh has shifted liquids to L, and the sense of preciousness has semantically shifted to attraction and beauty, as heard in French cher (dear).

For the second element, see CALISTHENICS.   What means “prestige” to a Semite, Yod-Koof-Resh, would become mere “beauty” for the children of Yefet/ יפת or Jafet, the Europeans. Theirs is an aesthetic culture, where “beauty is truth” (John Keats).   

 See COST and  CARE.

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