Origin of English word CHUCKLE

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English Word


Edenic Word


Hebrew Word







[TS-H-K →CH-K]


CHUCKLE (to laugh softly) is thought to be from a hen's call; thus imitative.

A CHUCKLE is not quite a cackle, and hyenas have a better sense of humor.

  צחק TSaK[H]aQ means to laugh (Genesis17:17).  Darker laughter below.

The designed, paradoxical similar opposite is  צעק TSaGHahQ (to cry out – Genesis 27:34).

The name of Ishmael’s half brother, Isaac or   יצחק YiTS[K]HaQ, is in future tense, and implies that he’ll have the last laugh.


צחוק TSi[K]HOAQ means joke, sport or laughter. In context of the angry young Ishmael (Genesis 21:9) or the Golden Calf revelers (Exodus 32:6), the term can also mean homicidal or sexual “sport.”  A cat “toys” with a mouse.  In the Eskimo idiom of “laughing with one’s wife,” the laughter is  sexual.  Isaac is Tsadi-Het-Koof with his wife in Genesis 26:8 . This fits German s chak ern   which means to jest, joke, but also to flirt. 

CHUCK (to pat playfully), JOCULAR, JOKE, SCOFF and SCOP (entertainer) are related.

Chinese forms of   צחק TSaK[H]aQ include  ??   X’08 200   gao siu (funny, hilarious -  read the second syllable first)  and   ??  X’ 0 8259  siu hua   (j oke , pleasantry).  M.P. gets these from the 2008 Xinhua dictionary, while the Romanized word for “laugh” in P.M. Bergman is  shiaw,

Hawaiian ho'aka means laugh. Japanese comedy is kigeki; in Korean it’s higuk.

In Hindi (Dravidian)  צחק TSaK[H]aQ is an H-S which is reversed and nasalized: hansi is to laugh. (M. Pau)

 Hungarian vihog is to laugh. Mahigan (Amerind) schmeck (to laugh) may be a nasalized (extra M)   צחק TSaK[H]aQ (laugh) . See SMUG.  If the M is part of the root, is should be an M-K mocking word with a prefix – see MOCK.      In Maltese “laugh” is tidhaq, the Tsadi/TS becoming a double-dental.  (M. Pau),

 Maya tsek means laugh.   To jest in Spanish, guasa, requires reversing  )   צ-ח Tsadi-Het and dropping Koof/Q.

Some consider the Yinglish word  TCHOTCHE or TSATCHE (novelty,  trinket) to be English.  They come via Yiddish chatchka, tchotchke, or tsatska (knickknack,  toy) which are traced to Slavic. For the ultimate origin of these fricative-guttural playthings, there’s    צעצע TS[A]hTSooGHah (plaything; toy in Modern Hebrew) and  שעשע SHaGHSHGHa  means played with, fondled (Isaiah11:8, 66:12).

German zeug and Rumanian juc(arie) means toy. TOY, like the Hebrew etymons, once inferred amorous behavior.

JEST  (to joke) in Spanish is chiste. Chuscada is a joke or jest; chistuso is funny or amusing. The J of JEST is better seen as a CH.  CH is a fine Het; ST is the standard Western Tsadi/TS.  The Koof/Q has dropped away in the reversal.  צחק TSi[K]HoaQ words of Spanish and English JEST. JEST is currently traced by the AHD to an IE “root” they call gerere (to carry, carry on, act, do).  The strange definition is from a Latin word “of unknown origin.”  Alleged cognates of JEST are BELLIGERENT, GERUND, GESTATATION, GESTICULTE, GESTURE, INGEST, REGISTER and SUGGEST.

Another Het from    צחק TSi[K]HoaQ turned into a J seems to be in the background of the word JOKE. Here the Tsadi of  צחק TSi[K]HoaQ, not the Koof/Q has dropped.  The Latin jocus, joke is attributed to an Indo-European “root” called yek, with dervatives like JOCOSE, JOCULAR and JUGGLE.  Or, the Tsadi/TS as dental, shifts to a DJ sound, to allow us to get the JOKE.

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