Origin of English word CRAMP

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English Word


Edenic Word


Hebrew Word







[G-R-PH → KL(+M)P]


CRAMP is to fasten or restrain. CRAMPING one’s style is holding it back, while a muscle CRAMP may also be said to be gripping.  CRAMP is already in the AHD’s so-called Indo-European “root” ger- 2 (curving, crooked) along with AGRAFFE (a hook). CRAMP, therefore, is easily from EGRoaF (fist –see GRAPPLE.  The M in CRAMP is nasalized.  This entry will now take on the more challenging CLAMP, which is but a   liquid shift (L,R) away.

A CLAMP is for grasping and grabbing firmly.  CLAMP is said by the AHD to derive from the reconstructed Indo-European “root” gel- 1 (to form into a ball).  See CONGLOMERATE. Just because  CLAMP sounds like CLUMP does not mean that scholars should clump them into the same invented root.   אגרף   EGRoaPH is a fist or to fist fight (Exodus21:18).  See GRAPPLE.   אגרף EeGRaiF is to clench a fist.  One can GRASP or get a GRIP or CLAMP down on something when clenching the fingers into a fist. The etymology was hard to GRAB since there is a guttural and liquid shift, and there is a nasalization with an added M.


A CLAMPER fastens metal to boots, allowing one to walk on ice. The CLIP (fastener could also be from E GRoaF, but not nasalized with that M.  CLAM and CLAMMY do have the M, and are in the same Indo-European “root” as CLAMP, and a strong hand-grabbing word like CLAW.  CLAW needs the guttural, liquid and bilabial shifted.

Now for the extra M CLAMPED on. A nasalization of an added M or N, which aids pronunciation and helps differeniate it from like-sounding words, is common when an older word ends in a bilabial B or P.

A BUMP (swelling) is a nasalized  BUBO (inflamed swelling)– see BUBBLE.

A CRAMP is above.

Both DIMPLE (a depression) and to DUMP are nasalized forms of DTaBH[A], to press in or immerse – see DIP.

A LAMP is a nasalized LaPeeYD (torch  – see LAMP).

A PIMPLE is a nasalized Anglo-Saxon piplian, to blister  – see PIMPLE).

Following the AHD’s Dictionary of Indo-European Roots, note the many cognates that are nasalized at roots ending with a bilabial. The “root” skerbh, skerb  (to turn, bend) lists derivatives like CRAMBO, RIMPLE, RUMPLE, RAMP, SHRIMP and SCRIMP.

See TAP for that added P before a B.  A TAMBOURINE is a nasalized ToaPH (hand drum).

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