Origin of English word DIRECTION

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English Word


Edenic Word


Hebrew Word







[D- R-KH]


road, way, journey, manner


DIRECT is from Latin di or dis (apart, from) + regere (to keep straight, rule, control).   See the Indo-European “root” reg below. With difficulty one can force "from rule" to mean a direction, but with ease one may be DIRECTED to the Hebrew   דרך DeReKH (road, way, journey, manner — Genesis16:7; Isaiah43:16). הדרך    H ן DReeKH is to direct. דרג  DaRahG is to advance – see DEGREE,

The Indo-European “root” reg (to move in a straight line) is related to רגיל RaGeeYL (regular   – see  REGULAR),   לך LaiKH (go) and the back half of words like     דרך DaRahKH (to march, step, tread).

The two parts of the given etymology are treated at DEBRIS and at REGULAR.

Another relevant liquid-guttural term is   ארך  ORaK[H] -- a path, way or route. 

The front half or DR element of DRK terms, seen in DTOOR and TOAR (a line, row), keeps the road straight.  In Genesis 30:36 the     דרך DeReKH is about a three-day’s journey on a road. In Genesis 31:35 Rachel says she is pregnant, in the   דרך DeReKH or manner of women. The “way” of an evil king is the   דרך DeReKH in I Kings 16:26.  It is no problem to follow this road or progression to the chart below, where a Japanese   דרך DeReKH can mean “fashion.”



K[H]aRahD(T) means to regret, the guttural-liquid-dental reversal of one's DeReKH (path, course), The liquid (L,R) plus guttural (G,K) element is seen in moving, flowing words — see "CATSKILL.."

DaLaG, to skip, leap over (Psalms 18:30) is moving quickly, flying over the land. Shift the liquid for stepping down carefully, the buildt-in antonym. DaRaKH, to tread down or firmly (Jeremiah 51:33), is spelled like our entry word.

ADDRESS and DRESS are traced to Latin directus, while the noun DRESS might also have been influenced by (A)DeReS ("coat" - Genesis25:25 or "mantle" IKings19:13.


The main street, or DeReKH, for cruising is the (MAIN) DRAG.  I.L. Allen’s dictionary of slang (Oxford, 1993) says, “old British cant of unknown origin.”

Direkt is an expected German cognate of DIRECT, from DeReKH (way). But a German synonym, gerade, is DeReKH backwards. (The Khaf shifts gutturals to G).    WAY does not sound like DeReKH, but it comes from German weg (way, path, route). W can come from Resh; see the Cwazy Wabbit rule at NEW and WRONG.

Choosing the RIGHT path, the straight and narrow, is why words for the RIGHT direction are an echo of DeReKH – like Spanish derecha.  There was something sinister, etymologically, about left turns. (Latin sinister means “on the left,” and the Hebrew letter Sin is only different from Shin for its dot marking the left side.)

Besides not left, RIGHT also means CORRECT.  Latin rectus, right, straight, is an M231 of DeReKH, as is German richtig (correct).     For CORRECT to echo its origin, DeReKH, we must drop the historically INCORRECT “co-“ prefix, and note that the Dalet/D has shifted dentals to T.  See CORRECT.  Words for CORRECT have been spun different ways from DeReKH in other languages. Spanish derecha (right-hand side) means much the same as correcto (“right” as the proper way.) Turkish CORRECT is dogru. Merely swap root consonants (metathesis) DGR → DRG.  A different metathesis lets one (BACK)TRACK to DeReKH by moving the first Edenic  root consonant, the dental D or T, to the front of the word. 

That is how RIGHT gets back to T-R-GH and to DeReKH.  This metathesis (or root letter anagram effect that helped break up Edenic) lets us TRACE (also from DeReKH) “correct” words like German richtig, Swedish and Norwegian riktig and Yiddish richtik back to DeReKH.  (Ignore the suffix, G or K, when placing the T in front of the R and K or CH – rcht to trch.) More at RIGHT.   In Ukrainian Druchok is the rod with which one is Droczyt animals, driving or directing them.  HeeDeReYKH is to direct or drive         

One expects words meaning DIRECT to be similar, like IrishGaelic dureach (straight). But the chart below has even closer meanings of DeReKH, like “road,” and more distant languages.

 WAY is treated more specifically at WAGON.

All roads led from Babel. Below is a chart of selected paths taken by  DeReKH:  דרך

Note:  Albanian words for “straight” , drejt, and “course”, drejtim, are examples of “way” and “direction” words that belong here.  But we stick to a few definitions for brevity. Brevity affected policy with sound as well as sense. The Turkish “straight” word, dogru,for example, doesn’t make the chart because a metathesis is required.

Here is an example of what happened to Edenic DeReKH  ד ר ך – Dalet-Resh-Khaf.

 You’ll see that only Dalet-Resh-Khaf (Biblical Hebrew DeReKH) has all the “genes” for the global diversity of its Tower-of-Babel spin-offs.

 1)  Dalet:   D and T are “dentals” or the interchangeable tooth-made letters .

 2)  Resh:   R and L are “liquids” or the interchangeable tongue-made letters.

 3)  Khaf:  G, H, K, Q are “gutturals” or the interchangeable throat-made letters.

Language        Meaning              spelling of similar dental-liquid-guttural term ד ר ך

Edenic  (way, manner, journey, road)  De    Re      KH

Arabic   (highway, way)                          Ta    Ri       Q

Afrikaans  (road, path)                              Di    Re       K

Albanian  (way, road)                                       RRu     Ge

Australian  (paths)                                    Tu    Ri(n)   Gas

Australian  (straight, direct)                    Thoo R        Gool

Basque  (street, road, reversal of kali)             iL        aK

Breton   (manner)                                      Doa  Re 

Chinese     (way)                                      Dau   Lu

Czech        (track, course, way)              D       Ra      Ha

Dutch     (a long journey…TREK)         T       R         eK

Dutch     (direction)                                           Ri        CHting

Finnish      (roadway)  rev. ajorata         aT     aR         oJa

Gaelic       (journey)                                Tu     Rus

German      (through, by way of)            Du    R         CH


   some “through” words from  DaReKH  include:

                                          Old Irish         T       Re

                                        and Welch         T      RWy

Indonesian   (direction)                              a     Ra       H

Indonesian   (manner, way)                     Tja   Ra

Italian   (to TRACE, TRACK a way)     T      Ra     CCia

Japanese      (journey)                                       Ryo    Ko

Japanese       (fashion, manner)                          Ryu    Ko

Japanese      (road)                                   Do     Ro

Japanese      (street)                                  To     Ri

Korean         (manner, way)                               Ro     Khe

Korean     (reversal of kil, road, street)            Li      K

Latin      (to direct; whence DIRIGIBLE)  Di    Ri     Gere

Latin      (journey; whence, ITINERANT)  iT   eR

Malay    (direction)                                       a     R      aH

Malay  (way, reverse of cara)                       a    R      a C

Malay: Bouton  (road)                                 Da    Ra

Maori  (way)                                           Riu n   Ga

Old English (reverse of rad, a road)          Da    R

(source of RAID, RIDE and ROAD)

Old French   (reverse of rote, way, path)  eT    oR                       

(source of  ROTE, ROUTE, ROUTINE)

Old French (reverse of route, way, road) eT   ouR

(source of RUT)

Old French (track, way, course)                 T      R    aC

(source of  TRACE, TRACK…

Persian/Farsi  (way)                                           Ra    H

Polish           (course, track)                     To     R

Polish            (way, road, manner)           D      Ro    Ga

Russian          (road, way)                        Da     Ro    Ga

Serbian           (road)                                           Lu    Ka

Spanish   (right direction, straight)          De     Re    CHo

Swedish (way, cognate of German Weg

  and English WAY, Resh shifts to V,W)           Va    G

Telugu            (way)                                Da      Ri

Thai               (direct, straight)                 Dt      Ro    Hng

Ukranian  (to direct, or drive animals       D      Ro    Czyt

Ukranian        (road)                                  Do     Ro    Ha

This list has to be kept short.  Otherwise it could run into related terms like דרך DaRahKH, to tred, which would lead to the Greek source of TRUCK and TRUDGE, and so on…                 

Forms of דרך DeReKH, like the M132 Turkish dogru (straight), were left out in favor of only those in perfect dental-liquid-guttural sequence.   Ted Walther links CORRIDOR as an M321 or reversal of D-R-K. A CORRIDOR is a pathway, not a runner from Latin currere, to run.

Most Europeans have a form of DIRECTOR. In Afrikaans it is direkteur.  The Arabic director, mudir, has lost an end-guttural .  The Ma’DReeYCH (guide, leader) gives the DIRECTIONS.       

Other imperfect but notable entries include  Italian DiReZione (route, trend), German RiCHTung (route, trend, way... source of RIGHT) and “directory” words like Albanian Drejtori, Italian DiReezione,  Manx oRDaGH and Malay aRaH (matching Indonesian aRaH, course). Samoan  auaLa lacks a pronounced dental and guttural, but it means path, road, street,  and way.    It is but a liquid shift from the Tamil below.     More on the DIRECTION word  WAY (IE “root” wegh) at WAGON.   

Fernando Aedo’s additions (that extend beyond the usual shifts):

Language  Meaning  spelling of similar dental-liquid-guttural term. The Edenic/Aramaic ז /Z  to  ד /D shift, seen at AUDIENCE  operates as a dental-to-fricative shift in some languages below.


Pocomchi           Road, path                                  ro         q yuuq’

Quechua (Inca)

Quechua               narrow street,or passage.                                              

                        (Reversal of K’ikllu)                 llu         kik

Dravidian   (languages of S. India)                                                

Tamil                 way, 70 road, path, means, manner, method

 a_       ru                    

[ The unusual Daled to S shift in Dravidian is like the Zayin to D (dental-fricative) shift seen in Edenic to Aramaic, see AUDIENCE from [O]ZeN (ear) ]

Maithili 42 road                                          sa        r.a        k         

Sanskrit          (saraka, a continuous line of 54 road          sa        ra         ka       

Gondi               67 road, walk                                sa        rri_                 

Konda              91 way, path                                  sa        r-i                     

(pl.)                                           sa        R         ku

Tamil lexicon    96 way, road  (c=ch like in change)            ca        ri                     

210 Kota                92 road, path                                  a.d       a.ry                 

                        way, 101 road, path                                     da_      ri                     

Gujarati             main (of a 108 road)                                     dho      ri_                   

Sanskrit                      0 track, line                                  li_       kka

Bengali             line, 1 track, rut                                         li        k         

Tamil                way, path, public 4 road, rule       at         ar        

Sinhalese           crossing, 103 road                           ta         ra                    

Khowar (Dardic)   upper 21 road                           to_       ri                     

Tamil                way, 99 road, path, right mode      ta_       ri                     

Telugu, Tamil    way, path                                  ta_       rai                   

Tamil                street, highway, public 112 road       te         ru                    

Tulu                  lane, footpath                             o          r           n:ku    

Belari way                                            Te         ru         vam     

More RG and RK terms related to   לך LaiKH (go) and  רגל ReeGaiL (to explore, tour, go on foot – see “WALK).


Rivers were the ancient highways.  Perhaps  more  D-R-KH  ‘river” words like Hindi dariyaa and Russian reka, will be found to belong here.

Bible Verses

Genesis 16:7 וימצאה מלאך יהוה על־עין המים במדבר על־העין בדרך שׁור׃

“ And the angel of the LORD found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur.”

Genesis 19:31 ותאמר הבכירה אל־הצעירה אבינו זקן ואישׁ אין בארץ לבוא עלינו כדרך כל־הארץ׃

“And the first-born said unto the younger: ‘Our father is old, and there is not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth.’”



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