Origin of English word DISTURB

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English Word


Edenic Word


Hebrew Word







[T-R-PH → TRB]


The alleged Indo-European “root” of DISTURB, like TURBO and TURBINE, is a verb of turning and whirring – twer- 1 . (No, TWIRL is not listed here.) See STIR.  The invented Indo-European “root” requires one to metathesize and shift TRF to TWR. No matter; the actual, historical roots are more important, and there are Latin turba (disorder), turbo (spinning top) and turbare (to confuse, disorder). Closer to the Edenic etymon, and to the mixing up or stirring of DISTURBING, is the Indo-European “root” trep- 2 (to turn).

Tet-Resh-Phey as a noun and verb of predation is taken up at TROPHY.  טרף   DTaRaPH the verb means to mix or confuse. The Biblical citations speak to the “tear-rip to pieces” meanings of  טרף DTeRePH (Genesis37:33) , but other Semitic sources confirm this as Edenic (proto-Semitic). The Aramaic-Syriac and Arabic forms are more like “shook up,” and can be used for beating up a person as well as an egg batter. The niphil grammatical form, NiDTRaPH, means emotionally mixed up, or confused. EDK has  טרוף DTaROOF meaning “beaten up, mixed up”, while the same Tet-Resh-Vav-Phey in the next entry means “confusion.”  Edenic Tet-Resh-Vav-Phey easily moves from physical spinning, like a TURBINE, to being emotionally DISTURBED.   Such is the natural progression of a verb from disturbing placid water and making them TURBID, to later being able to call an emotionally mixed up person “DISTURBED.” 

Just as the human lingual center of the brain was turned around at the dawn of history, so too can our dental-liquid-bilabial etymon be INVERTED. If it won’t make you dizzy, see VERTIGO.

Tsadi-Vav-Resh, TSOAR, is to bind or wrap (Isaiah 1:8 and Syriac).

While offering  only a faint echo of TRB, after a metathesis, this related word becomes more important with the ST-R-B and PH terms below.

Our dental-liquid-bilabial word of turning around can itself be turned around.  The synonym  פתל

PaTaL (to twist) is a bilabial-dental-liquid best seen in the reduplicated   פתלתל P’TaLToaL  (twisted, perverse – Deuteronomy 32:5.


Western scholars do not wind a TURBAN around their heads, and would not think of the word’s similarity to TURBINE. Traced to a Turkish, Persian and Arabic root with a TL or DL turning element,  the TURBAN deserves to be considered among these TRB turning words.     In Ukrainian tirboota is a disturbance.    iListed cognates of twer-1, include:  STIR (see STIR), STORM (see STORM), TROUBLE, TURBID, TURBINE, [TURBO-] and PERTURB. A TURBULENT emotion could be make one feel DISTURBED and “mixed up,” while airplane TURBULENCE recalls the sense of “shaken up.”  Agitation is Persian (Farsi) is istarab.

German verdorbenhas two meanings:1.tainted (meat), 2. disordered. From a S-D, S-B of   טרף DTaRePH, we get the most widely known meaning of  Yiddish trief, 1. non-kosher meat (see TROPHY) and this entry’s DISTURBANCE: 2.mixed up, confused.

Cognates listed from Indo-European “root” trep-2 (to turn) include: APOTROPAIC, CONTRIVE, ENTROPY, RETRIEVE, TREPONEME, TROPE, TROPIC, TROPO-, –TROPOUS and TROVER.

Latin tribulum, a threshing sledge, is credited to the Indo-European “root” tere-1 (to turn). The troubling, turbulent TRIBULATION better belongs with our TRB disturbances here.

The Semitic “shaken up” TRP meanings invite us to add TREPID and INTREPID. They were thought to come from a fabricated Indo-European “root” trep –1 (to tremble).     See TROPHY.

A non-historic, initial S usually precedes a guttural, so a link from  טרף DTeReF to Indo-European “root” streb(h) (to wind, turn) may involve a Tet shifting fricatives to ST.

Another way to ST-RB turning is at STROPHE.   צואר   TSaVahR, neck (in Biblical Aramaic and Syriac) means “that which turns” … from ציר  TSeeYR ( to revolve, twist – the hinge for a door to swing in Proverbs 26:13.  The Tsadi-Vav-Resh becomes ST-R-BH after an M132 metathesis.

 Either way, the like-sounding whirlwind of cognates includes APOSTROPHE, BOUSTROPHEDEON, CATASTROPHE, STROBILE, STREPTO-, STROP, STROPHE (see STROPHE) and STROPHOID.  For the more conservative, ST from Tsadi, see TSOAR above.

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