Origin of English word DUMB

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English Word


Edenic Word


Hebrew Word







[ DM]


There's the Old English dumb, but for DUMB the dictionary offers the Indo-European “root” dheu (to rise in a cloud. . .related to defective perception or wits). TeeMaiR  (a dental-shift from DM)means to rise in a cloud  – see  THYME.

DIM is traced to Old Norse dimmr (dark) andIEbasedhem (smoky). Russian smoke is dim; in Turkish it is duman.

Edenic covers the silence and senselessness of DUMB. דמי DahMeeY , דמה DooMaH (Ezekiel27:32) and דממה   DiMaMaH (IKings19:12) all mean silence. דמום DahMOOM is silent,   דמם DaMahM is to be DUMB or speechless, while   נדם NaDahM is also defined as "dumb."   In Leviticus 10:3 the suddenly bereaved Aaron ”held his peace” (KJV and the imitative old JPS), but  “VaYiDoaM AHaRoaN”  is  better rendered that “Aaron was DUMBFOUNDED.”  DIM perception is seen in words like דמדום DiMDOOM ("dim light" and "blackout"-- as in unconscious).  טמום DTaMOOM means stupid or senseless (the other DUMB);   טמטם  DTiMDTaiM is to make stupid;   נטמה NiDTMaH (Job18:3) is to be stupid; and  תמה TaMaH is to be dumbfounded, astounded or in doubt (Genesis43:33). STUN appears related to this last term.   טעם DTa’[A]hM ("wise"- Proverbs26:16) is a like-soundingantonym.

To see Dalet-Mem function in a sub-root, see DORM.


Old Norse dimmr (dark) and Indo-European “root” tema (dark-source of TEMERITY) carry us from DM-TM words of physical darkness to terms of being "in the dark"

TahM (a simpleton) may be behind words like TOMFOOL (stupid) and TOMMYROT (foolishness). DIM, the foolish DUMMY, MUTE and MUTTER (reverse the TM), and STAMMER (German (s)tumm means dumb) all are related.  The German and Scandinavian STM words for “mute” may be from the blocked up sense of STM seen at STEM.

MUTE is mudo is Spanish and Portuguese, so they are more likely reversals of our Dalet-Mem root.  DUNCE and DUN(DERHEAD) are also likely derivatives from these Hebrew roots.  The AHD offers the etymology "perhaps: one stunned by a thunderstroke." The opposite of DIM (quiet) is DIN. A loud antonym like DIN (clamor, uproar) is related to Dta[[A]N (to argue, claim) and  TIhOON(eeYM) (complaint, grumble). DIM echoes of DaMa   M are heard in Finnish tyyni (quiet) and Indonesian tenang (quiet). Japanese damaru  is to be silent.  DIM in Tagalog is itim (similar in related dialects). Tom is to be silent in Egyptian.  ATOOM is to shurt up in Biblical Hebrew (though not used for silence).  ADahM, Man (the speaking species), can be broken into negative prefix Aleph- (no) + Dalet-Mem (silence) . That is, (only) Man is NOT silent . More  ADahM, man, at DEMOCRAT.    Reversing DM (dental-nasal) silence leads one to MUTE.

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