Origin of English word FALL

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English Word


Edenic Word


Hebrew Word







[ PH-L]


fail or fall


Anglo-Saxon feallan and the Indo-European “root” phol (to fall) have not FALLEN far from the Hebrew  נפל NaPHahL (to FALL, to BEFALL).  (Hee)PeeYL is to FELL or TOPPLE (make fall). Falling into a pit is the (Na)FahL of Exodus21:33, while the FALL or DOWNFALL of a city recalls  (M’a)PaLaH (ruin, downfall, defeat – Isaiah 7:1).  More at SPILL.  In Genesis 25:18, Ishmael is NaFahL in the face of all his brothers. The KJV renders this “died,” while the JPS tries “they made raids… (uncertain).” Both interpretations do not echo Peh-Lamed elsewhere.  A FALL word like FAIL makes more sense.  Reverse the Phey-Lamed sub-root  of נפל Na FahL, to fall  for [A]LaF, to faint (Isaiah 51:29). The פל Pey-Lamed sub-root means rising up, instead of falling down in      עפל [O]aPHeL (hill, swelling – see PILE.


APOLLYON the angel is from a Greek verb of ruining and destroying. The mysterious Nephilim (fallen ones - Genesis6:4) may have landed like nephele (clouds - Greek source of NEBULA).

Darkness and night FALL. APHaL is to set (as the sun); APHayLaH is darkness (which falls – see PALL). Official cognates of FALL include OFFAL, but not FAIL, FAUL(T), (reversing P-L) LAP(SE) or LABILE.

The French and Rumanian "rain" words seem to have the PL root of falling (pluie,ploaie).

OFFAL (garbage) is something that people toss or let fall. The Indo-European “root” of OFFAL is (ap, off, away), but is might be a Pey-Lamed term of falling that belong here, along with other waste words like French gaspillage, German abfall and Dutch afval. German accident is unfall, recalling the DOWNFALL and FAILING above.  Japanese “fall,” furu, is only a common liquid shift away. Like FAIL, furu can also men “reject.”  In Spanish there is falla (failure), fallar (to fail) and  fallecer (to die).

A built-in opposite for PL falling may be the LF of LIFT, from Old Norse lypta, to lift.

Bible Verses

I Kings 8:56 ברוך יהוה אשׁר נתן מנוחה לעמו ישׂראל ככל אשׁר דבר לא־נפל דבר אחד מכל דברו הטוב אשׁר דבר ביד משׁה עבדו׃

“‘Blessed be the LORD, that hath given rest unto His people Israel, according to all that He promised; there hath not failed one word of all His good promise, which He promised by the hand of Moses His servant.’”

Exodus 21:33 וכי־יפתח אישׁ בור או כי־יכרה אישׁ בר ולא יכסנו ונפל־שׁמה שׁור או חמור׃

“And if a man shall open a pit, or if a man shall dig a pit and not cover it, and an ox or an ass fall therein,”



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