Origin of English word GRADES

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The word GRADES is addressed in the entry: DEGREE

English Word


Edenic Word


Hebrew Word







[ DRG → DGR]


The Indo-European “root” of DEGREE isghredh (to walk, go). The cognates are taken up at

 GRADE.  This theoretical root already asks one to switch the order of root letters, so it is easy to accept Edenic   דרג DaRaG, to walk. Harkavy derives a Biblical root DaRahG, to advance, from the “stairs” below.  The Post-Biblical Hebrew  ה רג ד   DaRGaH (step, grade, rank) is closest to what a DEGREE is, in academics or geometry. The Biblical Dalet-Resh-Gimel extension is מדרגה MaDRayGaH (rung, scale, step, grade) or "steep place" in Ezekiel38:20, the “stairs” (KJV) of Songs 2:14.   .  Semitic cognates include Syriac DaRGAh, step, and Arabic daraja, he went step-by-step.

    ד-ר-ג Dalet-Resh-Gimel is related to דלג   DaLeG, skipping.  Dalet-Lamed-Gimel is but a liquid shift away.  Skipping is what one does when NOT going step-by-step.   In II Samuel 22:30   דלג  DaLeG is bounding over or scaling a wall.  Skipping, then, is the built-in opposite of going step-by-step with GRADUAL GRADATIONS.

While דרג DaRahG is to  make steps, GRADUATED  GRADES, as in the terracing common in Judea,  גרד GayRaiD  is to scrape, make level, another built-in opposite by metathesis. This second one is an M321, or full reversal.


The AHD couldn’t see a connection between DEGRADE, DIGRESS and words like Greek kharassein, to notch – which is at their root gher- 4 (to scrape, scratch). They would be better at seeing patterns if they traveled to the Holy Land, the acknowledged first home of agriculture, and saw the many terraced hillsides notched into steps. 

 French DEGREE is degree; Spanish and Italian is grado; the Germanic languages shorten this to grad; the Turkish is derece and the Arabic is daraga. Instead of the M132 metathesis  of the European languages, Swahili has an M312 for its DEGREE: kadiri.  

The Dutch rang (degree) is the only Germanic language to drop the D. The Edenic Resh-Gimel has remained in an R-G sequence, but with a nasalization (extra N) between them. This helps us learn how RUNG ( the degrees or steps of a ladder) and RANK also came from our Dalet-Resh-Gimel/DRG. RANK had the Gimel/G shift gutturals to a K.

Old Irish grade is grad.  A GRADE like a rank or GRADATION, as in exam GRADES  requires an M321 metathesis or full reversal of DaRGaH.  The initial Dalet/D is dropped, and a nasalization (extra N) allows for German rang (rank, order). English RANK is identical, but the guttural is harsher.  Persian  “grade” is darje, an obvious דרגה   DaRGaH by way of Arabic  (see above) .


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