Origin of English word LOVE

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English Word


Edenic Word


Hebrew Word









emotional attachment


Old English lufu is love; leuf means "beloved." Latin libido is desire; the Indo-European “root” of LOVE is leubh (to care, desire; love).

In Genesis29:34, after establishing that Jacob loves Rachel more than Leah, Scripture quotes Leah after the birth of Levi: "Now this time will my husband bejoineduntome" The newer JPS Bible renders   ילוה YiLoaVeH as "will become attached." Two verses earlier, after the birth of Reuben, Leah had also said "now my husband will love me" (using a different verb in Hebrew).

Another prooftext to show that לוה LeeVaH can mean emotional attachment, like LOVE, (and not mere accompaniment) is in Isaiah56:6. There a parallel is established between the NeeLVeeYM - the aliens "that join themselves to the Lord" and to those who "love the Name of the Lord."  This is paralled in Zechariah 2:15.

A second link to LOVE involves לב    Lai[V] and לבה LeeBaH (heart - Genesis8:21; Ezekiel16:30).    לבב LeeBa[V] is defined as a verb of encouragement and physical fascination. Instead of using the word "love," the translators render    לבבתני      LeeBa[V]TahNeeY in Songs4:9, as merely "you have ravished my heart" or "captured my heart."


A reversal of Lamed-Bhet or LB (heart) is בל BahL (heart - the Aramaic of Daniel6:15). Getting warmer,   לבה LeeBaH is to set ablaze or kindle, and להבה   LeHa[V]aH is a flame (see LAVA).

German Liebe and Russian lyubofsound like the Hebrew terms above, but the "love" word of Rumanian, iub(ire), prefers AHOOBH (to love) and [K]HeeBaH (love).  For LV love or loyal cleaving in the dog, KeLeV, see LOBO.    In German  Lieb is  love and Liebling is darling. The Yiddish is similar.

The official cognates of LOVE include BELIEF, BELIEVE (see the Isaiah quote above), FURLOUGH, LEAVE, LIBIDO, and LIEF. Indo-European bhilo (dear, familiar) - is the reverse of our LB etymons. Reverse Lamed-Bhet to get Greek phil, love.  This root bears cognates like PAM, -PHILE, -PHILIA, PHILO-, PHILOLOGY, PHILOSEMITE, PHILOSOPHY, -PHILOUS and PHILTER.  Greek philos,dear,loving, is our Lamed-Bhet reversed (with S-B). Pili is to cling, join, associate or a close relationship in Hawaiian and Proto-Polynesian.  This reverses in alofa (love), the reconstructedancestor of Hawaiian aloha (love). The primary Edenic etymon for aloha  (now used as a loving greeting) is therefore our same Lamed-Bet root as above. The opposite of the loving Lamed-Bhet root here is seen at BILE, as Ba[K]HaL (Bet-Lamed) means to abhor and loathe.   To the aesthetic-minded Indo-Europeans, LOVE and LOVELINESS leads to all things good.  The BELLE of a ball (a beautiful woman) harks back to the Edenic Lamed-Bet of being emotionally enthralling.  Latin bellus, beautiful, may be a LOVELY extension of our Lamed-Bet root reversed to BL, an extention that has moved away from the original. Edenic sense of emotional and sexual attachment. Many terms like BELLES LETTRES (literature) extend this BL from simply beautiful to that which is fine, aesthetically pleasing or even enobling.  

אהבה   Aha[V]aH (Genesis 37:3) is the standard word for love in Hebrew.  הב HahBH means “give,” so אהב AHahBH defines love as “I give.”  Hindi love is mohabbat.

Find more love at AMITY, EROS and SEEK.

Bible Verses

Genesis 29:34 ותהר עוד ותלד בן ותאמר עתה הפעם ילוה אישׁי אלי כי־ילדתי לו שׁלשׁה בנים על־כן קרא־שׁמו לוי׃

“And she conceived again, and bore a son; and said: 'Now this time will my husband be joined unto me, because I have borne him three sons.' Therefore was his name called Levi.'”

Isaiah 56:6 ובני הנכר הנלוים על־יהוה לשׁרתו ולאהבה את־שׁם יהוה להיות לו לעבדים כל־שׁמר שׁבת מחללו ומחזיקים בבריתי׃

Also the aliens, that join themselves to the LORD, to minister unto Him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be His servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from profaning it, and holdeth fast by My covenant:”

Zechariah 2:15 ונלוו גוים רבים אל־יהוה ביום ההוא והיו לי לעם ושׁכנתי בתוכך וידעת כי־יהוה צבאות שׁלחני אליך׃

And many nations shall join themselves to the LORD in that day, and shall be My people, and I will dwell in the midst of thee'; and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto thee.”

(Alternative versions: Zechariah 2:11)



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