Origin of English word MINUS

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English Word


Edenic Word


Hebrew Word









part, portion


Latin minor (less, lesser, smaller) is traced to Indo-European “root” mei – 2 (small – see   MINISTER).  Greek meion means less and lessor. Latin munus is a portion (part of a larger whole).

 Along with  מן MeeN (from, out of – Genesis 4:11), there is  מנת   MiNah(S) (part, portion - Jeremiah13:25) - another term denoting a smaller piece of something. The  ממה MaNaH (manna) that fell in the wilderness was a portion.   מין  MeeYN is a division or sub-species (Genesis 1:11).  More MN extraction at MINERAL.  The opposite, full  M-N amounts or number words, are at MANY.

  מין  MeeYN, a species or kind (Genesis 1:11) is a smaller category of a larger family. 


מין     MeeYN, becomes namna (a kind) in Swahili.  The sense remains a DIMINUTION of the greater amount.  But there are so many kinds of bird species in Polynesia that the common word for bird  is manu.  In Samoan,  manu means.”animal, cattle, bird,”  The closercognates of MINUS are MINI-, MINIMUM, MINOR, MINUSCULE, MINUTE and MIS-.  Other listed cognates are COMMINUTE, DIMINISH, MEIOSIS, MENSHEVIK (Russian men’she is less), MENU, MINCE, MINESTRONE, MINISTER, MINISTRY, MINUEND, MINUTE and MIOCENE.   The entry prefers the Ashkenazi Sahf, MN(S), but the Sephardic pronunciation as MNT (Tahf) is better for the MN+ dental words here.  Double-nasals often appear as “one” words in world numbers. Greek monos (alone) and English MONO- (one) as in MONOTONE and MONOTONY come to mind.

Mem-Noon ,    מן   MeeN  means  “from” in the Aramaic of Daniel 2:5.   מן    MaiN  is part or portion in Psalms 68:24.  M-N is one from many, so it is a fine etymon for “one” words and for the Indo-European “root” men- 4 (small, isolated). Besides MONO- cognates attributed to this root include MANOMETER, MINNOW, MONAD, MONASTERY and MONK.  French moins (less, fewer) is from MeeN (from, out of).  In Polish mniej is minus    (M132) , while the MN opposite, MANY is mnogi.

For related MN words see MINISTER and MONEY. For antonyms seeMANY. Mun-ne means "some" or "part of" in Australian Aborigine; mehen is "small" in Maya Indian.  Chinese meng means tiny or fine.  The M-N of MINING is taken up at AURA and MINERAL.  Among Japanese doubal-nasal words of relevance  to MINING (removing a MINORITY from a source) are minamoto (source), minato (the port where a vessel is from) and miman (under, below, less than).

Bible Verses

Jeremiah 13:25 זה גורלך מנת־מדיך מאתי נאם־יהוה אשׁר שׁכחת אותי ותבטחי בשׁקר׃

“This is thy lot, the portion measured unto thee from Me, saith the LORD; because thou hast forgotten Me, and trusted in falsehood.”



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