Origin of English word SMIRK

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English Word


Edenic Word


Hebrew Word







[S-M-KH → SM+R K]


rejoice, be glad


The Indo-European base of SMIRK,  a SMUG SMILE, is smei (to smile, be astonished); the alleged Indo-European “root” is smei (to laugh, smile).

The Hebrew Bible has no SMILE term, but  שמח SaMah[K]H is to rejoice or be glad (Proverbs17:5). שמח SaMayahK[H] is a joyful satisfaction (Deuteronomy16:15). שמחה SiMK[H]aH is gladness (Genesis 31:27).

SMILING is hardly a common way to register “astonishment.” The AHD’s SM base for  “astonishment”  may be from  תמה TaMahH, to be astonished (Habakuk 1:5) – which may be rendered  (S)aMahH. Like the ע  Ayin variant (as a vowel), this    ת Tahf variant (as an S)  is too globally verified to be limited to Ashkenazic Jews.    תמהון   (S)iMaHOAN is astonishment or amazement (Deuteronomy 28:28). 

פתאום   Pee(S)OWM (suddenly, Numbers 12:4) combines a P-T element from Pey-Sahf “opening”  words like   פת Poa(S),    פתע Pe(S)[A]h (opening of the eyes, twinkling, thus a moment – Numbers 35:22) and פתח   Pa(SA)a[K]H, with out    ת-ם Sahf-Mem root of astonishment.   

More S-M happiness at SMUG.


SMIRK and Anglo-Saxon smercian (to smile) are from the same base as SMILE.  A Polish smirk  and smile is usmiech.  Many Slavic “laugh” words  are below.

The first Slavic speakers who gathered at Shinar (Sumer) after the Tower of  Babel and migrated to Eastern Europe associated “laughing” and “smiling” with “happiness.”

See entries like LAUGH,CHUCKLE and RUNE to see that most peoples  were thinking of the tone, not the emotion, of laughter.


Belarusian        smiajacca

Bulgarian         smyakh

Croatian           smijeh

Czech               smajati, smích

Macedonian       c?-??????

Polish               smiech

Russian            smyeyat'

Serbian             s mij ali               

Slovak               smiech

Slovenian          smeh

Ukrainian            smiyatysya

 If, as Webster's suggests, astonishment (as well as happiness) brings a smile to our lips, consider YeeSOAM ("shall be astonished" - Jeremia 49;17). SHaMaH means horror.  ToaMaH, THoaMaH or (S)oaMaH is to be astounded or amazed or to wonder. THAUMATOLOGY is from Greek thauma (a miracle, a wonder), but this term is not linked to SMILE.

Official cognates of SMIRK include: ADMIRE, COMITY, MARVEL, MIRACLE, MIRAGE and MIRROR.

 Quechua (Inca) saami is   happy, lucky, blessed.

Mahigan (Amerind) schmeck (to laugh) may be a nasalized (extra M)   צחק TSaK[H]aQ (laugh) .  But more likely it is from שמחה our  SiMK[H]aH, happiness , like  all the Slavic “laughter” words  associated with happy smiles.’ 

There is no Lamed or Resh to give a liquid (L,R) to SMILE or SMIRK. See “below for other examples of added liquids (L,R). Liquids, L and R, are nowhere near as commonly added to historic roots as are M and N (Nasalization). But the examples below demonstrate that liquids, L and R, do get added to words, like SMIRK from Sin-Mem-Het.

CALAMUS (feather pen) <  Arabic Qalam, stalk, reed < S-N    קנה  

    QaNeH, reed [CANE]

DIRT (no Indo-European “root”; Middle English 1st def.  is mud < S-D +R   טיט  

    DTeeYDT, mud, mire, fiflth from the streets (Zachariah 9:3 )



SALSA – Spanish and Arabic salsa means gravy, most gravy words

     are  S-S words < עסיס  [A]$eY$, juice  [SAUCE]


SLAUGHTER <   שחט SHaK[H]aDT ], to slaughter    [SLAUGHTER]

SLOUCH (no Indo-European “root”), link the nasalized SI[N]K

     <   שוח SHOOah[K]H, sink  [SAG]

TERM < תם ToaM(completion )  [TIME]

THERMO- (Greek thermos, heat) <   חם [K]HahM, heat [CALM]

At CAP are many non-English words that have an L or R added.  Also see ROBOT.

Bible Verses

Proverbs 17:5

“Whoso mocketh the poor blasphemeth his Maker; and he that is glad at calamity shall not be unpunished.”



Related Words


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