Origin of English word SOUTH

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English Word


Edenic Word


Hebrew Word







[S-(K)H-TH → S-TH]


Anglo-Saxon suth (south) is weakly linked to theoretical Germanic terms like sunthaz (sun-side) and to the IE “root” sawel (the sun). To pursue the given etymological direction see   שמש SHeMeSH (sun) at the SUN entry.

The better etymon appears to be תחת  Ta[K]HaT, which can be pronounced in Europe as תחת  (S)a[K]HaTH (below, under, beneath). "Let the waters under the heaven be gathered..." - Genesis1:9.  The Anglo-Saxon rendering of Tahf as TH is seen at entries like BOTH, OATH and THOU.  תחתית   (S)a[K]HTeeYT is the lower parrt (of the mountain) in Exodus 19:17.

Arabic TaKHaH is to lie down. שת   SHaT or S(H)aTH (posteriors) is related to Semitic ST terms that mean lowest part or bottom.  Down below, six feet under, is the שחת  SHa[K]HaT (grave).

The more common Tahf as T allows the many falling or down words, like CADENCE (see CADENCE), CATARACT and DECAY (see DECAY). In Akkadian qadadu is to incline.  Greek kata means down; Hittite katta does too; all three, and the Latin  cadere (to fall) are reversals of   תחת TaK[H]aT (down, below, under – Genesis 1:7.


The D is a harder T in French (and English) SOUTANE (tunic worn by Roman Catholic priests), deriving from Italian sotto (under). French sous (under) is like the Latin prefix sus (under) that appears in words like SUSCEPTIBLE, SUSPECT, SUSPEND, SUSPENSE, SUSPIRE and possibly SUSSEX (a southern British kingdom). These are all available because Tahf-Het-Tahf can also be read as (S)-vowel-(S). The dictionary claims that Latin subtus (under) is the source of sotto and sus.

“South”  in French, Italian and Rumanian is sud. In German, it’s Suden, then zuid (Dutch), soder (Swedish) and syd (Danish and Norwegian).  All these S-D words make one suspect some influence from TSahD, side (see SIDE.)  A s of 2007, the only trace of the ח Het of

 תחת was the KS (reversal) in Swahili kus ini (south).

Aramaic pronounces the Tahf as a T both times and drops the Het altogether. Aramaic TahT (under) became the modern Hebrew equivalent of the prefix sub- (under). Pronounced SahS, we have another source of Latin sus. The Arabic is taht (under).

Perhaps TAHITI (originally otaheite), the South Sea island, was named THT for being SOUTHERN. "Under" in Japanese is shita(ni); in Chinese it is zaixia or zayshiah. Turning to the harder KT element in  (Sa)K[H]aT, the Greek prefix kata (down) of CATACOMB, etc. may relate. Modern Greek for “down” is ka’to.  Reverse to dac(ey) fot the word for southerner in Irish Galic.   "Below" is sat' for the Andrade Quileute Indians of northwestern Washington state. Japanese soko means "bottom."  “Down” in Turkish is asagi; in Japanese it is shita (also below, beneath or lower part).  More “down” words at NETHER.   Going south anatomically, the Yiddish tuchis (posterior) is an Ashkenazik rendition of TaK[H]aT.  The TK  element reversed in Greek proktos (anus) might elevate the lowly tuchis to PROCTOLOGY.


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