Origin of English word SUPER

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English Word


Edenic Word


Hebrew Word











SUPERB is from Latin suberbus (proud, delicate), and it means extremely fine, excellent. SUPER, however, is traced to Latin super (above) and the Indo-European “root” uper (over) as if height, rather than SUPERIORITY, were the issue.   The ש-פ Shin-Resh sub-root can support physical height, as  שפי SHiPHeeY is a height or hill (Numbers 23:3).  See "up" at AVIATE and see OVER.

שפר SHaPHaR (Psalms16:6) and שפר SHePHeR (Genesis49:21) are both translated "goodly."    שפרה SHiFRaH (Exodus1:15) was named for her goodness or FAIR (beautiful) qualities, not for any towering height. See FAIR.

  שפרה SHiPHRaH in Job 26:13 is rendered by the KJV as “garnished.” שפיר   SHaPeeYR (whence the name Shapiro and the gem SAPPHIRE) means handsome, elegant, fine or good. שפור S(H)eePOOR means improvement, upgrading something to a SUPERIOR position.   שפרא SHOOPHRAh in Aramaic means the best or the most INSUPERABLE.

    שפל SHaFahL, lowly,  is a built-in antonym (by liquid shift) of our SUPERIOR  שפר   SHaPeR.  See the SIMPLE entry, the M in SIMPLE is a nasalization. As a verb of bringing low, see SPILL.


Spanish superar (to overcome, surpass) is also about quality, not height.    But then a usually more useful indicator of the history of an English word, the German, favors “higher”, not “better” in their equivalents of SUPERIOR.  Both “higher” and “better” can coexist, but the Edenic ought to provide a winner in this SUPERBOWL.

  אשפה         ASHPaH might infer a risen heap, but one of garbage .  שפה

SoaPHAh means the top of the hipbone in Jewish Aramaic. One stronger SP "above" term, seen above,  is   שפי   SHiPHeeY (height, hill ). But the fricative-bilabial root  is  probably more concerned with the windsweptness seen at CHAFE. Another possible  term is    שפריר     SHaPHReeYR (canopy - Jeremiah33:10).  See SWEEP.  But a canopy is more signifant as a cover than as something high up.
The lowly SP antonym,  שפל SHaPHaL (low – see   SPILL )  is a support for an SP/L or R word for height.  Nonetheless, there is no strong Edenic case for S-P  meaning physically “above.”  So,in the etymological struggle behind SUPER meaning“higher” or “better,” it seems like “better” has won out. 

 More  S-P excellence or superiority at  SAPPHIRE.     Derivatives of Latin super include, SOPRANO, SOUBRETTE, SOVEREIGN, dozens of SUPER- words; SUPERNAL, SUPRA-, SUPREMACY, SUPREME, and SUPREMO. SUFFRAGE, from Latin suffragari (to favor) may be related.  Hungarian szep (beautiful) is clearly related  to the Edenic.   

Greek huper, English HYPER- (see HYPER), and the Indo-European “root” uper (over),arelinked to Latin super (above) – see   OVER.    Ayin-Bhet-Resh  עבר   [A](V)ahR gave us OVER.

 H- from- Ayin is documented at entries like HONEY.

 The SPR in PROSPER and PROSPERITY may echo our Shin-Pey-Resh root.

Bible Verses

Psalms 16:6 חבלים נפלו־לי בנעמים אף־נחלת שׁפרה עלי׃

“The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage.”



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