Origin of English word UNDERSTAND

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English Word


Edenic Word

AhND[A]h (Aramaic)

Hebrew Word







[ANDA → heard as UNDER, “STAND” added later]


The given etymology of UNDERSTAND is nearly incomprehensible.  There is nothing earlier than Middle English understanden. Obviously, some foreign word for knowledge that sounded like UNDER was combined with STAND.  The American Heritage Dictionary. only gives the Indo European root for STAND, sta (to stand).  Its alleged derivatives include ARREST and STEM (from a tree trunk work).    Reverse the Indo-European “root” to get  a word of standing and stems, [A]yTS (tree – Genesis 2:9). Ayin-Tsadi roots are also at the ARREST and STEM entries.

Webster’s New Universal Dictionary. attempts to fudge UNDERSTANDING with “lit., to stand under or among, hence to comprehend.” Standing under or among Eurocentric lexicographers will not make them comprehensible.  A humble “origin uncertain” might have been more appropriate.             

Recorded as the familiar “under” (see the real UNDER, beneath, at MAT and NETHER), the strange UNDER of UNDERSTANDING, like so many European words with mysterious origins, derives from the non-Latin lingua franca of the ancient world: Aramaic. Biblical Aramaic AhND[A]h is in Daniel 4:14 and 4:22 (4:25 in KJV). It is translated to “come to know” or “know” (KJV).  Biblical Aramaic is ancient enough to qualify as possible Edenic (Proto-Semitic), but AhND[A]h  is a typical corruption of Edenic Yod-Dalet-Ayin, YoD[A] (to know, understand  Genesis 31:32 – see IDEA). The Yod often shifts to a vowel, and a nasalization (extra N or M) has occurred. Even venerable Aramaic is post-Babel, and a corruption of Edenic.


Joshua Ben, who uncovered UNDER(STAND), places scores of languages’ terms for “understand” under a few suitable Edenic sources.  Most relevant for understanding the strange “under” term in English are Spanish and Portuguese “entiend” terms – which are also influenced by Aramaic AhND[A]h, and ultimately from Edenic YaD[A] (to know ). Many of the world’s “understand” words involve grasping, and are from several Edenic terms for grasping.

Reverse [A]yTS above to get zhi (woody stem) in Chinese.

Related Words


Dinah Kudatsky   4/24/2015 2:34:00 PM
I've known for a long time that my favorite word - UNDERSTANDING - has an astrological basis (as do other words, like catastrophe, disaster, mercurial, martial, airhead, saturnine). I was hoping to find more about that, but the online dictionaries don't go there. This is what I know: In astrology, the 12 signs correspond with ("rule") 12 parts of the body. The signs form a circle, as do the months, and so does the body, symbolically. The first sign is Aries the Ram, which corresponds to the head (RAM-ming, head-first); the last is Pisces, which rules the feet, and is the most complex and hardest to grasp of all the signs. If the body is a circle, like the year, like the constellations, then what follows the feet is the head, in a never-ending circle. If the head/brain is one source of information, then what makes a connection to the head? In this circle, it's the feet. In Pisces, one absorbs knowledge, or awareness, through the entire experience, the whole body (I "feel" it). It's not simply mental "data". What's under the feet? The head. Information comes through the whole body, and even from below the earth (below the feet), through the "HIDDEN" head, which we call unconscious or subconscious information, whether individual or collective. (One might say, "I don't know HOW I know - I just DO"). This is the astrological origin of the meaning of the word under/standing, the occasional wisdom that comes from buried awareness "underneath" - unconscious sources of information, like dreams, premonitions, channelings, voices, chills, intuitions. This is the poetry of astrology for me.

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