Origin of English word VIGOR

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English Word


Edenic Word


Hebrew Word









VIGOR is allegedly from an  Indo-European “root” weg- 2  (to be strong, be lively).

Latin vigere (to be strong), may be an M213 metathesis of  גבורה   G’(V)OORaH (strength).

Nothing is more preposterous to an orthodox Indo-Europeanist than a metathesis from Semitic,  but even Old High German baro (a man) and the Indo-European “root” wi-ro (man, the AHD’s source of VIRAGO and VIRILE) point to a bilabial-liquid etymon of manliness.

  גבר Ge(V)eR  is a man, male, or warrior  (Judges 5:30),  גבור   GeB O AR means mighty (Genesis 10:9) , strongand a hero (Judges 11:1),  גבר   Ga(V)ahR is to overpower (Exodus 17:11 – see GRAVITY at “GRAVE”), and  גבורה GiBHOORaH, s trength (Isaiah 36:5) is rendered “great vigor” (Harkavy, Psalms 90:10).  The Aramaic is similar. Jabr means a strong young man in Arabic. The Samaritan is geebar.   In all cases an M213 metathesis allows one to see VIGOR.  

A woman can be fixing a flat tire VIGOROUSLY, but an old chauvinist might think this was a man’s job.

The manufacturers of VIAGRA sensed something manly about V-G-R.

Women are “shorties’ in Hip-Hop slang. For the גב  Gimel-Bhet sub-root of height,



גביר GiBHeeYR is a lord, master or rich man –  see BARON.

A liquid shift of the R of   גבר GeBHeR to an L, and you have one of the possible sources for CABALLERO  (Spanish gentleman), CAVALIER and CHIVALRY.  More equine etymons include רכב RaKaBH (horseman – II Kings 9:12 ) and עקב  [A]QeBH (see HOOF).

גבר GeBHeR is a male, as well as the root for words of bravery and strength. This leads us to words like VIRILE and WEREWOLF. COVE is a man in British slang, adopted from Gypsy covo.

Related to these bilabial-liquid words of power and VIRILITY (Latin vir is a man) is בריא   BAReeY (healthy, vigorous).    התגבר HiTGaBaiR means to overcome or PREVAIL, but it also means to strengthen oneself. The R to L change renders dozens of more words via Latin valere (to be strong) - including: VALEDICTORIAN, VALENCE, VALENTINE, VALIANT, VALID, VALUE and VIR­TUE.   רפה RaFeH (weak) is the reverse of all this bilabial-liquid macho.

Another bilabial-liquid term whose listed cognates belong here is the Indo-European “root” wal (to be strong). This takes in AVAIL, EQUIVALENT, VALOR, VALUE, and closest to   ברי BaReeY (healthy), CONVALESCE and INVALID.

French vigoreux (VIGOROUS) has been explained above. German derivatives of   גבר Gimel-Bhet-Resh have come a different way. Gewalt (power, authority) is simply a liquid shift, Resh/R to L.   German kraft, strength, and kraftig, powerful, have come from an M132, S-B of  גבור    GeB O A R, strong   and גבורה GiBHOORaH.


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