Origin of English word WEAR OUT

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English Word


Edenic Word


Hebrew Word







[WR → BL]


The AHD's Indo-European “root,” wes-4 (to clothe) only covers the clothing aspect of WEAR. For relevant words, like VEST, see “ABASHED.” WEARING clothes could WEAR them out, but this entry focuses on the unfashionable verb WEAR as “gradually diminishing,” as in WEARING down resistance, WEARING a hole in something or WEARING something out by constant friction.

A bilabial and liquid shift are required, but this is precisely the meaning of  בלה

BaLaH (to decay, “wear out” – Harkavy: get old – Genesis18:12). FOUL (from Anglo-Saxon ful, rotten)  has better sound correspondence, but usage has WORN away FOUL’s sense of rotting away.   בלה BaLaH does have a clothing usage as seen in Deuteronomy 8:4 – “your garment did not wear out.”


BLOT as a verb can mean to erase. This is close to   בלה BaLaH, but the more common, noun meaning is at BLOTCH.  A person who is WORN down is WEARY,  even if only by a WEARISOME speaker or writer. More FOUL bilabial-liquids at VILE.

The same   בלה BaLaH  in Isaiah 65:22 means “to use.”  This speaks to the meaning of AVAIL, although its etymology is currently linked to Latin valere, to be strong, and VALIANT. This points to the Bhet-Resh words and roots at VIRILE.

   German verwelken is to fade or wither.See FOUL.

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