[B-Greek] salt

Steven Lo Vullo themelios at charter.net
Tue Jul 5 19:01:12 EDT 2005

On Jul 4, 2005, at 9:12 PM, Kevin W. Woodruff wrote:

> Firstly the word for fishing hALIEUEIN comes from the
> word for "sea" hALS (check a classical dictionary like
> Liddell and Scott). It is a homonym for the hALS
> meaning "salt."

Hi Kevin:

I originally began my first post in this thread similarly to the way 
you began yours, with the comment that hALS (A) and hALS (B) in LSJ are 
homonyms. But I deleted that comment because I was not quite sure that 
the two are actually homonymous. It seemed to me possible that they are 
one and the same word, though (B) is an extension of (A). The sea (the 
Mediterranean) could be called hALS because it consists of salt water. 
This would be a natural extension of hALS (A), especially in poetic 
works. And though (A) is masculine, is it possible that hH hALS came 
about after the analogy of hH QALASSA? I don't know whether or not both 
(A) and (B) follow exactly the same pattern of declension, but both 
have the same genitive form. So is it possible that these are one and 
the same word, which, because of distinct (though related) meanings, 
spawned two branches of cognates?

Etymology is a major weakness of mine, so the above may just be a bunch 
of kooky-talk. And it could be that I am working with an overly 
restrictive definition of "homonym." I've always thought that homonyms 
are words that are pronounced and often spelled alike, but are 
otherwise completely unrelated, i.e., have no shared etymology, while 
polysemous words have different meanings but a shared etymology. Is it 
possible that hALS (A) and hALS (B) are polysemous rather than 

Steven Lo Vullo
Madison, WI
MAR student
Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

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