'erek 'apayim (was RE: The OT?)

Israel A. Cohen izzy_cohen at bmc.com
Tue Sep 10 13:50:13 EDT 2002

Subject: why does nose = anger; aleph = GHT; 
         idiom = a phrase borrowed from another lang

This item is easier to read in a Courier (non-proportional) font.

Often the sound of word A in language 1     ZeRa3
has the meaning of word B in language 2.    stork
It can then happen (quite rarely ?) 
that the sound  of word A in language 2     seed   
has the meaning of word B in language 1.    XaSiDa

I believe this explains why the Stork delivers newborn babies.
When the child asks "where does the baby come from?" the parent 
truthfully answers "from ZeRa3". 
Hebrew ZeRa3 means seed/semen but sounds like stork (in Germanic).
Hebrew XaSiDa means   stork   but sounds like seed.


The ancient aleph had a GHT/CHS sound (with the meaning
?aXaD / ?aXaS = one). The GH-sound was lost leaving the
aleph with a T-sound. Finally, that was lost making the  
aleph the glottal stop it is today. After the aleph lost 
its sound, it often migrated to the beginning of the
Hebrew word. Today, C1-(C2)-GHT usually = aleph-C1-(C2).
Compare Belova's law.

The "Rashi" aleph looks like a het because the aleph
used to have a het-like sound. The "Rashi" shin looks 
like a tet turned 90 deg. clockwise because the shin
used to have a dental D/T sound. Ergo, "Rashi" script 
really is older than the (square) Asheris meruba script.

Evidence of the aleph's original sound can be found in
words where het-shin (that's a "dental" shin) or 
het-dalet has replaced the aleph. Examples:

het-shin-bet XaSHaV < *aleph-bet = to think (in a logical 
                      sequence) or to count (1, 2, ...).
het-shin-mem-lamed XaSHMaL < *aleph-memB-lamedR = 
                             (color of) amber/electrum (Yekhezkel)
    [electricity is based on the word for amber in many languages]
nun-het-shin NaXaSH < *nun-aleph = snake,  as in  aNa-conda and newt
nun-het-shin-saf NaXoSHeS = copper (color) as in heNNa


So, what is the connection between [XaRoN] ?aF and anger?
XaRon is a reversal of Roo'aX = spirit, a not friendly spirit, and
?aF = nose is a reversal of FiGHT. Spirit of fight = anger.
In English, his nose is out-of-joint = he's angry.

Compare Latin anima  and English animated (full of spirit) with
        Latin animus and English animosity.

 [bef. 900; ME (n.); OE nosu, c. OFris nose, MD nose, nuese (D neus); 
  akin to OE nasu, OHG nasa (G Nase), ON nasar (pl.), L nasus, OCS nosu, 
  Skt nasa (dual)]

Conversely, the reversal of NoSe sounds like sin-nun-aleph SaNa:? = to
or sin-(vav)oh-nun-aleph SoNa:? = the enemy, foe (that you hate or feel
anger towards).

> That still doesn't explain the origins of the idiom itself.

  [1565-75; < L idioma < Gk idíoma peculiarity, 
   specific property = idio-, var. s. of idioûsthai 
   to make one's own, appropriate, v. der. of idiós 
   (see IDIO -) + -ma n. suffix of result]

1 - An expression existed in a source language. This 
    expression was usually *not* metaphoric or idiomatic 
    in the source language.

2 - This expression was borrowed "as is" into a
    target language with the same meaning it had in
    the source language.

3 - Speakers of the target language "misinterpreted" 
    the sounds to be common words that already existed 
    in the target language... but did not misinterpret 
    or change the original meaning.

4 - These words/phrases are called idioms because they
    are "borrowed/appropriated for one's own use".

English Idioms
There is a class of words and phrases in English which 
seem to be transliterations of Hebrew or Aramaic. 
The literal meaning of these words/phrases is nonsense 
in English but meaningful in the original. Obviously, 
one cannot infer the customary meaning of these phrases 
by analyzing the English words in the phrase.

Hebrew words beginning with taf-aiyin (formerly pronounced 
"tahg") have meanings such as "go astray", "lead others astray", 
"mislead, deceive", and "an abomination".

Commonly heard English phrases include: 

<go to the dogs> to deteriorate, degenerate; 

<put on the dog> to lead other astray by making them 
think you are more important or wealthy than you are; 
       and its opposite 

<doggonit> what you say when you realize you have made 
a mistake (gone or been led astray); 

<in the doghouse> from taf-gaiyin-vet-heh = (committing) 
an abomination, euphemized as taf-gayin = dog 
  + Aramaic bet-yod = the house of; 

<double dog dare ya> from taf-gaiyin-taf-gaiyin = to mock, 
to deceive, literally "dog-dog";

<shaggy-dog story> a long, involved tale told with 
extraneous detail having an absurd or irrelevant ending 
(from shin-gimel-gimel = error, mistake + taf-gaiyin-heh 
= to be led astray); and

<doggerel> burlesque verse (perhaps from to(g)ayvah 
= abominable   + choral = verse to be sung < Greek chorós 
<? shin-resh shar = sing, shir = song)

Cat-lovers may appreciate <let the cat out of the bag> 
meaning "divulge a secret" or, literally, to betray 
by telling the truth. This may be from the Aramiac 
kuf-shin-oh-tet = truth + bet-gimel-dalet = betray. 
The Hebrew shin once had a T-sound so that Hebrew 
shen = tooth is cognate with den(tal)and Taur(us).
k'tot bagad --> cat out (of the) bag.

Has the "cat got your tongue" is based on the same
concept. You are silent because you do not want to 
tell the truth. That is, the "truth" has got your 

Now, try raining "cats and dogs", originally 
raining "pole cat and dog" < maBooL GeSHeM SH'Ki3a
= torrent/flood of rain descends. Dog < OE docga 
sounded like SH'Ki3a with a dental shin and a
G for the aiyin (as in 3aZa = Gaza).

This is enough nonsense for one email.
We'll save "kick the bucket" for later.

Israel "izzy" Cohen
izzy_cohen at bmc.com

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