[b-hebrew] bi adoni

Isaac Fried if at math.bu.edu
Thu Jul 5 08:32:17 EDT 2007


In order to try and understand what this enigmatic BI [or BIY],  
survived only in the archaic phrase BI ADONI, functionally means we  
need to descend into the bowels of the language.
What is sure and certain is that the word BIY [of the KIY, MIY clan]  
consists of the combination of the substantive, or existence marker,  
AB-BA [having the variant AP], corresponding to the English 'be', and  
the personal pronoun IY. Material existence connotes growth,  
substance, mass, corpulence, bulkiness, and we find it in )AB,  
'father', )EB, 'vegetation', )OB, 'cask', (AB, 'cloud' [a massive  
clod of of clotted vapor], (ABEH, 'thick, lumpy', (AWAH, 'twisted,  
bent', BA), 'came, appeared, emerged, is here now', BU(AH, 'boil,  
bubble, swelling', MA-BU(, 'gushing source', T-BU)AH, 'wheat', ABIYB,  
A swell of materializing acute craving or desire is also expressed by  
BA) [or WA] as in the root )WH. A Hebrew speaking person would say  
nowadays BA) LI GLIDAH, 'I really desire now ice cream', or on the  
opposite BA) LI LA-HAROG OTO.
There is obviously a BI in the sense of BA-ANI, 'resides in me,  
exists in me, is in me'. But I can not decide [I have already  
straggled over it a good deal while writing my etymological  
dictionary] if the IY in BI of BI ADONI is ANI for the supplicant or  
HI for the master, namely, if it is BA-ANI or BA-HI.
It is possible that BI here is a mere polite acknowledgement of  
existence, 'he who is', akin to NA) or )ANA), for the master as in  
XAI ADONI or XEI ADONI [see 1 Samuel 1:26], or for the supplicant, or  
just generally 'it is so'.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

On Jul 4, 2007, at 1:31 PM, <pporta at oham.net> <pporta at oham.net> wrote:

>> "Bi" is used at the beginning of a sentence that has a request from a
>> subordinate to his boss.
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