[b-hebrew] The root XRS-XR$

Isaac Fried if at math.bu.edu
Sun Nov 4 17:44:51 EST 2007


I did exactly what I said I will do, I looked al all Hebrew roots  
extant with a medial R, an initial G, H, X, K or Q, and a final D, Z,  
Tet, S, C, $ or Tav. To limit the discussion to roots of the form XRS- 
XR$ I knowingly excluded all other permutations thereof such as GZR,  
RGZ, ZRQ, nor did I mention any other root not of this form.
Dispersion or aggregation means that the root refers to a material  
state of several free or loosely connected bodies.
You statement: "words that have no example as a root" is not clear to  
me. An example accompanied by some explanation would be greatly  
Likewise, "could have been borrowed from other languages" is vague  
and tentative. An example would be be greatly acknowledged.
XRD may indeed be also 'tremble, startle, disperse in fear or haste'.  
See 1 Samuel 13:7, Judges 8:12 and Hosea 11:11. The NAB sensibly  
renders Judges 8:12
וְכָל-הַמַּחֲנֶה הֶחֱרִיד
as "throwing the entire army into panic".
As to: "XR$, to work on or over (hence) to keep silent (can't talk  
while working), to be deaf", it is one of the most inventive  
etymologies I have ever encountered. Is this remarkable etymology  
actually being proposed in some dictionaries?
You are saying: "XRZ, (not a root found in Tanakh)". What about XARUZ  
of Song of songs 1:10?

Isaac Fried, Boston University

On Nov 4, 2007, at 1:27 AM, K Randolph wrote:

> Isaac:
> You have been a bit careless, or others may accuse you of cherry
> picking your data to make your point.
> On 11/3/07, Isaac Fried <if at math.bu.edu> wrote:
>> All,
>> The list of Hebrew roots below is composed by the successive
>> substitution of the equivalents: G, H, X, K, Q followed by the
>> successive substitution of the equivalents: D, Z, T [tet], Y, S, C, S
>> [sin], $, T [tav], with a medial R.
> In other words, the roots are made of a guttural, followed by a R,
> ending with a dental.
>> ... All roots are manifestly
>> referring to one sort or another of trituration, filing by abrasion,
>> scraping, scratching, grating, grinding, rasping, shredding, rubbing,
>> hacking, carving, engraving, severing or crushing as typically
>> occurring in the vigorous working of metal, wood or clay, or breaking
>> up the hard soil with a plow. The meaning of dispersion or
>> aggregation inherent in all of them them is as predicted by the
>> presence of the letter R. An asterisk denotes an extra-biblical root.
> You have so many definitions listed, including the contradicting
> "dispersion or aggregation", that don't you risk making your point
> meaningless?
> Secondly, words that have no example as a root could have been
> borrowed from other languages, thus may not reflect Hebrew etymology.
> Notice how many words you have listed that are not roots in Biblical
> Hebrew.
> Thirdly, I don't see how some of the words listed fit into the pattern
> that you allege.
> Finally, looking at words that have meanings similar to the ones
> listed show that many do not the pattern that you list above.
> Initial G: Does this include all?
> GRD, Used once, to scrape, scratch
> GRZ, to trim away, as part of dressing stone, preparing lumber
> *GRT,
> GRS, to grind down
> GR$ to drive out (as cows to a pasture, as someone into exile)
> גרד, גרז, גרט, גרס, גרשׁ, ]גרע[
> Initial H: HRS to tear down (wall, boundary, altar) to make into a
> ruin, synonym $XT
> הרס
> Initial X:
> XRD, to shiver (from fright or great awe) (hence) be concerned for
> (shivering in the excitement that the person be properly taken care
> of)
> XRZ, (not a root found in Tanakh)
> XRT, (not a root, a sharp metal tool used for engraving on metal)
> XRS, (not a root, scabies, dry, rough skin: (another meaning) hot,  
> burning sun)
> XRC, to divide out (truth from falsehood, grain from chaff, important
> from unimportant, gold from ore or base metal, etc.) (hence) to act
> decisively (from dividing out the important from the unimportant)
> (hence) (pass.) to be divided, decided on
> XR$, to work on or over (hence) to keep silent (can't talk while
> working), to be deaf
> XRT (not a root)
> חרד, חרז, חרט, חרס, חרץ, חרשׁ, חרשׂ, חרת
> Initial K:
> *KRZ,
> KRS, (not a root)
> KRSM, to root up, as a pig from digs for food αλ
> *KRC,
> KRS, (not a root)
> KRT to cut off
> כרז, כרס, כרסם, כרץ, כרש, כרת, ]כרע[
> Initial Q:
> QRD, (not a root)
> QRS, to bow deeply
> QRC, to pinch (together) (hence) to squint (eyes, as in hate), to form
> things from clay (done by pinching the clay)
> QR$ (not a root)
> קרד, קרס, קרץ, קרש, [קרע]
> Missing:
> BDL to part, indicative of a physical removal, put a distance between
> GDD to cut out, incise
> GD( to cut down
> GZR to part off, sever
> GRR to grind by crushing
> DK) to crush by pounding, making to a fine dust or powder (hence)  
> to oppress
> DQQ to grind until fine, thin, to pulverize
> XDD to grind, file (hence) to sharpen
> X+B to carve
> +XN to grind
> KT$ to grind or pound as in a mortar
> MWL to clip off (e.g. grass, heads of grain) (hence) to circumcise
> MXH to scrape off (hence) to erase with a sharp instrument scraping
> off a written entry
> MRX to rub in
> MRQ to rub, massage (hence) to polish, i.e. to rub until it shines
> NQD to score specifically in sense of marking (by name, cutting (hole,
> notch), scarring) referring to scratching on potsherds (ostraka)
> names, writing with use of a chisel (hence) to designate, in a bad
> sense meaning to mark out for bad mouthing
> SPQ to rub, wring hands ??
> PLX to slice, to cut
> PSL to carve (out)
> PTX to open, the basic sense is to open a hole, opening, door (hence)
> to dig or engrave a hole, ditch, groove as in writing, furrow in
> field, carving in relief on a wall or door
> QCB to cut out as in carving, forming, shearing
> $SP to cut to pieces
> $(( to rub (eyes)
> %R+ to cut into
> and I probably missed some.
>> Isaac Fried, Boston University
> Karl W. Randolph.
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