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From:Dr. Peter E. Tarlow <tourism@...>
Date:Friday, September 14, 2007, 2:06
The modern Hebrew word for electricity (Chashmal) 
is derived from the Book of Jeremiah. Chashmal 
refers to an invisible force that can create 
great movement. Right after Rosh Ha'Shanah I can 
provide you with the exact Biblical citation. 
From chashmal (hard ch as in Scotish word "loch") 
we get chashmali (electrical), chashmalit 
(electric train) chashmalay (electrician) etc

>Eugene Oh wrote: >>2007/9/13, R A Brown <ray@...>: >> >>>Isn't the modern Hebrew for 'electricity' derived from a Biblical Hebrew >>>word for _amber_? And the Chinese is certainly non-Greek-based, namely >>>dian4 (which IIRC is also the word for 'lightning'). >>> >> >>Technically wouldn't the mod. Hebrew word be counted then as sort of >>"Greek-based", > >It depends how loosely you define the term, I >guess. I understood John Vertical's question to >refer to derivations from the actual Greek >language, i.e. from _electron_ (amber). > >>given that presumably it was one of those words that >>Eliezer Ben-Yehuda or one of the Haskalah-ites (what do you call the >>people of the Haskalah?) calqued from the major European tongues of >>the time? > >Oh, yes, if I've remembered it correctly, it is certainly a calque. > >>Or I may just be thinking too much. :-p > >Not at all. It's worth pointing out. We have, in >fact, three categories of language, so to speak, >i.e.: >(a) Those like the majority of European >languages that derive the word for 'electricity' >etc. from the Greek ÐɊɈɻÉ-ÉÕÉÀ (e:lektron) >"amber." >(b) Those that are calqued from the major >European languages, i.e. derive their words from >their own (possibly archaic) word for "amber", >e.g. Icelandic and IIRC modern Hebrew. >(c) Those which derive their word for >electricity from a quite different source, e.g. >Finnish & Chinese and ..... > >Welsh: trydan <-- tân "fire" with the prefix >_try-_ (plus soft mutation) "through, inner". >Thus 'electricity' is, so to speak, 'the fire >within things.' > >Breton similarly has _tredan_. > >-- >Ray >================================== > > >================================== >Nid rhy hen neb i ddysgu. >There's none too old to learn. >[WELSH PROVERB]
-- Dr. Peter Tarlow 1218 Merry Oaks, College Station, Texas, 77840-2609, USA. Telephone: +1 (979) 764-8402.


R A Brown <ray@...>