Thursday, November 22, 2007

Ancient Egyptian "Great Green" actually meant "middle sea", i.e. Mediterranean

The hapless Egyptologists' readings of Old Kingdom hieroglyphs in Egypt involving words having an Indo-European substratum remain a source of great vexation to this writer.

A typical example are the hieroglyphs which the Egyptologists read as

wdj-ur
or as
wadj wer

as the ancient Pharaonic name for the Mediterranean Sea.

The Egyptologists erroneously translate those hieroglyphs as
"The Great Green"
as the alleged Pharaonic name for the Mediterranean,

but of course,
that is a preposterous mistranslation of the Pharaonic hieroglyphs.

As Alessandra Nibbi, who passed away this January 15, 2007, pointed out
(in The Sea Peoples and Egypt, NOYES Press, Park Ridge, NJ, USA, 1975, ISBN-13: 9780815550419, ISBN: 0815550413)
this translation by Egyptologists is bound to be wrong since it is weakly based on a Semitic word for water attested only in the New Kingdom, whereas the hieroglyphs for the Mediterranean Sea already appear in Old Kingdom texts.

Nibbi recognized that the Egyptologists had made a critical error here and thus suggested that the Pharaonic term referred to the Nile Delta, which would deserve the "great green" appellation. She did not consider the possibility, however, that the translation "great green" was wrong per se (on its face).

In any case, although Nibbi's idea was also wrong, her idea was much better than what mainstream Egyptology was ludicrously claiming. As anyone who has ever been to the Mediterranean can attest, that sea is by no means green and the ancient Pharaohs would never have given it such a stupid name.

In fact, as I pointed out years ago to the Egyptologists on the now defunct ANE list, the readings
wdj-ur and wadj wer correspond to Baltic terms for the Mediterranean, with vid- viz. vidur meaning "middle" in both Lithuanian and Latvian (this compares to English mid- through v//m permutation) whereas jūra means "sea" in Latvian and vidus jūra (vid- jūra) is still used as the Latvian name for the Mediterranean Sea today.

Since the Baltic languages Lithuanian and Latvian are the most archaic still spoken Indo-European tongues, this word presents clear indication of an Indo-European stratum in Old Kingdom Pharaonic language.

Conclusion

wdj-ur viz. wadj wer
does not mean "great green"

rather
it means, as written, "middle sea",

i.e. medi-terra or,
as we still say today,

the Mediterranean Sea,

in Latvian (as an attestation of ancient Indo-European)
this is, even today,
Vidus Jūra
(=
wdj-ur ).

No vestige, no visible trace of a name "great green" for the Mediterranean is found anywhere except in the hopelessly fertile imaginations of the hapless Egyptology linguists who came up with that preposterous reading and who persist on keeping that reading in spite of not a shred of evidence to support it.

Etymology of the Word for the bird Turkey

Happy Thanksgiving!

If you thought that the word for the Turkey bird originated etymologically from the country Turkey, you would be wrong.

Believe it or not, there is no accepted etymology for the word for the bird "Turkey", a word which has been analyzed lexically at great depth by Alain Theriault in his 1996 posting at the Linguist List.

There is also a comprehensive lexical list at the Wiktionary. The closest words to English "turkey" are German Trut-hahn, Latvian ti-tars, Hebrew tar-negol hodu"rooster Indian", Igbo (southern Nigera) toro toro, Irish turcai, Italian tacchino, Ladin (Switzerland) tachin, Lower Sorbian turk, Sorbian truta, Romanian cúrca, Telugu (Dravidian language of India) Tarkee Kodi (compare those two words with the Hebrew). Many other languages of the world have a word for the bird turkey starting with a word like hind- or ind- or something similar to it meaning "bird of India".

If the Turkey originated in Europe, the Latvian terms tark-sket or tark-skis might give the essential clue since these words mean to "chatter, clapper, patter, rattle", i.e. "to gobble".

But as explained by Michael Qunion at World Wide Words, the turkey originally came from Mexico of the New World and was brought to the Old World by the Spaniards, in part via India and the East Indies, which is how the bird got called the "Indian" bird. The Maya term for the turkey cock was ah tzo based on current evidence so that an original *tzor- form is not inconceivable. Since Tzorkin viz. Tzolkin means "cosmic matrix" and Chorti, the name of the Maya people, means "river of stars", the name of the Turkey bird may have come originally from the contact of the first European explorers with the tribal populations of Mexico prior to the colonial era, i.e. rather than a "bird of India", which the explorers thought they had discovered, it was actually a "bird of the Maya" Chorti, whence also names of the Turkey that reference Peru.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Etymology and Geometry : Origin of the word CIRCLE

N.S. Gill at About.com has a nice article on the
Etymology of Geometry Terms where she points to the rather troublesome etymology of our word CIRCLE, writing:

"That circle (coming either from a Greek verb meaning to hoop around or from the circular Roman circus) is marked with what you would have, in pre-geometry days, called a line across part of it."

That purported etymology is VERY WEAK and so is the linguists theory that the Indo-European root of circle is sker-, for which there is as good as no evidence.

Actually, I think the origin of the word CIRCLE comes from an even more ancient Indo-European word, that for "millstone", found, for example, in Latvian word DZIRKALIS "millstone", which did not get its original name from its shape at all, but rather from the function it served.

In Latvian DZIR- would have the same origin as Latvian DZIRKSTELLE "spark" and KALIS can mean "Smith, Smithy" in Latvian relating to the root KAL-T "to forge, to hammer" and so DZIRKALIS, the "millstone" would have some origin such as "spark grinder", a term probably going far back into the history of man and the observations that certain stones ground together would produce sparks - i.e. fire. Presumably, millstones were the first circular objects practically used and it is likely, in our opinion, that these ultimately led to the idea of the wheel for other applications (spinning wheels, etc.).

In time, the millstone became synonymous with the concept of a circle and we thus later obtained many words for circular concepts with the root CIRC-, which does not have an original concept of circle as its base, but rather a millstone for grinding.

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