Appendix II

Semitic Roots

 

ENTRY: b.
DEFINITION: Common Semitic noun *ab-, father. 1. Abraham, from Hebrew abrhm, the (divine) father is exalted, from ab, reduced form of b, father. 2. Job, from Hebrew iyyôb, perhaps from an early Northwest Semitic dialectal name meaning “where is the father?”, from ôb, father, of dialectal origin, akin to Hebrew b, father. (Alternatively, iyyôb may be akin to Hebrew yb, enemy; see yb). 3a. Joab, from Hebrew b, Yahweh (is) father (yô, Yahweh; see hwy); b. Ahab, from Hebrew ab, father's brother (a, brother; see ). Both a and b from b, father. 4a. Abigail, from Hebrew bîgayil, my father (is) joy (see gyl); b. Absalom, from Hebrew ablm, short for lm, my father (is) peace (lm, peace; see lm). Both a and b from Hebrew bî, shortened form of bî, my father, from b, father. 5a. abelmosk, from Arabic ab l-musk, source of the musk; b. baobab, from North African Arabic bibb, tree of many seeds; c. borage, probably from Arabic bcaraq, from ab caraq, father of sweat; d. bwana, from Arabic abn, our father; e. pataca, from Arabic abqa, “father of the window,” a type of coin. a–e all from Arabic ab, bound form of ab, father, source. 6a. abba, abbacy, abbatial, abbé, abbess, abbey, abbot, from Aramaic abb, the father, my father, from ab, father; b. Barabbas, from Aramaic bar-abb, son of the father (see bn).
 

 
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by the Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.



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