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Discussion in 'עברית (Hebrew)' started by seitt, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. seitt Senior Member


    I gather that אייל (ayal) means “stag” i.e. a male deer – is that correct, please? Given its use in the name of the organization originally formed by members of the IDF is it a name which resonates in a kind of patriotic way with Israelis?

    In that case, what does איילון mean, as used in נחל איילון and now also in נתיבי איילון? It seems to be made up of the above word אייל and the suffix ון (on). Is it possible to assign a meaning to this suffix?

    Best wishes, and many thanks,


    PS Is אייל used in everyday colloquial language too?
  2. ystab Senior Member

    אַיָּל is indeed a male deer. It is common in everyday language and it doesn't have special patriotic connotations.

    Regarding the etymology of אַיָּלוֹן, I don't know. Maybe a dictionary can help. I do know that אַיָּלוֹן already appears as a city and a valley in the Bible, and that other cities in the region were named similarly: Hebron, Ekron, Giv'on, etc. Maybe there is an etymological or morphological linkage between them.
  3. GeriReshef

    GeriReshef Senior Member

    In the Bible - צבי and אייל (tzvi & ayal) appears as synonims, though today צבי refers to the gazelle, a mamal in our region; and אייל to the deer.
    I don't think איילים (ayalim) has a specific patritoc conotation, though it sounds a little bit archaic, and thus can serve as a symbol.
    I don't know if the name איילון (ayalon) is derived from ayal (=deer) or eyal (=courage, power).
  4. C_J Junior Member

    If you refer to the valley, "ayalon" means the place of deers. The suffix -on is common in toponymy: חברון, גבעון, שיזפון, קדרון and so on.
  5. seitt Senior Member

    Many thanks for the excellent help.

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