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Discussion in 'العربية (Arabic)' started by Josh_, Feb 24, 2008.

  1. Josh_ Senior Member

    the phrontistery
    U.S., English
    In doing some research I have come across a word and I am curious about what it means when used in the masculine. The word is غال (يغيل) from the root غ-ي-ل which has to do with breast feeding. The form IV أفعل pattern of the verb also occurs (and may be more common than the form I فَعَلَ pattern) with the same meaning. William Lane's Arabic lexicon gives the phrase غالت ولدها (and أغالت ولدها ) the meaning of "She gave her child to drink what is termed غيل * or [according to common usage] she suckled her child while she was pregnant." That part is easy enough to understand, but Lane also gives the sentence أغال ولده , with the meaning of "He compressed the mother of his child while she was suckling it." The used of 'compressed' here makes no sense to me. (Perhaps it would be useful to ask about this in the English only forum.) So I was wondering if anyone else could give a different (more modern) explanation.

    *غيل -- Lane gives the definition "The milk with which a woman suckles while she is being compressed, or while she is pregnant.

    Also, I was wondering if there are any other terms for the child who is breast feeding, other than the obvious passive participles -- مغيل of غال and مغال of أغال ? From the same root, that is.
  2. asadxyz Senior Member

    Dear Josh
    As for your first problem is concerned i.e أغال ولده ,Lane is a near translation of Taajul-aroos.The exact words in them and their definition is :
    تاج العروس - (ج 1 / ص 7390)
    وأغالَ فلانٌ وَلَدَه : إذا غَشِيَ أمَّه وهي تُرضِعُه

    لسان العرب - (ج 11 / ص 510)
    وأَغال فلان ولده إِذا غشيَ أُمّه وهي ترضعه

    And غَشِيَ means

    الصحاح في اللغة - (ج 2 / ص 19)
    وغَشِيَها غِشياناً: جامَعها

    So it will be translated as ,He had intercourse with the mother of the child while she was suckling him.
  3. Josh_ Senior Member

    the phrontistery
    U.S., English
    Thank you, asadxyz, for the information. That thought crossed my mind, but it seemed so odd that I did not dwell on it much. I have never heard of the word 'compress' as a synonym of 'to have sex with' and even a hundred and some odd years ago when Lane was compiling his dictionary I can't imagine the word being that common a term for sex. Why he did not use a more normal term I do not know.

    I checked the Lisaan al-Arab, but I guess I did not read thoroughly enough. I guess I need to stop skimming.

    Well, this word is certainly one of the strangest I have come across. But, it sounds like it is more commonly used (or was more commonly used as it appears to be a word not used in MSA) to mean nursing a baby while pregnant (with another baby).
  4. Mahaodeh Senior Member

    Arabic and English
    Actually Josh, it is used in MSA. However, you must distinguish between a metaphoric use and a literal one; which is really difficult in Arabic especially when this metaphoric use is so repeatedly used.

    The word غال means literally "to bring evil to someone without him knowing/being aware of it".
    غالَهُ يغُولهُ غَوْلاً أهلكهُ وأخذهُ من حيث لم يدرِ
    The most common (and literal) use of إغتال is to kill someone through deception (such as lure him to drink poisen or ambush him) . The idea that the breastfeeding child (of fetus) is غيلةwhen his parents continue to have sexual relations during his breastfeeding (or mother's pregnancy) comes from the concept that the child, which is anaware and unknowing to all this, is going to have someone share his mother with him; which Arabs before Islam believed to be "bad" for the child. Arabs before Islam were very weary of sleeping with their wifes while they were pregnant or breastfeeding.

    After Islam the word in this sesnse became less common due to a hadith by the prophet that says that children will not be affected by that; so people were no longer weary or uncomfertable enough with the idea to have a term for it.

    The literal meaning, however, survived although the most common derivations are: إغتال، غيلة، إغتيال، غول.
  5. asadxyz Senior Member

    Dear sister
    What is the source of this information that breasfeeding child or fetus is the "غيلة "??
    The child is either
    Not غيلة which is a noun used as اسم النوع او اسم الهيئة or اسم المصدر on the scale of فعلة (fi3latun)

    لسان العرب - (ج 11 / ص 510)
    وأَغالَتِ المرأَة ولدَها فهي مُغِيلٌ وأَغْيَلَتْه فهي مُغْيِل سقَتْه الغَيْل الذي هو لبن المأْتِيَّة أَو لبن الحبلى وهي مُغيل ومُغْيِل والولد مُغالٌ ومُغْيَل

    لسان العرب - (ج 11 / ص 510)
    وفي الحديث لقد هَمَمْت أَن أَنْهَى عن الغِيلة ثم أُخبرت أَن فارس والرُّومَ تفعل ذلك فلا يَضِيرهم ويقال أَغْيَلَت الغَنم إِذا نُتِجت في السنة مرتين قال وعليه قول الأَعشى وسِيقَ إِليه الباقِر الغُيُلُ وقال ابن الأَثير في شرح النَّهْي عن الغِيلة قال هو أَن يجامع الرجل زوجته إِذا حملت وهي مرضع ويقال فيه الغِيلَة والغَيْلة بمعنى وقيل الكسر للاسم والفتح للمرّة

    تاج العروس - (ج 1 / ص 7390)
    وأغالَت المرأةُ وَلَدَها وأَغْيَلَتْه : سَقَتْه الغَيْلَ الذي هو لبَنُ المَأْتِيَّةِ أو لبنُ الحُبْلى فهي مُغِيلٌ ومُغْيِلٌ وهو أي الولدُ مُغالٌ ومُغْيَلٌ

    تاج العروس - (ج 1 / ص 7390)
    وفي الحديث : " لقد هَمَمْتُ أن أنهى عن الغِيلَةِ حتى ذُكِّرْتُ أنّ فارِسَ والرُّومَ يفعلونَه فلا يَضُرُّ أولادَهم " وفي رواية : " تَفْعَلُ ذلك فلا يَضيرُهم " وقال ابنُ الأثير والفتحُ لغةٌ وقيل : الكسرً للاسم والفتحُ للمَرّةِ
  6. Mahaodeh Senior Member

    Arabic and English
    I'm sorry, I should have re-read my post before posting it to edit the hasty writing. Please ignore what I wrote above (highlighted in red by you) and consider this:

    The idea that the breastfeeding child (or fetus) is subject to غيلة when his parents continue to have sexual relations during his breastfeeding (or pregnancy stage)

    My mistake.
  7. Josh_ Senior Member

    the phrontistery
    U.S., English
    Thank you for the information, Maha. Actually, I believe you are confusing two roots -- غ-ي-ل and غ-و-ل . But, as seems to be the case with roots that contain a weak radical (ي or و ) there is some overlap in meaning and/or in some words used* and as such it seems as though there is a relation between these two roots. The information you provided corroborates this. In fact, under the root غ-ي-ل Lane lists the sentence غال فلانًا كذا Such a thing brought evil to such a one. The word غيل or غيلة appears under the root غ-ي-ل as breast milk, but under غ-و-ل it means assassination or as Lane says "the slaying covertly."

    *Some other roots with weak middle radicals that appear to have a relation:

    ن-ي-ل l(نال، ينال to achieve )
    ن-و-ل l(نال، ينول to give or donate; نوّل، ينوّل to cause to achieve)

    ح-و-ل l(حول power)
    ح-ي-ل l(حيل power)

    ع-و-د l(عاد، يعود to return, come back)
    ع-ي-د l(عيّد، يعيّد to celebrate an عيد , a holiday or some other event (i.e. a day that recurs every year, or however so often)
  8. Mahaodeh Senior Member

    Arabic and English
    Well, I'm not sure how the words are listed under roots in dictionaries, I suspect it's at the discretion of the author or editor. I checked it out in Lisan Al Arab online (http://lexicons.sakhr.com/) and it was in two different roots but when I pulled out a paper copy of Lisan Al Arab it was under the same root.

    Anyway, regarding your examples: I didn't get the time to check out the first one so I'll take your word for it, but I disagree with the second and third ones.

    The second one is rather complicated, you have three roots:ح-ي-ل، ح-ا-ل، ح-و-ل and three meanings (general, of course): power, change and a heard of sheep or goats. Naturally, since they are حروف علة they can change which makes it hard to track down and it makes it seem as if الحَيْل which is derived from the same root as الحَوْل to mean power is actually from the same root as الحِيلَة which is derived from the same root as حَالَ and استحال; to make it even more complicated, they both look so similar to الحَيَلَة which is a group of sheep or goats! My belief is that since there are three roots and three general meanings then each root originally had a meaning but then things got a little blurred when deriving other words.

    As for your last one, that is the simplest; they both come from the same root which gives the meaning of returning. Whether the original root is with alif, waw or yaa; they both come from the same one since the عيد was only called so because it comes back every year. It was originally derived from عاد يعود. Don’t forget that there isn’t a consensus about which root is which among linguists; especially when it comes to roots with weak letters in them.

    It's also useful to notice how the حرف علة changes in the same verb - that does not constitute a change in the root. (نال ينال - أنال ينيل); (عاد يعود – أعاد يعيد – اعتاد يعتاد).
  9. asadxyz Senior Member

    Dear sister
    I am really getting confused.My dictionaries probably are missing the middle roots you mentioned i.e Haa,Hamza and laam.
    I am copy pasting the word sequence in two dictionaries:

    لسان العرب - (ج 11 / ص 134)
    ( جيل ) الجِيل كل صِنْف من الناس التُّرْك جِيل والصِّين جِيل والعرب جِيل والروم جِيل والجمع أَجْيال وفي حديث سعد بن معاذ ما أَعْلَمُ من جِيل كان أَخبث منكم الجِيل الصنف من الناس وقيل الأُمَّة وقيل كل قوم

    لسان العرب - (ج 11 / ص 134)
    ( حبل ) الحَبْل الرِّباط بفتح الحاء والجمع أَحْبُل وأَحبال وحِبال وحُبُول وأَنشد الجوهري لأَبي طالب أَمِنْ أَجْلِ حَبْلٍ لا أَباكَ ضَرَبْتَه بمِنْسَأَة ؟

    المعجم الوسيط - (ج 1 / ص 315)
    ( الحاء ) الحرف السادس من حروف الهجاء و هو مهموس رخو و مخرجه من وسط الحلق
    ( حأحأ )
    بالحمار حثه على السير باسم الصوت حأحأ و العامة تخفف الهمزة
    ( حب ) الإنسان و الشيء حبا صار محبوبا و يقال حبت إليه و فلانا وده
    ( حب )
    Would you please like to share your source for these roots?
    Thanks in advance.​
  10. Mahaodeh Senior Member

    Arabic and English
    Oh no, it's not haa, hamza and laam; it's haa, alif, laam! AS I mentioned before, I think that choosing the roots, especially for roots with complicated letters (alf, hamza, yaa', waaw, alif maqsoura) is based on the opinion of the author and it can differ from dictionary to dictionary. The above three are from Lisaan Al Arab (paper copy, 2003, printed by Dar el Hadeeth in Cairo). Interestingly, this copy is different in terms of root classification and number of meanings/derivations listed from the internet one above.

    If you go to the website I provided, you will notice that each of the dictionaries classifies the words under different roots, well, at least sometimes. ;)
  11. Josh_ Senior Member

    the phrontistery
    U.S., English
    Yes, that may be the case, and actually does seem to be the case. That only lends credence to the claim that roots with weak radicals often have some overlap in meaning (possibly because there is no consensus on what the actual root is).

    Yes, I realize that عيد came from the root ع-و-د , but, I guess, at least one dictionary, the Hans Wehr, thought enough of it to give it its own entry. I do have another dictionary in which it is listed under the entry for
    ع-و-د. Sometimes, words take on a life of their own, so to speak, and enough so that they warrant their own dictionary entries. Take for example the word مدينة which is apparently originally from the root د-ي-ن (because a city is a region held under authority and those living under this authority need to be obedient to it, or some such logic like that), but eventually gave rise to the root م-د-ن . And so the verbs of this root (مدّن to civilize or urbanize) are derivatives of the word مدينة and not the other way around.

    As far as غ-و-ل and غ-ي-ل is concerned, while I do think there is a relation between them, I also think there is enough of a difference between them to distinguish separate roots. who knows, though. Then again, not knowing how these words came about I guess I can't be sure. Certain words, with their odd meanings, are interesting and I do wonder how they came about. أغال is now one of them.
  12. asadxyz Senior Member

    Dear sister:
    As far as I know "alif " is of two types
    -Saakin = also called as حرف لين
    -Mutaharrak = also called as Hamza همزه
    Reference Al-Munjid (urdu translation)

    Most of the time we say "alif it means حرف لين
    This Saakin alif does not exist in the "ROOTS (as far I know) Note:I am not expert at arabic rather just a beginner so please do forgive me if I commit mistakes.
    Even in derived forms it is
    -Either converted form from "waw ,or yaa or hamza"
    -or it is extra

    المقتضب - (ج 1 / ص 33)
    اعلم أن الهمزة حرف يتباعد مخرجه عن مخارج الحروف، ولا يشركه في مخرجه شيءٌ، ولا يدانيه إلا الهاء والألف. ولهما علتان نشرحهما إن شاء الله .
    أما الألف فقد تقدم قولنا في أنها لا تكون أصلاً، وأنها لا تكون إلا بدلاً أو زائدة. وإنما هي هواء في الحلق يسميها النحويون الحرف الهاوي
    So I do not think that any root of Haa,alif,Laam exists.

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