מֵאַיִן

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nili95

Member
English
מֵאַיִן - wherefrom

Can someone help me with the etymology of this word? I assume מֵ derives from מִן, but what of the second part of the word?
Thank you.
 
  • Ali Smith

    Senior Member
    Urdu - Pakistan
    It was originally מִנַּיִן, which is rarely used in modern Hebrew. This, in turn, is derived from מִן אַיִן, which is not used at all, not even in biblical Hebrew.
     

    Drink

    Senior Member
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    It was originally מִנַּיִן, which is rarely used in modern Hebrew. This, in turn, is derived from מִן אַיִן, which is not used at all, not even in biblical Hebrew.
    It was NOT originally מנין. Both מאין and מנין are derived directly from מן אין, but in different ways.

    מֵאַיִן - wherefrom

    Can someone help me with the etymology of this word? I assume מֵ derives from מִן, but what of the second part of the word?
    Thank you.
    Your assumption is correct.

    The second part is a form that is no longer found directly in Hebrew. In (Standard) Arabic, the word for "where" is ’ayn(a). So presumably there was once a form similar to אין in Hebrew that meant "where". What we have surviving from it is only מאין. Also perhaps אנה and לאן (both meaning "to where") are also derived from it, having dropped the י. There is also a related form איה meaning "where" in Hebrew.
     
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