Hebrew: Etymology of אגודל (thumb)


Senior Member
French - France
Hi :)
I couldn't find the etymology of אֲגוּדָל /(ʔ)agu'dal/, meaning thumb in Hebrew. Is it a Biblical term? Or maybe a loanword? (Warning, folk hypothesis: I found that Hindi has अंगूठा aṅgūṭhā, from Sanskrit, so could it be a loanword from Indo Aryan languages, even though it is very unlikely?)

  • radagasty

    Senior Member
    Australia, Cantonese
    This is pure speculation, but wouldn’t אֲגוּדָל simply represent the û-ā mišqal of the root גדל ‘big’, akin to יוּבַל ‘river’ or סוּגַר ‘collar’, with a prosthetic א? After all, the thumb is the ‘big finger’. The biblical word for ‘thumb’ is בֹּ֫הֶן/בְּהוֹן, or, more specifically, בֹּהֶן יָד.


    Senior Member
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