"Side" and "צד"

Discussion in 'Etymology, History of languages, and Linguistics (EHL)' started by nzk13, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. nzk13 New Member

    English - US
    The hebrew word צד means side (both literally and figuratively, as in perspective). As it seems similar in pronunciation to the word "side" (in ancient hebrew, Tsadi was pronounced very much like the english 's'), with an identical meaning, I was wondering if the 2 are related. Wiktionary says that the etymology is "From Old English sīde, from Proto-Germanic *sīdōn." I'm very curious about this, and similar words. Thanks.
  2. mataripis

    mataripis Senior Member

    I think Hebrew is older than English. I know that the Holy name starts with Tz and the meaning "Y is on our side"!
  3. origumi Senior Member

    The Hebrew word appears already in the Bible, e.g. Exodus 26:13. The English word has Proto-Germanic and eventually Proto-IE origin: http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=side (as mentioned above). So possible relation between the two would be difficult to establish.

    The Akkadian cognate is siddu, therefore borrowing from IE to Semitic is improbable. Interesting to note that in Akkadian like in English the word can mean length and breadth of land, as preserved in countryside.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2013
  4. nzk13 New Member

    English - US
    Is it possible that it would have been borrowed from the Semitic to IE? I'm no linguist, so please forgive my ignorance.
  5. David S Senior Member

    Richmond, VA, USA
    English - US
    Not sure where you are getting that from.
  6. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    Hebrew ṣad is from the Semitic root ṣ-d-d, as in Arabic ṣadda “turn away”. The resemblance with English “side” is coincidental and superficial.
  7. origumi Senior Member


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