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Thread: Etymology/Origin of "Europe"?

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    Etymology/Origin of "Europe"?

    Was unaware of this possibility until recently:

    Wikipedia

    In Greek mythology Europa was a Phoenician woman of high lineage, from whom the name of the continent Europe has ultimately been taken.[1] The story of her abduction by Zeus in the form of a white bull was a Cretan story; as Kerényi points out "most of the love-stories concerning Zeus originated from more ancient tales describing his marriages with goddesses. This can especially be said of the story of Europa".[2]

    Europa and the bull, depicted as the continent's personification in Nova et accurata totius Europæ descriptio by Fredericus de Wit (1700)


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    The ʕ-R-B root relates to anything nocturnal: ʿrb means "to enter (into the night/darkness)" in Ugaritic, ܥܪܒ means "to go down" in Aramaic, erēbu means "to enter" in Akkadian, غرب/gharb means "west" in Arabic (Maghrib means "Occident") and ערב/'érev means "night" in Hebrew (Ma'arav means "west/occident").

    [Note: The logic here is that the sun sets in the west, so the morpheme meaning "west" was used to label the setting of the sun.]

    Prior to the Begadkefat spirantization process which occurred under the influence of Aramaic in Hebrew, 'érev was pronounced 'ereb.
    Considering the fact that BH was mutually intelligible with Phoenician, you can conclude that this is how the word sounded in Phoenician as well.

    Now, when the Greeks took the Phoenician abjad and adapted it to fit the needs of an alphabet, the letters used for guttural sounds were assigned to vowels.
    For instance, the first letter of the Greek alphabet, "alpha", comes from Phoenician "al(e)ph".
    Originally, this letter was used to represent a glottal stop.
    In Greek, this was assigned to the vowel "a".

    The letter used for voiced pharyngeal fricatives was turned into omicron, which is basically a short o.
    At some point, the Greeks broke this letter in two to assign the long version of this vowel to another letter: Omega.
    Prior to that, some regional variants use Omicron to represent a multitude of intermediary stages, such as "Ou" and "Oo".

    ^^ This is probably how "Ereb" became "Europê".
    Last edited by Agamemnon; 06-08-2014 at 01:51 AM.
    מכורותיך ומולדותיך מארץ הכנעני אביך האמורי ואמך חתית
    יחזקאל פרק טז ג-


    ᾽Άλλο δέ τοι ἐρέω, σὺ δ᾽ ἐνὶ φρεσὶ βάλλεο σῇσιν:
    κρύβδην, μηδ᾽ ἀναφανδά, φίλην ἐς πατρίδα γαῖαν
    νῆα κατισχέμεναι: ἐπεὶ οὐκέτι πιστὰ γυναιξίν.


    -Αγαμέμνων; H Οδύσσεια, Ραψωδία λ

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    Quote Originally Posted by Agamemnon View Post
    The ʕ-R-B root relates to anything nocturnal: ʿrb means "to enter (into the night/darkness)" in Ugaritic, ܥܪܒ means "to go down" in Aramaic, erēbu means "to enter" in Akkadian, غرب/gharb means "west" in Arabic (Maghrib means "Occident") and ערב/'érev means "night" in Hebrew (Ma'arav means "west/occident").

    [Note: The logic here is that the sun sets in the west, so the morpheme meaning "west" was used to label the setting of the sun.]

    Prior to the Begadkefat spirantization process which occurred under the influence of Aramaic in Hebrew, 'érev was pronounced 'ereb.
    Considering the fact that BH was mutually intelligible with Phoenician, you can conclude that this is how the word sounded in Phoenician as well.

    Now, when the Greeks took the Phoenician abjad and adapted it to fit the needs of an alphabet, the letters used for guttural sounds were assigned to vowels.
    For instance, the first letter of the Greek alphabet, "alpha", comes from Phoenician "al(e)ph".
    Originally, this letter was used to represent a glottal stop.
    In Greek, this was assigned to the vowel "a".

    The letter used for voiced pharyngeal fricatives was turned into omicron, which is basically a short o.
    At some point, the Greeks broke this letter in two to assign the long version of this vowel to another letter: Omega.
    Prior to that, some regional variants use Omicron to represent a multitude of intermediary stages, such as "Ou" and "Oo".

    ^^ This is probably how "Ereb" became "Europê".
    I have already read about this Phoenician hypothesis,unfortunately I don't know what the Phoenicians called the Greeks and their land .
    I think you're right about the GHrb root I think it has something to do with darkness and absence in general(at least in Arabic).
    A few examples ;Ghurab=crow(in reference to its color),ghaba'u=lack of intelligence/stupidity,ghiab:absence
    The odd ones are Gharib=stranger/strange and ghaba/ghab: woods/forest/jungle even though this could mean a relative absence of sunlight .

    I just Googled the word for foreigner in Hebrew apparently it is "Ger" I guess the plural is "Gerim" which is pretty damn close to gharib in my opinion .
    Do you think you can common up with some words that resemble "ger" in Hebrew ?
    Gh,ga,qaf/qof Alef and kaf sounds are pronounced differently across the Arab world . ex:
    Qalbi;classical Arabic,some Algerian&Tunisian and Levantine dialects .
    Albi;maltese,some Algerian dialects,Egyptian and some Levantine dialects .
    Galbi;the most common pronunciation of the word.
    Kalbi;some Algerian dialects,Northern Iraqi dialects(Musul)...
    Ghalbi;some Algerian dialects,southern Mesopotamian dialects(southern Iraq&Kuwaiti dialects) and some Sudanese dialects .

    Regarding the cardinal directions,have you noticed that in Semitic languages the word for South means right and the one for North means left ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stellaritic View Post
    Regarding the cardinal directions,have you noticed that in Semitic languages the word for South means right and the one for North means left ?
    Not a proper thread to mention this but in some circles, right = good/lucky, and left = unlucky/ bad (or crooked). I suppose for people travelling the fertile crescent, south into Canaan (and its city states) was good, north to warring Mespotamian empires was bad.
    dp :-)
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