User:Ajd/Hebrew draft

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This is a list of English words of Hebrew origin. Transliterated pronunciations not found in Merriam-Webster follow Sephardic/Modern Israeli pronunciations as opposed to Ashkenazi pronunciations, with the major difference being that the letter tav (ת) is transliterated as a 't' as opposed to an 's'.

Common words[edit]

abacus (1)
from Greek abak-, abax 'slab' (MW), probably from אבק 'abaq 'dust' (AHD)
abelia (2)
from 'Abel' (MW), from הבל Hebhel 'Abel' ('emptiness')[1]
abelian (2)
from 'Abel' (MW), from הבל Hebhel 'Abel' ('emptiness')[1]
abigail (2)
from 'Abigail' (MW), from Avigail 'Abigail' ('father of joy')
abracadabra (1)
from Latin abracadabra (MW), perhaps from (OED) אַבְדָא כְּדַברָא avda kedavra 'what was said has been done'
aliyah (3)
from 'aliyah 'ascent' (MW)
amen (1)
from אמן 'amen (MW) 'certainly', 'verily' (AHD)
Armageddon (2)
from Greek Armageddon (MW), from הר מגדו Har Megiddo 'Mount Megiddo'
baal (1)
from ba'al 'lord' (MW)
babel (2)
from בבל Babhel 'gate of God', from Akkadian (MW)
balm (1)
probably from basham 'balsam' (MW)[citation needed]
balsam (1)
probably from basham 'balsam' (MW)[citation needed]
bath (4)
from bath 'liquid measure' (MW)
bdellium (1)
from Greek bdellion (MW), from בְּדֹלַח bedolach 'pieces'[citation needed]
bedlam (2)
from 'Bedlem' (MW), from בית לחם Beth Lechem 'Bethlehem' ('house of bread')
behemoth (1)
from (MW) בהמה behemah 'beast' (AHD)
bejesus (2)
from Yeshua' 'Jesus' (MW) ('Jehovah-saved')
bethel (1)
from ביתאל beth'el 'house of God' (MW)
brouhaha (1)
from French brouhaha (MW), perhaps from barukh haba 'welcome'[citation needed]
cabal (1)
from קַבָּלָה qabbalah 'received (lore)' (MW)
cabala (1)
from קַבָּלָה qabbalah 'received (lore)' (MW)
camel (1)
from גמל gamal 'camel' (MW)[citation needed]
cane (1)
from Arabic qanah 'hollow stick', 'reed' (MW), from קָנֶה qaneh 'reed'[citation needed]
cannon (1)
from Arabic qanah 'hollow stick', 'reed' (MW), from קָנֶה qaneh 'reed'[citation needed]
challah (3)
from hallah 'challah' ('egg-rich yeast-leavened bread') (MW)
cherub (1)
from כרוב kerubh 'cherub' ('celestial hierarchy angel') (MW)
chick (1)
from Latin cicer (MW), from kikkar 'circle'[citation needed]
chutzpah (1)
from huspah 'supreme self-confidence' (MW)
cider (1)
from שכר shekhar 'strong drink' (MW)
cinnamon (1)
from קִנָּמוֹן qinnamon 'cinnamon' (MW)[citation needed]
copacetic (1)
origin unknown (MW), perhaps from כל בסדר kol beseder 'all in order'[citation needed]
corban (3)
from qorban 'offering' (MW)
cumin (1)
from Greek kyminon (MW), from כמן kammon 'store up', 'preserve'[citation needed]
davit (2)
probably from Dawidh 'David' (MW) ('loving')
dybbuk (3)
from dibbuq 'dybbuk' ('wandering soul') (MW)
earnest (1)
from 'erabhon 'pledge' (MW)[citation needed]
Eden (1)
from עדן edhen 'delight'
ephah (4)
from epha 'ephah' ('1/10 homer dry measure') (MW)
ganef (1)
from gannabh 'thief' (MW)
gerah (4)
from gerah 'gerah' ('1/20 shekel weight') (MW)
get (3)
from get 'document of release' (MW)
golem (1)
from גולם golem 'shapeless mass' (MW)
goy (1)
from goy 'people', 'nation' (MW)
gun moll (1)
from gannabh 'thief' (MW) + Miryam 'Miriam' (MW) ('rebelliously')
halakah (3)
from halakhah 'way' (MW)
hallelujah (1)
from הללויה halleluyah 'praise [ye] the LORD' (MW)
hansom (2)
from 'Hansom' (MW), from Yohanan 'John' ('Jehovah-favored')[2]
hebraize (1)
from (MW) עברי 'ibri (AHD) 'Hebrew' ('region across [descendant]')
heder (3)
from hedher 'room' (MW)
homer (4)
from homer '100 gallons' (MW)
hora (3)
from horah 'hora' ('circle dance of Romania and Israel') (MW)
hyssop (1)
from 'ezobh 'hyssop' (MW)[citation needed]
jack (2)
from Yohanan 'John' (MW) ('Jehovah-favored')
perhaps from (AHD) Ya'aqobh (MW) 'heel-catcher
jeez (2)
from Yeshua' 'Jesus' (MW) ('Jehovah-saved')
jehu (2)
from Yehu (MW) 'Jehu' ('Jehovah [is] He')
jeremiad (2)
from Yirmeyah 'Jeremiah' (MW) ('the LORD will rise')
from 'Jeroboam' (AHD, MW), from Yarov'am 'Jeroboam' ('people will contend')
jesuit (2)
from Yehosua' 'Joshua' (AHD) ('Jehovah-saved')
jezebel (2)
from איזבל Izebhel 'Jezebel' (MW) ('chaste')
jimmy (2)
from 'Jimmy' (MW), from Ya'aqov 'Jacob' (OED) ('heel-catcher')
joe (2)
from Yoseph 'Joseph' (MW) ('let him add')
john (2)
from Yohanan 'John' (MW) ('Jehovah-favored')
jorum (2)
perhaps from 'Joram' (MW), from Yehoram 'Joram' ('Jehovah-raised')
joseph (2)
from Yoseph, 'Joseph' (MW) ('let him add')
jubilee (1)
from יובל yobhel 'ram's horn', 'jubilee' (MW)
judas (2)
from יהודה Yehudhah 'Judas' (MW) ('celebrated')
kibbutz (3)
from qibbus 'communal farm' (MW)
kibosh (1)
origin unknown (MW), perhaps from כבש kabash 'tread down', 'disregard'[citation needed]
klezmer (1)
from כלי זמר keley zemer 'musical instruments' (MW)
kosher (1)
from כשר kasher 'fit', 'proper' (MW)
lazar (2)
from El'azar 'Lazarus' (MW) ('God [is] helper')
lazaretto (2)
from Greek 'Lazarus' (AHD), from El'azar 'Lazarus' ('God [is] helper') + 'Nazareth' (MW), from נָצְרַת‎ Nazhrath 'Nazareth' ('truth', 'sprout', 'separate')
leviathan (1)
from לויתן liwyathan 'sea monster' (MW)
macabre (2)
from French (danse) macabre (MW), perhaps from Greek Makkabios (AHD), from מכבי makkabi 'Maccabee' ('my hammer')
manna (1)
from מן man 'manna' (MW) ('whatness')
marry (2)
from Miryam 'Miriam' (MW) ('rebelliously')
matzo (1)
from massah 'matzo' ('unleavened bread') (MW)
maven (1)
from מבין mebhin 'one who is experienced' (MW), 'one who understands' (OED)
menorah (3)
from menorah 'candlestick' (MW)
meshuga (1)
from משוגע meshugga' 'crazy' (MW)
messiah (1)
from משיח mashiah 'anointed' (MW)
Methuselah (2)
from Methuselah (MW)
mezuzah (3)
from mezuzah 'doorpost' (MW)
midrash (3)
from midhrash 'exposition', 'explanation' (MW)
minyan (3)
from minyan 'number', 'count' (MW)
mitzvah (3)
from miswah 'commandment' (MW)
moshav (3)
from moshabh 'dwelling' (MW)
nance (2)
from 'Nancy' (MW, AHD), probably in part from חנה Channah (OED) 'Anne' ('favored')
nimrod (2)
from נמרוד, Nimrodh 'hunter' (MW)
omer (3)
from 'omer 'omer' ('1/10 ephah dry capacity') (MW)
pascal (1)
from 'Pascal' (MW), from pesah 'Passover (Jewish or Christian)'[citation needed]
paschal (1)
from pesah 'Passover (Jewish or Christian)' (MW)
pharaoh (1)
from par'oh 'pharaoh' ('ruler of ancient Egypt') (MW)
philistine (1)
(MW) from פלשת Peleset 'Philistia' (AHD) ('rolling', 'migratory')
rabbi (1)
from רבי rabbi 'my master' (MW)
rube (2)
from Re'ubhen 'Reuben' (MW) ('see ye a son')
sabbatical (1)
from שׁבת (MW) sabat 'Sabbath' ('rest') (AHD)
samaritan (2)
from 'Samaria' (MW), from Shomron 'watch-station'[citation needed]
sapphire (1)
from sappir 'sapphire' (MW)[citation needed]
satanic (1)
from שטן satan 'adversary' (MW)
schmooze (1)
from shemu'oth 'news', 'rumor' (MW)
schwa (1)
from שוא schewa' 'schwa' ('unstressed mid-central vowel') (MW)
seder (3)
from sedher 'order' (MW)
selah (4)
from selah (MW) 'suspension', 'pause'
semitist (2)
from Shem 'Shem' (MW) ('name')
seraph (1)
from seraphim 'seraphim' ('celestial hierarchy angels') (MW)
shalom aleichem (3)
from shalom 'alekhem 'peace unto you' (MW)
shammes (3)
from שמש shamash 'sexton' (MW)
shamus (1)
perhaps from שמש shamash 'sexton' (MW)
shekel (1)
from שקל sheqel 'shekel' ('252 grains weight') (MW)
shibboleth (1)
from שיבולת shibboleth 'stream' (MW), 'ear of grain' (OED)
shiksa (3)
from sheqes 'blemish', 'abomination' (MW)
siddur (3)
from siddur 'order', 'arrangement' (MW)
simony (2)
from Shim'on 'Simon' (MW) ('hearing')
sodomy (2)
from 'Sodom' (MW), from סדום Cedom 'Sodom' ('burnt')
sukkah (3)
from sukkah 'booth', 'shelter' (MW)
sycamine (4)
from שִׁקמָה shiqmah 'mulberry tree' (MW, OED)
teraph (4)
from teraphim 'image' (MW)
toby (2)
(AHD) from Greek 'Tobias' (MW), from Toviah 'Tobias' ('goodness of Jehovah')
from 'Thomas' (MW), from ta'om 'twin'
torah (3)
from tora 'law', 'instruction' (AHD)
tush (1)
from תחת (MW) tahat 'under', 'buttocks' (AHD)
yeshiva (3)
from yeshibhah 'yeshiva' ('school for talmudic study') (MW)
zaddik (3)
from saddiq 'just', 'righteous' (MW)
zizith (3)
from sisith 'zizith' ('fringes', 'tassels') (MW)

Letter names[edit]

aleph, beth, gimel, daleth, he, waw, zayin, heth, teth, yod, kaph , lamed, mem, nun, samekh, ayin, pe, sadhe, qoph, resh, shin, taw (MW)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Abel". Behind the Name. 
  2. ^ Weekley, Ernest, M.A. (1912). The Romance of Words. London: John Murray. p. 51. Apart from assimilation, there is a tendency in English to substitute -m for -n .... In the family name Hansom, for Hanson, the son of Hans, we have dissimiliation. 

On this temporary page, the categorizations (1)-(4) represent categorization proposed by Ajd into (1) "Common words", (2) "Words from Hebrew names", (3) "Words specific to Jewish and Israeli culture and religious practice", (4) "Rare words from the Hebrew Bible". These are all thrown together at the moment for easier comparison with the live article. JJB 04:11, 10 May 2009 (UTC)

External links[edit]

Category:Lists of English words of foreign origin