Hebrew חרב, Arabic حرب

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Ali Smith

Senior Member
Urdu - Pakistan

Does anyone know if the Herev (sword) is etymologically related to the Arabic حَرْب (war)?

תודה רבה!
  • Drink

    Senior Member
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    Yes, they are the same word, just they underwent some semantic evolution. I'm not sure which meaning is the original one.

    There is a similar situation with Hebrew לחם (bread) and Arabic لحم (meat).


    Imperfect Mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Arabic also has the word حربة, "bayonet," which is semantically closer to the Hebrew word.


    Senior Member
    According to this Wiktionary entry, a similar/cognate word "ḥà-r-pu" = sword exists also in Egyptian (described there as Northwest Semitic for whatever reason). There's also Roman/Greek Harpe = sword assumed to be borrowed from Egyptian.

    Also, it seems that in the southern Semitic world "harb" derivations mean war, battle, while in the north it means sword or similar metallic object.

    Dho ra'aan

    New Member
    Harbah not Sword but it's metallic object smaller than sword used on sticks of spears .
    But this noun back to wars, also this noun named to animal of chameleon likely a reference to the projectile-like tongue of a chameleon.


    Senior Member
    American English
    The fact that "harpoon" and its relatives in other recent IE languages come from Greek and no other ancient IE language seem to have had it leaves open the possibility that the Greeks got it from an Afro-Asiatic language.
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