Babel and geoduck

Mark A Mandel mam at THEWORLD.COM
Fri Nov 8 16:41:02 UTC 2002

On Thu, 7 Nov 2002, A. Maberry wrote:

#On Thu, 7 Nov 2002, James A. Landau wrote:
#> In a message dated 11/7/02 10:40:46 AM Eastern Standard Time,
#> mam at THEWORLD.COM writes:
#> > Is "babble" < Greek? How about "Babel" in Genesis, as an assonance or
#> >  folk etymology with (the city-name we know as) "Babylon"? The prima
#> >  facie evidence for onomatopoeia seems fairly good. How widespread is
#> >  this one worldwide?
#> "Babble" from Greek---if you assume it's from the Tower of Babel, then it
#> passed through the Greek-language Septuagint on its way from Hebrew to
#> English but has no other connection with Greek.

#Admittedly without looking too hard, I was unable to find anything in
#Greek that would be the source for the word "babble". The Hebrew is Babel
#of Bavel (Gen. 11.9) so called because God "balal" ("confused") their
#languages. According to Gunkel (Genesis, 1910) however, the Cuneiform
#etymology is "Bab-il" = "God's gate" that itself might be only a
#Semitic/Babylonian popular etymology for a word which may not even be
#Semitic in origin.

My point being that that word and Gk "barbar-" may well have been of
independent origins... and then so might "Berber".

-- Mark A. Mandel

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