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murr مُرّ , pl. ʔamrār
ID 803 • Sw – • BP – • APD ... • Aut SG
MRː (MRR)
¹adj.; ²n.
(adj. ) 1 bitter; severe; sharp; painful; (n. ) bitterness. – 2 myrrh | m. al-ṣaḥārā colocynth (bot. ) WehrCowan1979. – 3 salsify (Scorzonera hispanica; bot.) – Kazimirski1860
1) The word goes probably back to a common Sem noun *murr‑ ‘bitterness; myrrh’ that belongs to the general theme Sem *mrr ‘to be(come) bitter’. The latter has been suggested to have developed from an AfrAs *mar‑ ‘to be sour’.
2) The word murru appears already in Akk sources. Although it “does not always nor only refer to the costly imported resin” (CAD ),1 there is evidence also for the use of real myrrh. The attestations inform us about the use of murru in many fields: in rituals, as an ingredient of perfumes and for scenting oil, in medicine (for fumigation, or as a “medication against stricture of the bladder” which was given to the patient “to drink in beer”, or was “rub[bed] on in oil, or “blow[n] into his penis through a tube”, CAD ). Myrrh had to be imported and was therefore very prestigious and expensive.
1. References to “the seeds of the murru-plant” imply that in some contexts Akk murru is not ‘myrrh’ but rather “a native ‘bitter’ plant [...]. This is confirmed in NB [New Babylonian] texts by the use of murru for tanning.” In many passages it “cannot be decided whether real myrrh or a plant called murru with a similar astringent quality is meant.” CAD.
v1lC6 ʕAntara b. Šaddād 1,36: ʔinna ẓulmiya bāsilun murrun maḏāquhū ka-ṭaʕmi ’l-ʕalqami ‘the injustice/tyranny/torment I suffered [lit. my tyranny] is death-defying (and) bitter, its taste is like the taste of the colocynth’ (Polosin 445).
eC7 Q 54:46 bali ‘s-sāʕatu mawʕidu-hum wa’s-sāʕatu ʔadhā wa-ʔamarru ‘Nay, but the Hour (of doom) is their appointed tryst, and the Hour will be more wretched and more bitter (than their earthly failure)’.
v2 ...
v1 Akk marāru ‘to be bitter’, murruru ‘to make bitter’, marru (māru , f. marratu ) ‘bitter, brackish, biting’ (the f. also meaning ‘sea (as body of salty water), CAD ); murru ‘bitter taste’; related also murāru ‘bitter lettuce’, Hbr mārar , Aram mᵉrar ‘to be bitter’, Syr mar ‘to be bitter, sour, acid’, Gz marīr ‘amarus, acerbus; exacerbatus’ (Zammit2002, following Dillmann).
Within Sem, OrelStolbova1995 (#1734) add Hbr mar , Soq mrr , Ḥrs mer , Mhr mer , Śḥr mur and reconstruct Sem *mar‑ ‘(to be) bitter’.
v2 Akk murru , Ug mr , Hbr mōr , JudAram mūrā ‘myrrh’. Huehnergard2011 reconstructs a common Sem noun *murr‑ ‘bitterness; myrrh’, belonging to the general theme Sem *mrr ‘to be(come) bitter’.
Huehnergard2011 reconstructs a general Sem theme *mrr‑ ‘to be(come) bitter’. – OrelStolbova1995 (#1734) reconstruct Sem *mar‑ ‘(to be) bitter’. On account of what the authors believe to be cognates – Eg ʕmꜢ (“prefix ʕ‑ ”) ‘become sour’ (pyr) and one mer ‘sour’ in a WCh language (< WCh *mar‑ ) – they reconstruct AfrAs *mar‑ ‘be sour’ as the origin common to all.
v2 The word entered Eur languages via Grk mýrrha into which it came from some Sem source and was then (according to Dolgopolsky2012) perhaps contaminated with Grk mýron ‘unguent, perfume, sweet oil’, which in its turn is probably related to an Idg root *smeru‑ ‘ointment’, cf. Ge schmieren , denominative of Schmer < Germ *smerwa‑ ‘fat, grease’ (cf. Nor smør ‘butter, fat’) (Kluge2002), which Dolgopolsky2012 thinks is related to a WSem root √*mrḫ ‘to smear’ (→Ar √mrḫ ‘anoint (the body)’. The Grk term was loaned into Lat murra , murrha , myrrha , which is the source of the word in the Eur languages (cf. oEngl myrre , NL mirre , Ge Myrrhe , Fr myrrhe , Ital Span mirra ). It arrived there at an early date: the first attestations in oHGe, e.g., date back into C8 (mirra , myrra , murra ) (Kluge2002).
marr‑ / marar‑, u a (marāraẗ ), vb. I, to be or become bitter; dire des choses amères, désagréables (Kazimirski): denominative. – For other meanings →marr‑ / marar‑ and →marr_1 .
marrar‑, vb. II, to make bitter, embitter (s.th.): caus., denominative. – For other meanings →marr‑ / marar‑ .
mārr‑ / mārar‑, vb. III, lutter avec qq. corps à corps et chercher à le renverser par terre (Kazimirski): probably not related to murr but to the theme ‘strong, tight’ treated under →marr_1 . – Cf. also →marr‑ / marar‑ .
ʔamarr‑ / ʔamrar‑, vb. IV, to be or become bitter; to make bitter (s.th.); être mêlé de graines amères (se dit du blé) (Kazimirski): caus., denominative. – For other meanings →marr‑ / marar‑ and →marr_1 .
tamārr‑ / tamārar‑, vb. VI, to fight, contend, dispute (with each other): probably not related to murr but to the theme ‘strong, tight’ treated under →marr_1 . devenir amer, contracter de l’amertume (Kazimirski): denominative.
ĭmtarr‑ / ĭmtarar‑ , vb. VIII, →marr‑ / marar‑ .
ĭstamarr‑ / ĭstamrar‑, vb. X, to think bitter, find bitter (s.th.): denominative. – For other meanings →marr‑ / marar‑ and →marr_1 .
mirraẗ, n.f., pl. mirar gall, bile →s.v. ; (pl. ʔamrār ) →marr_1 .
murār, n., eine Bitterpflanze (Wahrmund1887):
marāraẗ, n.f., pl. marāʔirᵘ bitterness; gall, gall bladder; innermost, heart | inšaqqat m.uhū ġayẓan he burst with anger :
mirāriyyaẗ, n.f., Galligkeit (Wahrmund1887): →mirraẗ .
marīr, adj., pl. marāʔirᵘ bitter (taste, feelings). – For other meanings →marr_1 .
marīraẗ, n. →marr_1 .
ʔamarrᵘ, adj., bitterer: el. | al-ʔamarrāni the two bitter things (i.e., poverty and old age); qāsā l-ʔamarrayn to go through the worst, be exposed to greatest hardships . – For other meanings →marr_1 .
ʔamarrᵘ, n., intestines (Kazimirski1860): nominalized el.(?), related to murr ?
murrà, n., chose amère | al-murrayān les deux choses les plus amères: l’absinthe et la coloquinte (Kazimirski1860) : nominalized el.f. (?).
murrī, n., eine Art Bitterwasser (den Appetit zu schärfen) (Wahrmund1887): nominalized nsb-adj., *tasting myrrh (?),
mārūraẗ, n.f., 1 plante à la graine noire et amère qui se mêle au blé; (2 jeune fille au corps délicat et chez qui les chairs tremblent quand elle marche) (Kazimirski1860): While (1) is clearly related to murr the relation is doubtful for (2).
murayr, n., 1 scorsonère. 2 hiéracium. 3 souchet : plantes (Kazimirski1860): related to murr because of their ‘bitterness’?
murayrāʔ, n., 1 Plante à la graine noire et amère qui se mêle au blé; – (?related:) 2 Jeune fille au corps délicat et chez qui les chairs tremblent quand elle marche.
murrāʔᵘ, n., Sorte de vin (Kazimirski1860): related to murr because of its bitterness? (cf. murrī above).
mamrūr, adj., bilious; foolish, crazy; fool: PP I →mirraẗ .
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