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Etymological Dictionary of Arabic

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Click to Expand/Collapse OptionEtymArab
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BḤṮ بحث
ID ... • Sw – • BP – • APD ... • Aut SG
BḤṮ
"root"
▪ BḤṮ_1 ‘to scrape up (in search of s.th.); [and hence:] to look for, search for s.th., to research, investigate; to discuss’ →baḥaṯa
▪ BḤṮ_2 ‘mine’ →baḥṯ
▪ BḤṮ_3 ‘great serpent’ →baḥṯ
The original meaning of the root that today mostly means ‘to look for, search for s.th., to research, investigate; to discuss’ is ‘to scrape, dig up (the earth), scratch’. Cognates of a similar meaning are attested in Can and Aram, and probably also in Akk, so that one can assume a ComSem etymon *baḥaṯ‑ ‘to scrape up, stir’.
baḥaṯa
▪ DRS 2 (1994)#BḤṮ/Š: Akk beḫāšu ‘mélanger (?)’1 , nHbr bāḥaš , JP Syr bᵉḥaš ‘agiter, remuer, rechercher, attiser’; Syr bᵉḥeš ‘se hâter’, bāḥūšā ‘spatule’; Talm bāḥᵃšā ‘cuiller à pot; cendres chaudes, ratissages’, biḥšā ‘creux de l’épaule’; Mand bḥaš ‘chercher, examiner’; nSyr bāḫiš , (m)berḫiš ‘agiter’, bāḫušā , bāḫüštā ‘cuiller à pot’; Ar baḥaṯa ‘gratter la terre, fouiller’; om. bḥš ‘creuser’, Syrie baḥaš ‘fouiller’.
▪ ...
1. Sens douteux. – But cf. CAD Akk (Ass) *beʔēšu , var. baʔāšu , beʔāšu , baḫāšu ‘to stir’.
▪ The original meaning in Ar is ‘to dig up, scrape ut the dust/earth’ (and search of s.th.). This value is still attested in ClassAr (BadawiAbdElHaleem2008: ‘to rummage in the dust looking for s.th., to claw the dust, to search, to seek information’), where it also produced derivatives such as buḥṯaẗ ‘a certain game (played in the dust, or earth), ʔibl baḥūṯ ‘camels that scrape up the dust, or earth, with their forefeet’, baḥṯ ‘mine (in which one searches for gold and silver); great serpent (because it scrapes up the dust or earth)’, baḥīṯ ‘secret (hidden in the dust and to be search for)’, buḥāṯaẗ ‘dust, earth (which is scraped up from what is searched for therein)’. The modern meanings are amplifications of the earlier usage.
▪ The root is also attested, with similar meanings, in Sem. DRS thinks that the nHbr vb. is from Aram; the remaining forms, however, are probably sufficient to assume a ComSem origin (although DRS thinks the meaning of the Akk vb. is doubtful). – For the whole complex, the reader in DRS is also asked to conform the references given s.v. #BD and #BṮ. Furthermore, DRS states that »cette racine semble être, du fait de contaminations diverses (en particulier par B/MḤN/R, P/BḎR) à la base de plusieurs autres racines surtout arabes qui témoignent en outre d’échanges entre consonnes homorganiques, v. BHNS(Š), BHŚ(Š), BḤṮR, BḪṮR, BʕḎR, BʕṮR, BĠẒR, BRḤŠ; comp. aussi PḤṢ, PḤṮ (et BQṮ?).« The corresponding crossreferences in EtymArab would be →BḤṮR, →BḪTR, →BʕṮR, and also →FḤṢ.
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