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Etymological Dictionary of Arabic

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Click to Expand/Collapse OptionEtymArab
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BHM بهم
ID ... • Sw – • BP – • APD ... • Aut SG
BHM
"root"
The root displays a variety of meanings that, at first sight, seem to be unconnected:
▪ BHM_1 ‘(to be) obscure, dark, cryptic’ →bahīm
▪ BHM_2 ‘animal, quadruped, lamb, sheep, cattle’ →bahīmaẗ
▪ BHM_3 ‘thumb; big toe’ →ʔibhām_2‑ .
Accordingly, WehrCowan1979. treats all in one entry. In contrast, EtymArab follows (most of) the disctinctions made in DRS 2 (1994).
While BHM_2 ‘animal, quadruped, lamb, sheep, cattle’ may be dependent on BHM_1 (with the original value of ‘unable to speak, dumb’), animals being those who are unable to speak, a connection of these two values with BHM_3 ‘thumb, toe’ seems highly unlikely.
DRS 2 (1994)#BHM-1: Ar ʔabham ‘qui ne sait pas parler: barbare, étranger’, Gz bəhām , bəhum ‘muet’, bəhma ‘être muet’, Tña Te bähamä ‘être muet’.
DRS 2 (1994)#BHM-2: Ug bhmt ‘bétail, vaches’, Hbr bᵉhēmā ‘animal’, EmpAram bhmyth (?), bhmth (?) ‘bétail’, Mand bʔhymʔ ‘âne’, Ar bahmaẗ ‘agneau, chevreau, veau’, bahīmaẗ ‘bête, animal’, Tham bhm (pl.) ‘agneaux’, MġrAr bhīm ‘âne’; Ar buhmaẗ ‘obscurité, ténèbres; bloc de pierre’.
DRS 2 (1994)#BHM/N: Akk ubān‑ ‘doigt’, Hbr bōhen , Ar ʔibhām , dial bihām , bāhim , Mhr hābīn ‘pouce’.
▪ For BHM_1 cf. also →BǦM, →BKM, →BLM.

▪ DRS 2 (1994)#BHM: BHM_2, for which Sem *bahīmat‑ ‘animal, cattle’ can be reconstructed, »dépend vraisemblablement de [BHM_]1, même si, comme le pense Jeffery1938, Ar bahīmaẗ est un empr. à l’Hbr.«
▪ »Une reconstruction de la forme proto-Sem reste problématique« (is it BHM or BHN?).

▪ Assigning Ar buhmaẗ ‘obscurité, ténèbres; bloc de pierre’ to BHM_2 ‘animal, cattle’ seems not really plausible; why not to BHM_1 ‘unable to speak, dumb, mute’? – SG

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