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Click to Expand/Collapse OptionEtymArab
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baḥr بَحْر , pl. biḥār , buḥūr , ʔabḥār , ʔabḥur
ID 054 • Sw –/129 • BP 507 • APD ... • Aut SG
1 sea. – 2 large river. – 3 a noble, or great, man (whose magnanimity or knowledge is comparable to the sea). – 4 meter (poet. ) – WehrCowan1979.
▪ From Sem *baḥr‑ ‘sea, coast’ (following Huehnergard2011).
▪ v3 ‘noble, or great, man’ can be thought to be figurative use (WehrCowan: person »whose magnanimity or knowledge is comparable to the sea).
▪ v4 ‘(poetical) meter’ remains unexplained in the sources but is obviously a calque from Grk rhythmós ‘measured movement, harmonious flow’ (dance, speech, music, ...) (from rhéō ‘to flow’).
▪ Unless the idea ‘wideness’ was prior to that of ‘sea’ , the latter can be assumed to have served as a metaphor for ‘wideness’ (and ‘depth’?), which then could be applied both to generosity and knowledge.
▪ The fact that Gz bāḥər means ‘sea’ while bəḥēr is ‘land’, and a similar "contradiction" within the root is to be found in Ar (cf. baḥr ‘sea’ vs. baḥraẗ ‘land’, and the dimin. of both, buḥayraẗ denotes ‘(little sea >) lake’ as well as ‘(little land >) Ländchen’), made Nöldeke_Gegensinn assume that there was a »Grundbedeutung« (basic meaning), common to both, which later must have split into two. »Vielleicht ‘Niederung, Senkung’? Schwerlich ‘Fläche’ (wie bei aequor ‘Land’ und ‘Meer’).« – See, however, DISC in entry →√BḤR for another picture.
▪ OrelStolbova1994#305: Syr baḥrā , SAr bḥr , Gz bāḥr , Te bähar , Tña baḥri , Amh bahǝr . – Outside Sem: WCh Sura voγor , Ang fwor ‘rivulet’, Grk vor , voor ‘pond; rivulet’, ECh Kera vor ‘sea, river’.
▪ Leslau_EDG: SAr bḥr , Gur bahǝr .
▪ Kogan2011: Ar baḥr , Sab Min bḥr , Gz bāḥr .
▪ Kogan2011: From SSem *baḥr‑ , which seems to be the most widespread replacement in the SSem area for what probably had been the main Sem term for ‘sea’ earlier, Sem *tihām(-at)‑ (traces of which in today’s Ar only in the name for the coastal region in W Yemen, the Tihāmaẗ). (In the NWSem area, Sem *tihām(-at)‑ was replaced by *yamm‑ , which later was loaned from there into Ar as →yamm .)
▪ OrelStolbova1994#305: A hypothetical Sem *baḥr‑ ‘sea, lake’ is ‎probably the common ancestor of the Ar word as well as its Sem cognates. Together with reconstructed cognates outside Sem, ‎such as WCh *bʷaHVr‑ ‘pond; rivulet’ and ECh *bʷar < *bʷaHVr ‘sea, river’, the Sem word ‎may go back to AfrAs *boḥVr‑ ‘sea, lake’. – a in Sem *baḥr‑ may have developed from an ‎earlier Sem *u under the influence of the preceding labial.
▪ Huehnergard2011: from Sem *baḥr ‘sea, coast’.
▪ Ehret1995#9: Together with Cush ‎‎*bôoḥ‑ ‘to spill (intr.)’, Ar baḥr goes back to AfrAs *‑bôoḥ‑ ‘to flow’; the word is composed ‎of the AfrAs stem + an *‑r noun suffix.
baḥri ..., prep., in the course of, during (e.g., fī baḥr sanatayn in the course of two years, within two years).
al‑ baḥr al‑ ʔabyaḍ al‑ mutawassiṭ, n., the Mediterranean (sometimes shortened to al-baḥr al-ʔabyaḍ ) .
al‑ baḥr al‑ balṭīq, n., the Baltic Sea.
al‑ baḥr al‑ ǧanūb, n., the South Seas.
al‑ baḥr al‑ ʔaḥmar, n., the Red Sea (also baḥr al-qulzum ) .
baḥr al‑ ḫazar and baḥr Qazwīn, n., the Caspian Sea (also al-baḥr al-kasbiyātī ) .
baḥr al-rūm, n., the Mediterranean.
al‑ baḥr al‑ ʔaswad, n., the Black Sea.
baḥr al‑ ẓulumāt, n., the Atlantic.
baḥr lūṭ and al-baḥr al-mayyit, n., the Dead Sea .
baḥr al-nīl, n., (eg. ) the Nile.
baḥr al-hind, n., the Indian Ocean.

baḥḥara, vb. II, to travel by sea, make a voyage: denom.
ʔabḥara, vb. IV, to travel by sea, make a voyage; to embark, go on board; to put to sea, set sail, sail, depart (ship); to go downstream, be sea-bound (ship on the Nile): denom.
tabaḥḥara, vb. V, to penetrate deeply, delve ( into); to study thoroughly ( a subject): denom., from baḥr in the sense of ‘person whose knowledge is comparable to the sea’, lit. *‘to delve into (a sea of knowledge)’? DRS suggests another etymology, unrelated to baḥr , see → √BḤR.
ĭstabḥara, vb. X, = V.

al-baḥrayn, n., the Bahrein Islands; (State of) Bahrein: n.loc.
BP#3264baḥrānī, adj., of the Baḥrein Islands; al-baḥārinaẗ , the inhabitants of the Bahrein Islands: nsb-adj from (al)-baḥrayn .
BP#1874baḥrī, adj., sea..., marine; maritime; nautical; naval; navigational; (in Eg.) northern, baḥriyyaẗ (with foll. genit.) north of: nsb-adj; (pl. ‑ūn , aẗ ), n., sailor, seaman, mariner: nominalized nisba adj.
BP#4032baḥriyyaẗ, n.f., marine; navy: abstr. in iyyaẗ .
baḥraẗ, pond, pool: n.un. (?).
baḥḥār, pl. ‑ūn , baḥḥāraẗ , n., seaman, mariner, sailor:; pl. baḥḥāraẗ crew (of a ship, of an airplane).
BP#3535buḥayraẗ, pl. ‑āt , baḥāʔirᵘ , n., lake: dimin.; (tun. ) vegetable garden, truck garden: meaning transferred from ‘lake’ to *‘place with a small lake, pond = garden’? DRS suggests another etymology, unrelated to baḥr , see → √BḤR.
ʔibḥār, n., navigation, seafaring: vn. IV.
tabaḥḥur, n., deep penetration, delving ( into a subject), thorough study ( of): vn. V.
mutabaḥḥir, adj., thoroughly familiar ( with); profound, erudite, searching, penetrating: PA V.

For other items from the root, cf. →√BḤR and →baḥira .
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