Saturday, September 02, 2006


When discussing yarok and katom, I mentioned a word for gold - charutz חרוץ ( or harutz / haruts / charuts). The root חרץ has two other meanings - "to cut" (source of the word charitz חריץ - crack) and "to be alert, diligent". Outside of Steinberg (who I mentioned in katom), no one connects charutz as gold with the other two meanings (although Kaddari does quote one source as saying that the two verbs are related.)

On charutz, Klein writes:

Related to Phoen. חרץ, Ugar. hrs, Akka. hurasu (= gold; lit. the yellow metal). cp. Aram.-Syr. חרץ (to be yellow). cp. also Mitanni hiaruka ( = gold) which is a Semitic loan word.

Kutscher writes that charutz is the source of the Greek chrysos, also meaning gold. From chrysos we get such words as chrysalsis and chrysanthemum (but not Chrysler).

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