Thursday, May 24, 2007


Reader David H. asked about the Hebrew word zug זוג, and its connection to the English words "yoke - conjugal - zeugma" (I have to admit I hadn't heard of the last one, but it has its own Wikipedia entry.)

Well, there certainly is a connection. The Hebrew word meaning "pair, couple" derives from the Greek: zygon - "pair", zeugos - "a team (of oxen)". The Greek, in turn, derives from the Indo-European root *yeug, meaning "to join", from where we get all sorts of words:

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