Monday, August 16, 2021

katzin, qadi and alcalde

 A while back, I discussed Hebrew words that begin with the letters קצ. In that list I wrote:

קצה - cut, from it we have קצין, captain, judge. The word cut is figuratively used for deciding.

This was based on Horowitz's book. Klein has a similar entry for the biblical word katzin  קצין:

קָצִין m.n. 1 judge, prince, leader. NH 2 officer. [Derived from קצה ᴵᴵ and lit. meaning ‘decider’. Related to Arab. qāḍi (= judge), prob. part. of qaḍā(y) (= he decided). 

Stahl, in his Bilingual Etymological Dictionary of Spoken Israeli Arabic and Hebrew, in the entry קאדי, writes that the root קצה derives from קץ ketz, meaning "end", because the one who decides (in this case, the judge) puts an "end" to the disagreement. 

As Klein noted, katzin is also related to the Arabic qadi (sometimes spelled cadi), also meaning "judge." From Arabic, the word entered Spanish as alcalde, a term meaning "mayor", but one who also has a judicial role, like a "justice of the peace." It is used with that meaning in Spain and throughout Latin America.

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