For the past few decades, Amazon has been one of the most recognized brand names worldwide. The founder chose the name because of the exotic nature and great size of the Amazon river. The river got its name from the women fighters of the native tribe who attacked the Spanish explorers, who reminded them of the Greek myth of the Amazons - a group of female warriors.
And where did the Greeks get the name Amazon? The Online Etymology Dictionary has this entry:
late 14c., via Old French (13c.) or Latin, from Greek Amazon (mostly in plural Amazones) "one of a race of female warriors in Scythia," probably from an unknown non-Indo-European word, or possibly from an Iranian compound *ha-maz-an- "(one) fighting together" [Watkins], but in folk etymology long derived from a- "without" + mazos, variant of mastos "breast;" hence the story that the Amazons cut or burned off one breast so they could draw bowstrings more efficiently.
What was the non-Indo-European word? There are many theories, but I'd like to focus on Klein's suggestion in his CEDEL:
from Greek Amazon, which probably derives from Hebrew ammitz, 'strong'
Amitz אמיץ, derives from the root אמץ, meaning "to be strong." A synonym of the more popular chazak חזק (the verb חזק appears 290 times in the Bible, while אמץ only appears 41 times), it is the source of several words relating to strength:
- ometz אומץ - "bravery"
- ma'amatz מאמץ - "effort"
- hitametz התאמץ - "went to great lengths, endeavored"
take note of that vine, the stock planted by Your right hand,
the stem [ben] you have taken [imatzta] as Your own."
If the received text shows an authentic reading here, there is a slightly disconcerting shift from the vehicle of the metaphor (the vine) to its tenor (the people of Israel as God’s son). Some interpreters have understood ben as a poetic term for “branch” or as a scribal error for some other word that means “branch,” but the verb attached to it - ʾimatsta, which suggests adoption of a child—is appropriate for a son, not a plant.
He hews him down cedars, and takes the pine and the oak, which he strengthens for himself [vay'ametz] among the trees of the forest: he plants a forest tree and the rain nourishes it.