To make clearer the following analysis of Kfarsghab etymology to the non specialist reader, here's an excerpt taken from A Glimpse of Yesterday, A Typology of Regional Variation and Cultural Continuity in Lebanese Place-Names by Elie Wardini, Department of East European and Oriental Studies University of Oslo :
As far as semantics are concerned Wild states: "Place-names show the Lebanon as a resort of the pious, where Canaanite gods, Christian saints and Muslim sheikhs mingle. Valleys and rivers, springs and forests, peaks and mountains stamp the life of the people. Place-names, the linguistically petrified remnants of cultural history, preserve the memory of the cedar, where there are no more cedars, and recall roaming wolves and bears where there are no more than the occasional fox. Generations of hunters and farmers, shepherds and hermits have left their unmistakable imprint on Lebanese toponymy."
As far as structure is concerned Lebanese place-names are structurally of two kinds: i) simplex (usually a noun), ii) Ncst + NP (the first Noun in the construct state and the NP can be a place-name, a personal name or a noun).
As far as languages are concerned I expect to find the following:
- i. Canaanite unchanged place-names (e.g. Be'erot = Beirut, Sur = Tyre).
- ii. Aramaic unadapted names (e.g. Bikfayya, Kifrayya)
- iii. Adapted Canaanite/ Aramaic names through:
- a) translation: (Canaanite Sidon > Aramaic Sayda "fishing, hunting"; unattested pre-Arabic "house of youth" > attested Arabic Bayt Shabeb
- b) phonetic changes: (*Bashkinta > Baskinta "the house of dwelling", following the regular correspondence between Aramaic /sh/ and Arabic /s/)
- c) folk etymologies: (*NaHla "valley" > Nakhle "palm-tree" due to frequent correspondence between Aram/aic /H/ and Arabic /kh/)
- iv. Arabic names (M'amiltayn "the two districts") evenly spread in Lebanon
- v. Non-Semitic names (Turkish Qashlaq "winter quarters"; French Bois de Boulogne; Greek InTilyes < antelios "the sun offering")
The following is a simple (and humble) conjecture from Youssef and subject to correction
The semitic name of Kfarsghab is composed of two parts : KFAR-SGHAB
|Semitic Roots, ENTRY: kpr
DEFINITION: Common Semitic noun *kapar-, village.
1. Capernaum, from Hebrew kpar naûm, village of Nahum, from kpar, bound form of kpr, village (naûm, Nahum; see nm).
2. giaour, kaffir, Kaffir, from Arabic kfir, unbeliever, infidel (“villager”), from kafr, village, from Aramaic kapr, village.
||Semitic Roots, ENTRY: 7682 sagab saw-gab'|
DEFINITION: a primitive root; to be (causatively, make) lofty, especially inaccessible;
by implication, safe, strong; used literally and figuratively --defend,
exalt, be excellent, (be, set on) high, lofty, be safe, set up (on high),
be too strong.
Semitic Roots, ENTRY: 7687 Sguwb seg-oob'
DEFINITION: aloft; Segub, the name of two Israelites:--Segub
|The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition.2000|| ||Strong's Hebrew/Greek Dictionary|
Tentative ethymological meaning of Kfarsghab :
the "fortified" village OR the village of Sghob (a person name)
The semitic name of Morh Kfarsghab is composed of three parts : MORH-KFAR-SGHAB
Semitic Roots, ENTRY: mrh|
In Arabic, Morh is the singular form of Mrah.
Following is what Wild says about Mrah:
Mrah ... is almost exclusively in Lebanon a spreaded place name appellation. It signifies " stable, hurdle, resting place (for livestock) ", besides also building in which the silk caterpillar is pulled... The compositions are mostly purely Arabic : person names
|cited by Elie Wardini in A Glimpse of Yesterday|
Tentative ethymological meaning of Morh Kfarsghab :
the winter rest place of the cattle belonging to the village of Kfarsghab
"Popular" meanings of Kfarsghab: the village of forests or of branches (from the arabic phonetic neighbor : GHAB)
Phonetic arabic equivalent of Kfarsghab: like a mare that disappears.
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