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Origen's Hexapla as a source of Greek idioms ?

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Origen's Hexapla as a source of Greek idioms ?

Postby IzzyCohen » Sun May 04, 2014 8:20 am

The second column of Origen's Hexapla
is the Old Testament in the Hebrew language written with Greek letters. Most readers of this "second column" understood Greek and would occasionally see a Hebrew word or phrase whose transliteration had a very different meaning as a Greek word or phrase. If there was some humorous connection or if the Hebrew meaning was one that should not be said publicly in Greek, the Greek word or phrase that sounded like the Hebrew source could become a Greek idiom that had the meaning of the Hebrew source.

Someone who knows Greek should scan the 2nd column of Origen's Hexapla to look for Greek phrases that have become Greek idioms with the meaning of the Hebrew source. Some of these Greek idioms may have become translated into other languages (including English) as idioms that retain the meaning of the Hebrew source.

You can see a more complete description of this mechanism of idiom formation via transliteration at

Best regards,

Israel A Cohen
Petah Tikva, Israel
Textkit Neophyte
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