☆ (theidolhands) wrote in 1word1day,


Saturday Word: Nachash

na·chash [naw-khawsh']:
origin: (Talmud) Hebrew= נחש; Old French= serpent, Latin= serpentem, accusative form of serpēns.

It has become a running gag to mock the absence of dinosaurs in the bible, but that is not entirely true, for large and seemingly sentient serpents are mentioned on many an occasion, referred to as the dreaded nachash (and tanniyn). Only a simple glimpse of text is required for verification, starting with Genesis, also commonly translated as "lizard" or "snake" and in other cases: Dragon.

Certainly we are told there is no proof of these creatures, for who could believe in lizards as large as buildings, living on the ground or air or sea -- absurd -- but serpents have polluted the minds and myths of humanity across the globe and over time immemorial, wether metaphorical or fossilized, their visage very much persists.

Not all is bad for the serpent though, which also came to be associated with healing and divination; Moses himself famously transformed his staff into a viper and later mounted a serpent of bronze to grace a pole through the desert (a symbol that spanned the globe thereafter). The word nachash (or serpent) has secondary meanings or connotations that reflect the sting of a bite -- such as "burning", "fiery", and "shinning", which allowed people to use it as a proper name for a person or place as well.
Tags: biblical, french, hebrew, latin, n, noun, wordsmith: theidolhands

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