Aramaic in the Ketubah and in… Abracadabra

So, when I’m not spending my time creating ketubahs, I happen to love spending my time… studying ancient etymologies. Where did words come from? How do they relate? I even run two different web pages about it, just for fun (Learning Spanish using Etymologies and Etymologically Speaking).

So I was shocked last night, to be doing my normal reading about etymologies in my spare time and discover an Aramaic connection. I thought Aramaic was dead as a language — but it still survives… in the word abracadabra. À la Wikipedia:

Abracadabra is an incantation used as a magic word in stage magic tricks, and historically was believed to have healing powers when inscribed on an amulet. The word is thought to have[weasel words] its origin in the Aramaic language, but numerous conflicting folk etymologies are associated with it. Many[weasel words] consider that the word “Abracadabra” is actually a Hebrew phrase meaning “I create (A’bra) what (ca) I speak (dab’ra).” This etymology is rather dubious, however, as ???? ????? in Aramaic is more reasonably translated “I create like the word.” The second lexeme in this supposedly Aramaic phrase must be a noun given the presence of the definite article on the end of the word (it cannot be an infinitive construct, as the infinitive cannot take the definite article).

Every time we go see a magician and he uses the word “abracadabra”… remember your Ketubah, and remember the etymology-loving folks here at Team Ketubah!

Morgan the Language Nerd
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