Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Origin of the Alphabet: The Letters A and H

Phoenician letter alephAleph - Image via WikipediaBy Karl Merkel

The letters A and H derive from an Egyptian hieroglyph of a twisted thread. The hieroglyph is called hayt or hayte, which is cognate to the Arabic word for "thread", khayt.

The hayt hieroglyph was a uniliteral sign that generally is believed to have been used by ancient Egyptians to represent the h-sound.

If one writes out axx in Greek lowercase letters, one can observe that it essentially forms a hayt hieroglyph written horizontally rather than vertically, as it was written by the Egyptians. The letter a forms the head or beginning of the hieroglyph while the xx portion forms the body.

Calling the letter a "the head" and the rest (the xx-ligature) "the body" is not insignificant; the Greek lowercase a actually looks like the head of a bull while the xx-ligature looks like a body with four limbs extending from it.

Given what I have just presented, there are several English words one should take a good hard look at.

The first word one should consider is axe. An axe is a tool that is sometimes used to separate the head of an animal from its body. The first two letters of the word, ax, can be seen to originate from the hayt hieroglyph and its division into three pieces (two of which are essentially identical).

Another English word that is rather interesting is the word ox. The letters ox when written together can be seen to form the Greek letter a. And, as I mentioned earlier, the Greek letter a looks a great deal like the head of a bull.

The third word one should consider carefully is the word head. The word head can be seen to derive from a variant pronunciation of hayt, where the letter d replaces the letter t. Note that the common substitution of t, d and th in words spoken by different groups of people is an extremely well documented linguistic phenomenon.

Now someone might ask how the hayt hieroglyph is symbolically connected to the letter h, since I have suggested that the symbol decomposes into an axx-ligature. The answer is that the uppercase Latin H is actually a Greek X (called chi) rotated 90 degrees.

The letters a and h actually have specific meanings associated with them. The letter a can mean "head", "first", "before" and "separation". The letter h can mean "breath", "life" or "living being". The meanings associated with the letter a derive in part from its position as the first letter in the alphabet and also from the fact that the a is essentially the separated head of the hayt hieroglyph. The letter h derives its meaning from the sound of exhaling, which it represents. Note that breath is essential to living things and that it originates in the lungs contained within the torso of an animal.

Now, to further support what I have said above, there are a few more things once should consider.

The letter h is the eighth letter of the Latin alphabet. In music, the eighth note in the major musical scale is called an octave. As in the words October and octagon, the oct-prefix means "eight". Here one should note that the oc portion of oct appears to represent both a reduced form of the hayt hieroglyph and a divided form of the letter a.

Next one should consider the English word eight. The word eight can easily be seen to be a variant pronunciation of the word hayt.

Finally one should consider the shape of the numeral 8. As in the case of the oct-prefix, the shape of the numeral appears clearly to be a reduced form of the hayt hieroglyph.

What is also interesting about the shape of the numeral 8 is that, in music, it symbolizes two notes, represented by the letter o, one above the other. In ancient times, stringed instruments were common, and it was learned long ago that placing one's finger exactly in the middle of a vibrating string resulted in an octave. So what we discover is that sounds were associated with vibrating strings and that octaves, represented by the numeral 8, represent perfect harmony.

The long-a sound, in addition to being represented by the letter a, can also be represented by the letters ei, as in the word eight. If one looks at the uppercase letters EI, one can perhaps see that a ligature of EI produces a squared off version of the numeral 8 that is also remarkably similar to the Phoenician letter called heth.

One should also note that breath, when exhaled, is warm. The English word heat, like the words head and eight, also appears to be a variant pronunciation of the Egyptian word hayt. Should it then be at all surprising that the letter h can also mean "heat"?

Finally one should consider the English name for the letter h. The word is pronounced as aich, which, in Greek, is spelled ax. And what do you think the Greek name for the letter h was? The Greek name for the letter was heta, which can also be seen as a variant pronunciation of hayt.

Now the Greek name for the letter a was alpha, which in Semitic languages was aleph. Scholars have long argued that the Semitic word aleph had something to do with cattle, since they long recognized a connection between the letter a and bulls. But the word aleph actually is related to the English word aloof. The word aloof means "separate".

In Hebrew aluf (alufa being the feminine form) means "athletic champion", which is someone who distinguishes themselves (i.e., sets themselves apart) from others through physical ability.

But while those words appear to clearly provide a far more reasonable explanation for the name of the letter, my own suspicion (though I have not confirmed it yet) is that the word originally perhaps referred to stringed instruments, the vibration of strings and the first note of the musical scale.

Finally I should also point out that the shape of the Hebrew aleph, which does not look much like either a Latin a or Greek a, looks somewhat like the Taurus constellation, which, I have heard was called Aleph in the Hebrew zodiac. It also seems clear that nothing about the Taurus constellation, apart from the name, screams "bull" to me. So it seems plausible that either the shape of the Hebrew aleph inspired the naming of the constellation or the shape of the Taurus constellation inspired a redesign of the Hebrew aleph during the Babylonian exile.

Of course, much of what I am presenting herein is not yet generally accepted theory. But, in time, I think it will be shown that most if not all that I have stated herein is correct.

I also encourage those who are intrigued by what I have presented herein to visit my Olin Revelation website where one can learn more about the letters of the alphabet, the meanings associated with them, and some of the other research projects I am working on.

Karl Merkel has long been fascinated with the historical basis behind the stories related to the Bible. While doing research related to the Noah's Ark story, the author stumbled upon the discovery of a lifetime: that the letters of the alphabet each have a set of distinct meanings associated with them and that many English words appear to have been coined based on those meanings.

To learn more about what the author discovered, visit In addition to the discoveries related to the letter meanings, the Olin Revelation website also provides interesting research related to the Merovingians, the Carolingians and King Arthur.

Article Source:
Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments:

Post a Comment