The common opinion among scholars is that the Germanic word "to have", in German "haben" has been derived from the word "heben" which means in German "to lift, raise". We have reason to doubt this belief.


  1. The concept "to have" is one of the most fundamental and therefore it is among the first that human beings will try to express. Therefore we do not believe it to have been derived from another one, that is of a more secondary need.


  2. Various other Germanic pairs of words show the following differences between the two meanings.


    Dutch : "hebben"and "heffen"
    Danish : "have" and "hve"
    Swedish : "ha(va)"and "*hve"
    Old-High-German : "haben"and "heffan"
    Gothic : "haban"and "hafjan" and last but not least
    English : "to have"and "to heave".


    So there can be not much doubt to the fact that the two may well be related.


  3. If "haben" and "heben" are related, or even based on the same old root, it is more probable that the first version to be created has been "haben", with "heben" following. Also the other couples give the impression that the equals of "to have" are the original words and those of "to heave" the derived ones.


  4. A very obvious vowel to use in a two-consonantial root is in fact "a", like in "haben" and its Germanic predecessors.


  5. If "haben" would have its origin in "heben", on the basis of the statement under point 1, we should find another original word to express the concept of "haben" and "to have". This has not been found yet.


  6. It is not easy to accept the idea that two Indo-European words like "haben" and Latin "habere", with the same root and the same meaning, would not be related to each other.


  7. We fully agree that "heben", the word for an action that may lead to "haben", and with that of course "haben" and "to have", are related to the Indo-European root "KaP-". And so we think is Latin "habeo". Important is to see that not all Latin words per definition have "K" when Germanic words have "H". In fact this occurs only in a small minority of cases. It can depend on various factors. See our chapter regarding the Myth of Hundred (The Myth of Hundred).


  8. The German verb "haften = to be tied, attached" is a strict relative of "haben". The added "t" indicates a situation of attachment and is based on the same Indo-European root "KaP". It has a cousin in Hebrew ""kafat", with the same root and the same "t" added and meaning "to tie, attach". See entry E 0410 (Hebrew 0501).


  9. The word "to hold" is said to be derived from an Indo-European root "*KeL", saying "to keep, herd cattle. This is then sometimes seen as related to words meaning "to shout, voice". Just one of those farfetched suppositions we hesitate to accept on face value. As to the cattle –supposition we lack an explanation for the adding of"d" in English and Dutch, "t" in German and nothing in Nordic. Things are not clear and we fear the etymology of "to hold" remains uncertain.


    The word in Hebrew that combines the root not unsimilar to "KaP "with an "l" and a somewhere related meaning is "ghewel", = "to tie, attach, distrain". It does not solve the problem either.


  10. The existence of the same root in Semitic is an indication of the kinship we suppose exists between European and Semitic languages.





In European and Hebrew build-up of languages we find a series of building-stones that have been used to express the above concepts and that look fairly related to each other. These building-stones are composed of only two consonants and the most common vowel between them is "a". In second and third place come "e" and "o". And to add to the variety of messages prefixes and suffixes have made use of.


Building stones.

These specific building elements have a first consonant K, GH, H and sometimes G.
The second consonant is written as B or P, but pronounced as well as W, V or F.


The most frequent forms that result are KaP, KaF, GHaV, HaV-


With affixes added, most frequent are KAP, KAF, AGHAP,AHAV, HAB, GHAV-.


Where do we easily recognize these building stones and roots based on them ?. Let us have a look:
We have indicated the sound GH as H to make the comparison easier.



Word / rootSoundLanguageMeaning
KAP KAPH Hebrew (palm of the) hand
KAP I-E-root to take, grasp
CAPERE KAP Latin to take, grasp
AHAB AHAV Hebrew to hold (with pleasure), to love
HABAB GHAWAV Hebrew to like, love
AGAPAO AGHAPAO Greek to like,love
HOPEN GHOFEN Hebrew (palm of the )hand
HIBEB GHIBBEV Hebrew to love
HABEO Latin to have, hold
HABEN German to have, hold
HEBBEN Dutch to have, hold
HEEFT Dutch (he) has
AVERE Italian to have


North-South Division.

In several cases it has been constated that the words with the same basic root have an initial "H" in Northern languages, against a sister "K" in Southern ones.. But these cases are in reality a small minority and therefore such a relation can not be generalized as a rule. See our chapter "The Myth of Hundred". (The Myth of Hundred).


In the case above we find the same root with the first consonant "K" in Latin and Hebrew

"GH" in Greek and Hebrew

"H" Germanic and Hebrew

the second consonant "P" in Greek and Latin

"F" in Germanic and Hebrew

"B" in Germanic and Hebrew

"V" in Germanic and Hebrew




Created: Tuesday 6 November 2007 at 22.30.54 Updated: Thursday 10 January 2013 at 19.41.27