E 0932          (TO)  TOSS

The verb " to toss " is of unknown origin .

H 1004            ש ו ט                     

Concept of root : flying movement

Hebrew word


English meanings

ש ו ט


to swoop down, fly around

Related English words

to toss

Comparison between European words and Hebrew




English meanings

Similarity in roots


ש ו ט


to swoop down,

fly around

th (o) s


to toss

to toss

t (o) s



Proto-Semitic *THOS --- *TOSS English



The movement expressed by the Hebrew root of this entry is that of "swooping down in flight" or "flying around something" and "flutter". In modern language it is just used as "to fly" and a " מ ט ו ס , mathos" is " that what flies " or correctly an "airplane". One notes that this new word has been spelled with a samekh , ס instead of the sin, ש that is found in the Bible. The sound of the two letters, at least today, is identical.
Anyhow the Samekh was already found in Post Biblical texts.


The movements that are described in the Bible, are not unlike those described by "to toss", from objects that are "tossed" to the "tossing" to, fro and around of the intransitive version of this modern English verb. With a good deal of imagination this may make one suspect a far away common origin. The origin of " to toss " is completely unknown and it is in such cases that we more often find a Hebrew relative.


  • Proto-Semitic is considered as having had the same three consonant root we see here in Hebrew: "* ט ו ש , TH W S". An interesting supplementary meaning is that of "to jump up". This root is seen in Aramaic " ט ו ס , thos = to fly" and in Syriac " ט ס , thos = to fly, flutter". Arabic has "thāsha", that with the meaning "was unstable", perhaps is related.


  • Proto-Germanic . We lack information from other Germanic languages that would allow a hypothesis for Proto-Germanic.





Created: Tuesday 6 November 2007 at 22.30.54 Updated: 13/12/2012 at 18.22.29