The word " wick " and the Old English verb " wīcan " are of Germanic origin .

H 1057 ע ק י

Concept of root : to cede

Hebrew word


English meanings

ע ק י


to cede

Related English words

Old English wīcan

Comparison between European words and Hebrew




English meanings

Similarity in roots


ע ק י


to cede, yield, to give way, ground, to renounce

y . q (‛) . <

*w . q (‛) .



(εικειν) <




(eikein) <

weiko (weikein)

to cede, yield, to give way, ground, to renounce

(‘) . k <

*w . k

Old English


to cede, yield, give way, ground, to renounce

w . c




w . ck

Old Norse

vīkva ;

vīkya ;


wkwa ,

wkya ,


to cede, yield, give way, ground, to renounce

w . k w ;

v . k y ;

(y) k w

Middle Dutch



to cede, yield, give way, ground , renounce

w . k



Proto-Semitic *WAQ‛À --- *WĪK- Indo-European



With a range of identical meanings and similar sounds , these words leave us little doubt about their common origin. Remains just the difference of the extra final vowel in Hebrew, accentuated in the pronunciation by the preceding "Ayin", ע , a guttural stop that is near a soundless "ng".


The Hebrew verb is presented in the basic form with two vowels, A + A. In an apparently not used intensive form it would have had nearly the same sound as Dutch "wiken" : "*WIQQÈ" or older "*WIQQÀ".


An interesting linguistic development in the language of the old Vikings is combined here with the origin of their name. Vikings were the people who had their home in a "vik", in all Nordic languages, including old Icelandic, a name given to quiet bays, or parts of fjords of course, into which people might cede away from the sea and build their wooden homes thanks to the enormous forests that grew untill near the coast. This noun " wik" for in fact "refuge" has the same root as the verbs like "vikva" and Middle Dutch "wiken" and the others mentioned below.


As a suffix, "-vik" is found in very many Nordic names of places (Narvik, Sandvik) , as is its Dutch version " –wijk" (Noordwijk, Katwijk etc. ). In English this has become "Norwich, Greenwich".


  • Hebrew. In modern language this root is also used for rather different figurative messages.
    The causative verb " ה ו ק י ע , hoqi‛a" in the Bible said " to abandon " still related to the act of renouncing, but today it is "to censure, blame", rather off .


  • Proto-Semitic . We have not much evidence for a hypothesis. But the older version of this Hebrew root is found in Arabic "waqa'a ". Probably Proto-Semitic used the older form "* ו ק ע , W Q Ayin". W Q Ayin ".



  • Greek. Some further meanings, like that of "to be inferior" are as well among those of this verb "eiko". As shown the original Greek word had an initial W. Greek, like Hebrew has generally abolished the initial W.


    As usual, in this list the Greek verbs are referred to with the first person singular of the present tense. The reason for this is that from this basis it is relatively easy to deduct the other verbal forms.


    But sometimes the infinite forms have been added, just to show how near their suffix "-ein " is to the infinitives in German ( -en ) and Dutch ( -en ), as well as in Old English (- en or –an ) etcetera.
    Greek has two verbs "eiko" . The second one deals with similarity and looking like someone or something.


  • Germanic. One sees the same root and roughly identical meanings in German "weichen" , modern Dutch "wijken" , Swedish "vika" , Danish "vige" and Norwegian "vike".


  • Old Norse, the language of the Vikings, often is particularly interesting, and so it is here. We see that it has three different versions of this verb . Two of them begin with the consonant V , like the other Germanic words ( V or W are nearly the same here ). But one of them seems to have followed the same road of Biblical Hebrew, in that it begins with Y instead of W .


    Perhaps this is accidental on account of geographical distance, but still it is the same development. And really, little is known about where the forebears of the Vikings lived , let us say, 7.000 or 10.000 years ago. Regrettably Norwegian turned away from the path of "ykva", perhaps under influence of the Swedish and Danish domination that have alternated until 1905.


  • English has abandoned this Old English word " wīcan " for a Latin root.


  • Proto-Germanic . In West Germanic, with Old English "wīcan", Old Saxon "wīkan", Old High German "wīchan ( also wīhhan)" and Middle Dutch "wīken", one sees words beginning with "WĪ-". The Nordic languages spell "VI" for the same sound. The vowels in modern Dutch "wijken" and German "weichen" are a common development The following consonant is a "K"-sound, except in modern Danish "vige" and High German "weichen" with its predecessors that have a specific development away from "ĪK". Proto-Germanic probably had "*W Ī K-".


  • Indo-European. We mention two very interesting words. Latin "vicus" indicates any kind of place where people live : "group of houses, village, hamlet, estate, quarter, street, alley", without any specific kind of construction. Greek οικος, oikos is considered as having been derived from a root "*W EI K-", very similar to Germanic, and indicates, besides the well-known meaning "house" , any place where somebody lives, from a room in a house to a cage (animals) and to a country. Again there is no link to any specific kind of construction. With this group of messages, these two words may be related to Germanic and indicate a Indo-European "*W Ī K-" as well.


    Old Indian has a substantive "vís, = house, homestead, settlement" with a plural "viśah" and an older sanskrit "vikshú= community, people". The consonant " S " is due to a common development, out of a K-sound, as can still be seen from the sanskrit word. This confirms the mentioned hypothesis for Indo-European.


    Avestan shows a "vīs = house, community" in harmony with the Old Indian development.





Created: Tuesday 6 November 2007 at 22.30.54 Updated: 16/12/2012 at 17.35.39