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Ancient Signs

Ancient Signs

The Alphabet & the Origins of Writing

My new print & ebook
shows that modern alphabets are based on ancient alphabets rooted in syllabic scripts of the ancient world (Sumer, Egypt, Iran, Anatolia, Crete, Cyprus)

andis kaulins avebury
Hydra - See the figure inside?

World Rivers LexiLine? Logo Name Origins
LexiLine - A Renaissance in Learning

World River Names

and Water Words

For a longer article on Water Words go to that link.

Many of the names of world rivers
(e.g. Donau, Don, Danube, Dnieper, Dniester)
relate in origin to water words
that describe flow,
 viz. water channel, viz. a channeled topography.

Latvian ūdens ("water"), ūdeņi ("waters")
Latvian vadi ("channels")
Lithuanian vanduo
Arabic wādin whence
"valley, gully or stream bed"

In view of Lithuanian vanduo ("water"), it is thus also clear that Baltic peoples like the ancient Vends had to be and were water navigators.

Water words also derive from the SOURCE of water, a subtle difference not appreciated by modern linguists.

Latvian aka ("a well, water well")
Spanish agua ("water")
Latin aqua ("water")

Wetness or dampness is yet a different "water word",
defining water by its "sense" character as a fluid:

Latvian mitrs ("damp, wet - slapjš")
mouillé ("wet")
naß ("wet") English moist
Egyptian mw ("water")
maa' ("water")
Swahili maji ("liquid")

Fullness, breadth or overflow is yet another "water word"

Latvian pilns ("full")
Latvian plūdi ("floods")
Latvian plats ("wide")

Combining the above two
we get the Hebrew term
for "the Great Flood"
i.e. ma-bbul.

Looking at a few famous world rivers
and their current etymologies,
I have some speculative thoughts:


The River TIGRIS
(English "wa-Ters", hydro-)
Turkish DICLE
and Arabic DIJLA "arrow" may not be original.

The term possibly relates to Indo-European
e.g. Latvian TEKLIS, TEKLĪTis (diminutive) "flowing",
DIEGIS "thread, channel"
Latvian ŪDRIS or ŪDENIS viz. ŪDENS "water",
Greek HYDRO- HUDRO-, Indo-European *WED,
Akkadian IDI-KLAT , Biblical HIDD-EKEL,
whence Latvian KRĀC- "rapids, noisy"
Indo-European *kele ("CLAmor, noise").
Indo-European *WED-*KELE
whence Latvian VE-DEKLIS "carrier, flower".


(English "flood, flat, Platte River")
Akkadian PURATTU, Biblical PERATH,
Turkish FIRAT, Arabic FURAT

Possibly related to Indo-European,
e.g. Latvian UPE, UPELĪTE (diminutive) "river",
PURv- "silty, boggy, marshy"
PLŪDU- "(of) flood(ing)",
but also Latvian BRĒC- "noisy",

In Latvian there is a saying
which means
The water "roars" and the river "bellows"
i.e. these would be the Tigris and Euphrates.


American Indian name
allegedly meaning "BIG muddy"
which of course would be a ridiculous name
for this gigantic river which would
never be name for "mud".

Possibly related in ancient times to Indo-European, e.g.
Latvian MILZIS-UPE "giant river, big river"


allegedly Indian Cree
win nipee
"little muddy water,"
which does not fit the Winnipeg river at all
since the Winnipeg river is not "weany" but is
a "rapid river" on which "numerous
falls and rapids hinder navigation" and which is
used today to produce Manitoba's electric power supply.

Possibly related to Indo-European
e.g. Latvian VILN-UPE "wavy, rapid river"


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B.A. University of Nebraska; J.D. Stanford University Law School
Former Lecturer in Anglo-American Law, FFA, Trier Law School
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