Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Me And My Cosmic Secrets

איצטגנינות
astrology!


I remember when I was in high school wondering why the Hebrew word for "astrology" was itztagninut and not something expected like asterologya. I discovered a possible reason why a week or few ago, when my hhevruta (study partner) and I encountered the word איצטגניני "astrologers" in our study of masekhet Sanhedrin, and I pulled out the Steinsaltz to see if he has one of his very interesting and illuminating (at least if you're a linguist like me) comments on etymology.

R' ‘Adin Even-Yisra’eil Steinsaltz explains that the origin of the word itztaginut (or istagninut) in its various forms is unclear, but some see it as a borrowing of a Greek word meaning "hidden" or "concealed", which I happen to know comes from a root meaning basically "cover" or "roof" (and which is distantly cognate to the English word thatch) —

σ τ ε γ ά ν ο ς
s t e g á n o s


«coughcough»

I'm a poor student... how asur do you think it actually would be to make some extra cash working for Miss Cleo? ;-)

7 Comments:

Blogger The back of the hill said...

Say, didn't we have a discussion about steg/steig/steeg/staag already?

;-D

Just make sure your eighthundred number for soothingends in 7834.

11/29/2007 9:46 PM  
Blogger Ha-historion said...

I though Cleo was sued out of business..

11/30/2007 1:21 AM  
Blogger Lipman said...

Are you sure you want to fool the overcredulous out of their money and turn into a steg-anus?

11/30/2007 7:53 AM  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

the back of the hill:

actually, i was hoping for 867-5309 :-P

ha-historion:

she knew dat woz comin', mon...

lipman:

ouch!

11/30/2007 8:52 AM  
Blogger Jack's Shack said...

Let me know if you ever get that job with Ms. Cleo. I'd be curious to follow your progress. ;)

12/05/2007 10:46 AM  
Blogger thanbo said...

And then there's Steganography.

12/09/2007 10:06 PM  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

Jack:

no problem, i'll be sure to keep you informed ;-)

Thanbo:

ah yes, i forgot about that one. thanks for the reminder!

12/09/2007 11:29 PM  

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