🏷  Greek Latin Semitic pun · name   —   by Gerry · Sep 2020 · 255 words

The name Columbus, borne by the purported discoverer of America Christopher Columbus, plus variants like Coulomb, seem to be a pun with Latin collybista / Greek kollubistes for “money-changer” & “banker”. The word root seems derived from Semitic חלף ḥlp for “exchange”, found in the title caliph. It’s probably meant as a double-pun for banking & disguising. The name Columbus also puns with “colony”, which was what the whole project was about. The Latin word columbus means “dove”, which makes for good punny symbolism.

Latin, Greek collybista, kollubistes = exchage, coin, money-changer, banker

collybista : money-changer, banker; From Ancient Greek κολλυβιστής (kollubistḗs, “money-changer”), from Ancient Greek κόλλυβος (kóllubos, “a small coin”) — Latin (Wikt)

κολλυβιστής kollubistes : rate of exchange, premium; a money-changer, banker — Ancient Greek (

κόλλυβος kollubos : small money, small gold weight; rate of exchange; Etymology: Semitic, cf. Hebr. ḥālap exchange — Ancient Greek (

קלבון qlbwn : agio, surcharge; Greek kollybos, also kollybon (= coin; orig. ‘change’), which stands for chollyphos and derives from Heb. חָלַף (= he changed; see חלף). Accordingly קָלֽבּוֹן has been reborrowed from Greek kollybon. — Hebrew (Klein)

Semitic ḥlp = exchange

חלף ḥlp : to pass on, pass away, change; changed, exchanged, bartered; Aram. (also BAram.) חֲלַף (= passed on, passed by, changed), Syr. חֲלַף (= he exchanged, substituted), Aram.-Syr. חֲלָף (= instead of, for), SArab. חלף (= territory, province), Arab. ḫalafa (= he came after, succeeded), ḫalfa (= behind). — Hebrew (Klein)

חליף ḥlyp : on behalf of, as exchange for — Aramaic (CAL)

חליפה ḥlyph : substitute; successor; change; change of clothes; requital; in place of — Aramaic (CAL)

🏷  Greek Latin Semitic pun · name