🏷  Semitic pun spook law · name   —   by Gerry · Jan 2022 · 271 words

The name Talmud of the Jewish religious law compendium is derived from תלמוד t-lmwd “teaching”. However, as with all famous ancient texts, the book is likely pun-encrypted, with even the title being a pun. I suspect the Talmud is supposed to pun with Aramaic טלםות ṭlm-wt, which would mean “deception”.

The Aramaic word root טלם ṭlm generally means “wrongdoing”, with the derived meanings “oppressing” and “deceiving”. The latter is probably the one meant by the spooks. To make this word similar to Talmud, one can simply slap on the Hebrew abstract noun suffix ־ות -wt. It has no meaning, but would change the word form to a noun, i.e. “deception”. This word טלםות ṭlm-wt is not attested though, likely because it has always been avoided. However, Aramaic forms like טלומותא ṭlwmwtˀ talomuta or טלימותא ṭlymwtˀ talimuta do exist.

The Talmud without the Gemara commentary is called Mishnah, which puns with “disguise”.

Note: For the root טלם ṭlm, there is a related Aramaic form זלם zlm meaning “perversion”. The root also appears in Arabic as ظلم ẓlm ẓalama meaning “oppression”.

Aramaic ṭlm = oppress, defraud, cheat, deceive; -wt = (abstract noun suffix)

טלם ṭlm : to injure, oppress; to injure; to calumniate; to spurn; to defraud; to renege on; to deceive; to refuse; to deny — Aramaic (CAL)

טלם ṭlm : to oppress; to cheat, to deceive; to reject, to refuse — Aramaic (Wikt)

טלם ṭlm : to bend, press; to take undue advantage of, to oppress — Hebrew (Jastrow)

טלומותא ṭlwmwtˀ : unjust behavior; calumny, perfidy; ingratitude; oppression; iniquity — Aramaic (CAL)

טלימותא ṭlymwtˀ : injury; injustice, false accusation; violation — Aramaic (CAL)

־ות -wt : suffix forming abstract nouns — Hebrew (Klein)

🏷  Semitic pun spook law · name