Evil eye

🏷  Semitic pun spook enemy · symbol   —   by Gerry · Jul 2020 · 710 words

The term evil eye, written עין הרע ˁyn h-rˁ describes a dangerous magic glance. For the spooks, it may be a pun with עין הרעי ˁyn h-rˁy for the “eyes of one’s subjects”, which they fear and seek to deceive at all costs. Complementary puns may be אין הרא ˀyn hrˀ for “no [false] appearance” and “investigated evidence”, which are the worst things that can happen to one of those corrupt aristocrats.

In Hebrew, “evil eye” is written עין הרע ˁyn hrˁ. Except for N and R, the term contains only weak vowel-type letters, so many “fuzzy” puns are possible.

There is some confirmation by looking at the magical thingies that are supposed to ward off the evil eye. All these remedies pun with “veil” & “mask”, or even “hidden ruler”. The spook message is clear: If a leader “veils” & “masks” himself, he will ward off his pesky subjects from “looking” at his true corrupt & weak “appearance” — or worse, “looking” at “evidence” of his misdeeds.

Hebrew ˁyn, ˀyn = eye, looking, investigate; ˀyn = no, not, none, null

עין ˁyn : eye, sight, look — Hebrew (Jastrow)

עין ˁyn : to look at, watch over carefully; to be on guard; to see clearly; to study, to examine; to investigate — Aramaic (CAL)

עון ˁwn : to be round, curved; to look in, read; to look carefully; to search, investigate; to speculate, contemplate — Hebrew (Jastrow)

אין ˀyn : to look upon, investigate — Hebrew (Jastrow)

אין ˀyn : nothing, not — Hebrew (Jastrow)

אין ˀyn : to negate, deny, nullify; negated, denied; annihilated — Hebrew (Klein)

אין ˀyn : nothing, naught, non-existence — Hebrew (Klein)

Hebrew, Arabic = evil, flock, subjects; = see, appearance, shown, proof, evidence

רעה rˁh : evil — Hebrew (Jastrow)

רעי rˁy : flock; pasture; pastured flock — Aramaic (CAL)

رَعِيَّة rˁyʰ raˁiyya : herd, flock; subjects (of a ruler), the ruled; subject (of a ruler); (Christianity) parish — Arabic (Wikt)

ראה rˀh : to see; he saw; he looked at, beheld; he perceived — Hebrew (Klein)

הראה hrˀh : he caused to see, caused to look at, showed; he was caused to see, was shown; it was shown, was exhibited — Hebrew (Klein)

ראי rˀy : seeing, sight; appearance, figure — Hebrew (Klein)

ראיה rˀyh : evidence, proof — Hebrew (Jastrow)

ראיה rˀyh : proof, evidence — Hebrew (Wikt)

🏷  Semitic pun spook enemy · symbol