🏷  Semitic pun spook law · symbol   —   by Gerry · Sep 2020 · 562 words

The invention & proliferation of wine was central to naval expansion & trade. It was both a trade good and a central part of the mariner’s diet. However, the symbolic power of wine again stems from a spooky pun: Arabic خمر ḫmr means “wine”, but also “veil”. And “veiling” the aristocracy’s true ultra-corrupt nature is the one central concept of spookery.

Some of the few intact Phoenician gravestones feature grapes, as do many Roman graves. I could never figure out the pun though, until I found that the Arabic word for “wine” is different from the standard Hebrew / Aramaic / Phoenician one: In Arabic, the most common word for “wine”& “alcohol” is خمر ḫmr khamr. And that is very similar to خمار ḫmˀr khimar, a very common word for “veil”.

The words are likely related: The basic common meaning of the word root is “covering to keep something warm and fermenting”. From that you get the 2 meanings “wine” & “veil”.

Both words also exist in Hebrew & Aramaic, they’re just somewhat rare, and spelled differently (see below). But the Phoenician spook overlords must have known both words & meanings, since their Semitic-speaking bureaucracies covered the entire Fertile Crescent, and many regions beyond.

That may also be the reason why only Islam forbids the consumption of alcohol, while Judaism merely forbids the consumption of blood: Arabic ḫmr for “wine” puns with ḫmr for “veil”. Hebrew dm for “blood” puns with dmh for “disguise”. ˀkl for “consumption” puns with glh for “revealing”, so both laws mean the same thing: Spooks mustn’t reveal a veil or disguise! But since ḫmr for “wine” is rare in Hebrew, and dmh for “disguise” is rare in Arabic, the spook overlords apparently figured it was easier to use different puns for their religions in different languages. That’s either because spooklings who didn’t speak foreign dialects couldn’t have easily memorized them. Or because otherwise they couldn’t have made their subjects to unwittingly sermonize spook law for them.

Needless to say, there’s nothing wrong with not drinking wine, or with drinking wine.

Arabic, Hebrew ḫmr, ḥmr = wine

خَمْر ḫmr ḵamr : wine; any alcoholic beverage, liquor, spirits — Arabic (Wikt)

חמר ḥmr : wine — Hebrew (Jastrow)

Arabic, Hebrew ḫmr, ḥmr, kmr = hiding, covering, veil

خِمَار ḫmˀr ḵimār : veil, cover of women — Arabic (Wikt)

خمار ḫmˀr khimar : a woman’s veil or head-dress — Arabic (Catafago)

تخامر tḫmr takhammur : veiling one’s self; wearing a veil — Arabic (Catafago)

تَخَامَرَ tḫˀmr taḵāmara : to conspire, to plot, to collude, to scheme — Arabic (Wikt)

تَخَمَّرَ tḫmr taḵammara : to veil the head and face; to ferment, to rise (of dough) — Arabic (Wikt)

خَمَرَ ḫmr ḵamara : to cover, to hide, to conceal; to brew to ferment, to leaven, to cause to rise chemically — Arabic (Wikt)

חמר ḥmr : to cover with asphalt — Hebrew (Klein)

כמר kmr : to pile on, do again; to cover something to keep it hot; to hide, keep safe; to do something again and again; to be turned around; to be returned; to have compassion — Aramaic (CAL)

כמר kmr : to hide, keep warm; to shrink, be wrinkled; to feel compassion — Hebrew (Jastrow)

🏷  Semitic pun spook law · symbol