🏷  Greek Latin Semitic pun · symbol   —   by Gerry · Jan 2021 · 1927 words

Horns were a very prominent symbol in the ancient world, and they also seem to be a preferred spook symbol. It’s hard to pin down the exact joke though, because it’s not clear which language the horn puns originated in. Since the word horn is similar in many languages, I list several possible puns here. The most promising are Greek hypso-keratos punning with hypo-krites for “pretender” & “hypocrite”, and Semitic qeren punning with akharon for “other” & “another”.

Horn puns in a nutshell

The horn occurs very often in spooky symbolism, yet I am not fully sure what it’s supposed to pun with. The best possible puns are Greek, though there are also possible Semitic ones. I list those puns here that I find most plausible. As usual with mostly context-less symbolism, many cannot be confirmed, so I may have missed some important ones.

Greek horn puns

The horn puns that work best are Greek. Greek for “horn” is κερας keras. Greek language has so many words starting with kr, it’s even impossible to list them all here. I’ll concentrate on the most spooky ones.

Greek hypo-krites for “pretender”

To make this pun work, you have to add the prefix hypo- “under”, or a punny substitute like hypso- “high”. The full term is then hypso-keras or hypso-keratos for “lofty horns”, which puns with hypo-krisis for “enacting” & “pretense”, and with hypo-krites for “staged actor” & “pretender” (English hypocrite).

Since the verb form hypo-krino is N-suffixed, this pun also works with crowns & coronas. This may be the reason why kings & popes are always depicted with these symbols: They’re stage actors & pretenders! It may also explain the Coronavirus hoax.

Greek hypo-krino = enact, play a part, feign, pretend, deceive, hypocrite

ὑποκρίνω hypokrinō : expound, interpret, explain; speak in dialogue, hence play a part on the stage; play a part, be an actor; play a part, feign, pretend; deceive — Ancient Greek (LSJ.gr)

ὑποκρίνομαι hypokrinomai : to make answer (speak) on the stage, i.e. to personate anyone, play a part; to simulate, feign, pretend — Ancient Greek (LSJ.gr)

ῠ̔ποκρῑ́νομαι hupokrī́nomai : to answer: to interpret; (Attic) to dialogue, to answer on the stage; to play a part, be an actor; (figurative) to feign, to dissemble — Ancient Greek (Wikt)

ῠ̔πόκρῐσῐς hupókrisis : reply, answer; the part of an actor or orator: delivery, delivery, elocution, act; outward show, hypocrisy, pretense — Ancient Greek (Wikt)

ῠ̔ποκρῐτής hupokritḗs : one who answers: interpreter, expounder; stage actor; pretender, dissembler, hypocrite — Ancient Greek (Wikt)

Greek kertomeo for “mockery”

Another possible pun is Greek Greek τα κερατα μου ta kerata mou for “my horns” (and slang for “too much”), with κερτομεω kertomeo for “mocking” & “ridicule”.

Greek, Latin kertomeo = mock, joke; carino = insult

κερτομέω kertomeo : taunt, insult, mock, ridicule; sneer at — Ancient Greek (LSJ.gr)

κερτομεῖν kertomein : mock, jeer at, sneer at — Ancient Greek (LSJ.gr)

κέρτομος kertomos : mocking, delusive; deceptive — Ancient Greek (LSJ.gr)

κερτόμιος kertomios : heart-cutting, stinging, reproachful; mocking, delusive — Ancient Greek (LSJ.gr)

κερτόμησις kertomesis : jeering, mockery — Ancient Greek (LSJ.gr)

κερτομία kertomia : a mockery — Ancient Greek (LSJ.gr)

cārinō : revile, blame; insult — Latin (Wikt)

Greek kyros for “power”

Greek κερας keras for “horn” also puns with Greek κυρος kyros for “power” & “authority”. This is how horns are usually interpreted though, so it wouldn’t be a very “secret” pun.

Greek kyros = power; kara = head

κῦρος kyros : supreme power, authority; concrete, one invested with authority; confirmation, validity — Ancient Greek (LSJ.gr)

κύριος kyrios : of persons, having power or authority over; having authority, supreme; ordained, appointed; legitimate, lawful; lord, master; guardian, trustee — Ancient Greek (LSJ.gr)

κάρα kara : head of men or animals; peak, top — Ancient Greek (LSJ.gr)

Greek keratos as pun with Latin creatus

Another possible pun for the horn as a hoax marker is Greek keras / keratos for “horn” punning with Latin creas / creatus for “created”, i.e. invented. It would be a multi-lingual pun though, as Latin cornu doesn’t match.

Latin creatus = create, created

creātus : created, having been created, made, having been made, produced, having been produced — Latin (Wikt)

creō : give existence to; form out of nihility or out of other materials; create, make, produce, originate — Latin (Wikt)

Semitic horn puns

Semitic horn puns don’t work as well as the Greek ones. Hebrew for “horn” is קרן qeren. The problem here is that Semitic horn puns rely on combinations of prefixes & suffixes which are not listed by the dictionaries, and for which there are often no attestations. It’s also possible that I’ve overlooked more straighforward puns.

Hebrew qrn for “finance”

The Hebrew word קרן qrn means “horn”, but also “financial capital”. The horn may this be used by spooks to mean “finance”. This doesn’t work as a hoax marker though.

Hebrew qrn = power, financial capital

קרן qrn : horn; strength, power, might; glory, pride — Hebrew (Klein)

קרן qrn : fund, capital, principal (in financial meaning) — Hebrew (Klein)

Semitic ˀḥr-n for “other”

The main idea of spookery is that powerful aristocrats feign to be “other” people, especially commoners.

The most spooky Semitic pun for qrn “horn” is thus with ˀḥrn for “other” & “another”.

Semitic ˀḫr, ˀḥr, ˀḥr-n = other, another

אחרן ˀḥrn ochoran : another, one else, other, someone else — Aramaic (Strong)

אחרון ˀḥrwn ˀakharón : last (final) — Hebrew (Wikt)

אחרון ˀḥrwn acharón : one of the Acharonim, modern sages of Jewish law — Hebrew (Wikt)

חרן ḥrn : ˀwḥrn: other — Aramaic (CAL)

אוחרן ˀwḥrn : other; different from — Aramaic (CAL)

אחרני ˀḥrny : different; distinctly different; in compounds: characterizing otherness — Aramaic (CAL)

אחרנאית ˀḥrnˀyt : otherwise; otherwise, differently — Aramaic (CAL)

אחרניו ; אחרניותא ˀḥrnyw ; ˀḥrnywtˀ : otherness — Aramaic (CAL)

آخَرُون ˀḫrwn ˀāḵarūn : masculine plural of آخَر‎ (ˀāḵar) — Arabic (Wikt)

آخَر ˀḫr ˀāḵar : another, one more, other — Arabic (Wikt)

And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.

wˀn ˀnttˀ tšrˀ bˁlh wthwˀ lˀḥrnˀ gyrˀ

ܘܶܐܢ ܐܰܢ݈ܬ݁ܬ݂ܳܐ ܬ݁ܶܫܪܶܐ ܒ݁ܰܥܠܳܗ ܘܬ݂ܶܗܘܶܐ ܠܰܐ݈ܚܪܺܢܳܐ ܓ݁ܳܝܪܳܐ

Peshitta Mark 10:12

Job 31:10 as origin of “horned”

As for adultery with “another”, there’s even one curious occurrence in the Hebrew Old Testament, in Job 31:10. Here, Job describes how his wife may get another man after his death: “She’s grinding for another, and others bow down on her.” However, both verbs in the verse are ambiguous and can be read sexually. Also, 3 words in the verse are made to pun with “horn”.

The first joke is a direct, smutty one, half-admitted:

But there’s another figurative joke with horns:

While this isn’t directly related to spookery, it proves that the elites inserted secret jokes into the Bible, and confirms the pun of “horn” with “other”. And elites feigning to be “other” people is what makes them spooks!

Then let grind unto another [≈ horn] my wife, and upon her let bow down [≈ horn] others [≈ horn].

tṭḥn lˀḥr ˀšty wˁlyh ykrˁwn ˀḥryn

תטחן לאחר אשתי ועליה יכרעון אחרין

Job 31:10

Hebrew ṭḥn = grind, intercourse; krˁ = bow down; ˁl = upon, because

טחן ṭḥn : to mill, grind; to have sexual intercourse; to force; to cause to grind — Hebrew (Jastrow)

כרע krˁ : bowing down; pressing down — Aramaic (CAL)

על ˁl : upon, above, over; on account; on behalf; because of — Old Hebrew (Strong)

Semitic k-ˀrˁ-n for “like it’s happening”

Most spook hoaxes have nothing behind them, i.e. the subjects are to believe that something is happening, while in reality nothing is happening.

A possible Semitic horn pun may thus be the phrase כארעון k-ˀrˁwn ki-eraon, which means “like it’s happening”. This would imply that “it” is not really happening.

The problem with this pun is that the K-prefixed grammar of this word is rare, and usually means “in the event of”. So unless I find some better matching attestations, I’d rather go with the “another” meaning, which can even be confirmed through Job, or with the Greek horn puns.

Hebrew k-ˀrˁwn = like happening, like an event

כ־ k- : the likeness of, the like of; like, as; about, approximately — Hebrew (Klein)

אירעון ˀyrˁwn : event, meeting; event, meeting — Aramaic (CAL)

ארעון ˀrˁwn : happening — Hebrew (Klein)

🏷  Greek Latin Semitic pun · symbol