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Semitic etymology :

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Number: 2339
Proto-Semitic: *ʕakbar-
Meaning: mouse, jerboa
Akkadian: akbaru (akkabaru) 'jerboa' OB on [CAD a1 265], [AHw. 28]. // In OB as PN only (also the fem. form. akbartum). More details on later occurrences v. in [Landsberger Fauna 109], [Salonen Jagd 237]. According to Landsberger and von Soden, the NA proper name written a-ga-bu-ru points to a variant agbaru comparable to Syr. ʔagbǝrā (v. below).
Hebrew: ʕakbār 'mouse' [KB 823], pB. [Ja. 1078]. // Unclean according to Lv 11.29 (between ḥōläd 'mole' and ṣāb 'lizard') but eatable (Is 66.17: ʔōkǝlē bǝŝar ...hāʕakbār).
Judaic Aramaic: ʕakbār (ʕakbǝrā) 'mouse' [Ja. 1078], [Levy WT II 215], [Levy WTM III 645], ʕkbr (det. ʕkbrh, ʕwkbrh) 'mouse' [Sok. 406], ʕkbrh 'she-mouse' [Sok. 406]. // Sam. ʕkbr 'mouse' [Tal 634]. // Chr.-Pal. ʕwkbr 'mouse (an ornament)' [CCPA I 280].
Arabic: ʕakābir- 'mares murum, quibus yarbūʕ- nomen est' [Fr. III 199], [TA XIII 122], [Q II 95] (the sing. form ʕikbār- is found in [Hommel 338], [GD 2315]).
Notes: Cf. several terms with semantic shifts and/or phonetic deviations: // 1. Tgr. ʕekrib 'badger' [LH 476] (metathesis). // 2. Akk. arkabu, irkabu 'kind of bat' (metathesis). The present phonetic shape of the term as well as its meaning were convincingly established in a special study [Civil Bat] (contrast 'a bird' in [CAD i 177], 'Taube' in [AHw. 67]; note that the translation 'bat' is present in some earlier studies, e.g. [Landsberger Fauna 97], [Biggs 25]). According to Civil, forms with -k- are common in the earliest lexical lists while the unique variant with -g- is clearly innovative (so that comparison to Gez. rǝgb 'dove' underlying the tranlation of [AHw.] is hardly tenable). Civil was able to establish the reading ARKAB or IRKAB for the Sum. correspondence of a. (GAR.IBmušen). One wonders whether this is an early borrowing from the present Sem. root. // 3. Syr. ʕuḳbǝrā, ʕuḳbartā 'mus' [Brock. 542], [PS 2962] (secondary emphatization of -k-). // 4. Common MSA *ʕarḳīb- (sharing the irregularities listed above under 2 and 3): Mhr. ʔārḳáyb 'mouse; rat' [JM 28], Hrs. ʔarḳáyb, ʔarḳōb 'mouse' [JH 10], Jib. ʕarḳéb 'rat' [JJ 15]. On the contamination of this root with PS *ʕarḳūb- 'Achilles' tendon' see [SED I 23]. // 5. Syr. ʔagbǝrā 'mus' [Brock. 542], [PS 22] (with ʔ- instead of ʕ- and -g- instead of -k-). // In [DM 10] and [KB 823] Mnd. aubra, ʕubra 'mouse, porcupine' is compared to the present root (phonetically difficult, cf. rather Arb. wabr- 'petit quadrupède sans queue, au poil gris, et qui vit dans les maisons' [BK 2 1476], [Fr. IV 429], [LA V 272]). // [Fron. 296]: *ʔakbar- 'topo' (Syr. /ʕuḳbǝrā/, Hbr., Akk.); [KB 823]: Hbr., Arm. (Syr. ʕagbǝrā mistakenly for ʔagbǝrā), Arb. (Dat_. erroneusly quoted as Mhr.), Akk.; [Brock. 542]: Syr., Arm., Hbr., Arb.; [GD 2315]: Arb., Hbr., Jib.; [Firmage 1154]: Akk., Hbr., Arm.

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