Plowing through History from the Aleph to the Tav

Topics Ancient Hebrew Alphabet


By Jeff A. Benner


Pictograph: Foot
Meanings: Gather, Walk
Sound: G

History & Reconstruction

The earliest known pictograph for this letter is and is a picture of a foot. The Modern Hebrew name for this letter is gimel," an adopted root. The original name to this letter is most likely gam, the parent root of gimel. This letter is the origin of the Arabic letter Geem and the Greek gamma supporting the theory that the original name for the letter did not include the "L."

The word gam means to gather together as a group of animals gathering at the water hole to drink. The pictographic script for the word gam is . The is the foot representing "walk" and the is "water" (See the letter mem). When combined these letters mean "walk to the water."

The letter has the meanings of walk, carry or gather. The sound associated with this letter is a "g" as in "go."

The Early Semitic became in the Middle Semitic script. This letter further developed to in the Late Semitic script. The Late Semitic script further developed into the Modern Hebrew ג).

The Middle Semitic script became the Greek Γ (a reversal of the letter due to direction of writing) as well as the Roman C and G. The Late Semitic became the number 3.

Semitic Script Charts

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