Hi! I don’t know if you already know this and you did it on purpose or something, but I’m from Israel and I speak Hebrew as my first language, and I wanted to let you know that in Hebrew komer/kmarim is specifically only a priest of the christian church, and a priest for every other religion is cohen (male), cohenet (female) and cohanim (plural). If you already know this and did it on purpose it’s fine, but it kind of bothered me because it’s really inaccurate… thank you so much for everything, your writing is really helping me through this tough times!Lail
Having consulted a rabbi, it is actually accurate. Komer/kmarim, or komrim if you are influenced by Aramaic, originates as a word meaning priest of non-Jewish faith. Here are some sources to back it up.
From what we have seen so far, kohen can refer to any sort of priest (whether in service of the One G-d or not), while komer refers specifically to idolatrous priests. (Interestingly, a letter from the Elephantine Papyri distinguishes between Jewish priests who are called kohanim, and Egyptian priests who are called komrim.)https://ohr.edu/8659
Indeed, the word komer also appears in the Bible and suggests this very meaning: the Bible reports that when King Josiah cleaned up his predecessor’s idolatry, he “fired” all the komrim from their idolatrous positions, helped them repent and decreed that all the kohanim (i.e. descendants of Aharon) who had been previously been komrim for idolatry were banned from serving in the Temple in Jerusalem (II Kgs. 23:5-9, with Radak).
This word predates Christianity.
Yosef implemented a flat tax on the Egyptians and exempted the Komrim – the Priests. The reason for this exemption was because when Yosef’s master’s wife accused him of molesting her, the Komrim investigated and concluded that Yosef was clear of any wrongdoing. Thus they spared Yosef from death. Yosef never forgot their impartiality and honesty, and many years later, he repaid them by exempting them from tax.http://www.jhconnection.com/book_archives/jhcsitedoc_196.htm
However, in modern times, where priests of other religions have become a bit more scarce, it has gained association with Christianity. Komrim/kmarim came to signify Christian priests and galokhim became associated with monks of eastern religions, although Yiddish dictionary translates both as non-Jewish priest.*
*Gentile New York by Gil Ribak
This is one of those cases where we are right, but it’s not worth it to explain it to every single well-meaning person trying to correct it. We would be swimming against the current of the modern usage. I foresee a flood of emails over komrim/kmarim spelling and another advising us that these are Christian priests.
It’s like trying to tell a Russian that bogatyr is not a Russian word. It’s not. It comes from Mongolian baghatur meaning “hero.” Thanks, Genghis Khan. The outrage will flow and no amount of historical Google linking to Mongolian sources will convince them otherwise.
We will likely switch to a made up word. It’s easier that way. Making stuff up is always easier than researching it, and while this was a very fitting nod to the historical roots and conflict of Judaism with Moloch worship, it will have to go.
UPDATE: Do not be mean to Hebrew speakers! They are trying to help and save us from embarrassment later. Their help is very much appreciated.
Natasha Johnson says
That was very enlightening. I love that y’all do the research and back it up with facts.
I know why y’all are going to change the word but I wish y’all wouldn’t because of all the time y’all spent on researching it, but it is y’all’s choice and it will be respected.
Thank y’all for all y’all do and the joy y’all’s books bring.
That’s just the cost of doing business. Sometimes you research for two days so you can write a paragraph and then you cut it.
Bill G says
After several (sorrowful) readings, I recalled that I’ve long since stopped worrying that a clip is not a magazine. That argument is long lost; the words are interchangeable to most folks.
I love how much historical content you put into your stories. I have gone online to research these characters to learn more, and I would have a not had that opportunity for learning if you had not introduced it to me through the KD series. I hope you decide to keep it, and continue to do so as reading your novels is such a learning opportunity into ancient empires.
Ouch, but knowledge gained is always good for trivia night. 😎
Oops, sorry about that.
Wow, and this after you specifically explained it all in the comments.
What are you shaking your head about? The person who wrote the letter was correct. A rabbi is a great source for information about Judaism but not necessarily about Hebrew language usage. Most of the rabbis you encounter in this country have not lived in Israel nor do they speak Hebrew fluently.
There’s no need to be defensive on the authors’ behalf. The person who wrote the letter was respectful in asking their question.
Maybe Mark Moloch and the funky bunch?
Dating yourself a bit there. 🙂
How about The Molochs (influenced by The Monkees – that’s even older).
Okay, Now I have the Monkees Theme song stuck in my head! ????
Hey, Hey We’re the Monkees!!!
Chris P says
I’ve got a mental video with several people walking, arms over shoulders, and legs swinging to either side in unison.
I feel the need to force my early-20s children to walk with me like this under the guise of “cultural enrichment”. LOL
OMG. I am so old. I had to look this reference up because Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch came along AFTER my time. 0_o
Bill G says
Ayuh; I watched “The Monkees” back when and missed Marky Mark when he came along. Although I couldn’t help but be exposed to “Good Vibrations.”
But it’s funny for those of us who get it 😉
OMG, I would love to hear Julie call him that. The disrespect.
And I can totally see her saying that
I nearly spit my apple when I lol’ed at Mac’s reply! ???? Yes, absolutely Julie should call him Priesty McPriestface.
Evil Jenny says
Okay, so I went though this whole little thread and went from “Dating yourself sounds dangerous” to “I got that reference” to feeling both old and young at the same time (for getting all references). I am now sitting here giggling while I listen to medieval covers of pop songs and get stared at by everyone around me like I am crazy.
Love it, thanks all. 😀
Can’t remember a word of their music but I surely do remember their excellent videos and outfits- possibly because their shirts seemed to be missing, poor chaps …… 🙂
That said I wouldn’t recognise any of the Monkeyes these days but I sadly remember the music- and now its my new ear worm!
Thanks for showcasing the research that goes on behind the scenes. As a rsearcher myself, I know too well the pitfalls of trying to correct common usage vs historical accuracy. Language is constantly evolving but it’s still frustrating to be right but deemed wrong. Sometimes it is easier to go with the flow and be thankful for footnotes!
argggh- horrendous typing/spelling- sorry- too rushed trying to type before doing work emails!
It would be terrible to be a New Kid on Moloch’s Block.
(yes, I know it’s terrible)
“Young girls scream and old gods mock.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmOdwjCUuvw
So interesting! Thanks
Ok that posted in an odd spot. The previous posts are funny. Thanks for the chuckle, too.
Love this! Thanks for sharing that song.
Hahahahahahahaha, ok I am old but, hahahahahaha
truly terrible but did make me snort my cuppa tea 🙂
Good vibrations is always good fun!
And this is one of the many reasons House Andrew’s is amazing. Thank you for all the time, effort and energy.
Priesty McPriestface… don’t mind me, it’s my first day of vacation. Keep up the awesomeness, you’re the best!
I just snorted tea out my nose. Also first day of staycation her. Enjoy!
This made me snort laugh. Priesty McPriest Face for the win! ????????????
+1 for Priesty Mcpriestface
~+100000 for Priesty Mcpriestface!
I love the humour both from Ilona and Gordon, but also from the BDH! Only 36 days til Emerald Blaze!!!
Language evolves, so either side of this argument has a point.
But I do agree that it might just be less stress on you to concede this one. I do love that you take the time to make words in your world meaningful with relevant historical backgrounds.
This was a nice bit of insight into the way you research.
I think some chocolate is well deserved 🙂
Speaking of chocolate. Has anyone tried the “Nestle Artisan collection premium baking chips made with single origin chocolate from Ghana”? Black package with blue green floral for semisweet and pink floral for dark chocolate. The semisweet is 48% cacao. My point is I stopped buying chocolate candy because one is never enough and now have a tablespoon of these chips and am satisfied and only 70 calories. A 12oz bag at Aldi is less than $3! Just thought I’d pass that on to all the chocolate lovers out there.
Nancy Weaver says
Better stock up. This nice chocolate was found tucked away on the discontinued shelf at a local grocery for $1.99.
Why can’t we have nice things? Why do they always end up discontinued or on the clearance shelf? Why can’t I find Post Grapenut flakes at my grocery store anymore?
Thanks for the history lesson! I agree, chocolate is needed.
Since we’re picking at nits, Chinggis Khaan was a title. The man’s name was Temujin.
Fun fact: the man was a randy old goat. Something like 75% of the people in Ulaanbataar have his DNA.
A “fact” is floating around in my brain that 1 in 7 European males can trace their Y chromosome back to that guy…? It sounds unlikely, to be honest, so it might be one of those things that “people know” that is actually completely fake XD
I‘ve heard Charlamagne. But I just looked it up and apparently pretty much all Europeans can trace back to the same ancestors, including to Charlamagne.
Rape is a tool of war. What better way to break the spirit of women and their menfolk at the same time?
Me, screening comments and deleting them in my inbox after I make sure they are not breaking the rules and can remain on the blog:
Hebrew linguistics, delete,
Hebrew linguistics, delete,
Russian linguistics, delete,
Persian linguistics, delete,
Rape, delete…. WAIT A MINUTE, WHAT?
The things you guys go through. I’m not sure I would be sane at this point. I hope we don’t make you spent a lot of time analyzing your navel. I hope we occasionally make you laugh. But right now I got nothing….
Just wanted to say I appreciate what you go through. Feel free to delete as needed. You both have god power in the world you create.
Sounds like all of Sons of Solomon. Solomon had 300 concubines and many wives. One of his sons is supposedly an ancestor of mine according to the tribal records.
For some reason, I don’t think he spread his seed that far 😉 I mean to conquer 75% of all the beds means he would have no time to conquer more lands.
I hope you don’t change it. It was really inspiring to see how much hard work you put in it. ????Thank you.????
At the end it’s your choice
Valentina Brudasca says
+ 1. I agree. I like it and it seems fitting. You guys are the authorlords and in my opinion the awesomest, so you should be able to use the term you wish. I don’t like people complaining about every little thing. Your stories are in a dystopian future era where terms of old are used in old ways or new ways.
Hi, I’m from Mars but in our non english language our king’s name of $%@^^%@ phonetically sounded out in english is C L O W N, please refrain from having clowns in any of your books.
We have never had clowns in our books. Sir, there are limits. We don;t write horror.
Jamie Hukill says
Amy R says
J. M. says
Thanks for this and thanks to everyone here who almost made me spit my Coke onto my keyboard. I guess it’s not the worst thing in the world to have the Monkees theme song in my head…
How about kehgliajn (s) (pronounced kek gLee argh gin) and kehgliaj (p).
Always wanted to try making up a word.
As my daughter regularly informs me, all words are made up. #ouch
She’s got a point though xp
Julie Richardson says
Words are just a social construct, Mom. I hear it too!
Wasn’t that what Thor says in Infinity Way?
That’s a lot harder to read fluidly
That’s so interesting about Russian bogatyr and Mongolian baghatur. In Hindi, bahadur means ‘hero’ too and the Urdu bahadar also has the same meaning. My native Tamil does not have this word, I wonder if the root word is Persian or Middle Mongol?
it’s definitely used in Persian languages – Bahadur is a male name meaning hero in Tajik.
Katharine Alexander says
I got an art history minor in college and learned so many interesting things! One thing wasthe flow of huge amount of ideas and language and aesthetics goes
Persia-> India-> Asia/China -> outwards
It’s fascinating seeing how the same word with the same meaning and even iconography slight changes (and yet is unmistakably the same) with each new reiteration and location.
Colleen Whitley says
Same: took a course on etymology. Fascinating info that has helped anytime I have run across an unfamiliar word.
Silk road > Mongolia > Outwards
Bahadur sounds like something out of Tolkien 🙂
Patricia Sparrazza says
Now you know where Tolkien came up w/ Baradur…
In Hindi bahadur means brave. He doesn’t have to be “hero” or a “he”.
Russian probably has more Persian words. A Russian girl called a bowl a Pyala/piala and it was funny that in Hindi too it mans the same. And I suspect the origin was Persian or some other third country anyway.
piola is also Uzbek and Tajik for the little Tea bowls.
Why accommodate complainers? If they can’t accept the rational explanation, that’s on them.
I’ll just stop right there.
Because they are not wrong and because we don’t feel like seeing this pop up in every review, being accused of not having done our research, and being sent fussy emails. 🙂
Makes sense. You shouldn’t have to repeatedly justify yourself to readers! Still, it does seem a shame to waste solid research. And I agree with those who’ve said they like real words better than made up words, when used correctly. (Though if you go with a made up word I will not be complaining. I support an author’s right to write a book as he/she/they see fit.)
I wonder if you couldn’t just put in an Author’s Note, either at the beginning or end of the book, giving the info as you did in this post? I’m sure other readers would find it interesting too.
Really enjoying Julie’s story. Sooo glad you decided to give us new stories in this world. 🙂
Oh… now I’m envisioning a short section at the back with Research Notes.
Authors notes at the end of the book on some of the ancient history the KD world references would be fantastic. I’m always falling into a wiki hole when reading your books!
+1 I would pay money for that book!
That sounds like an awful amount of work, but I have enjoyed that sections of books that have it. Then there are the books that come out years later either by the original authors or the actual or literary descendants with all the details of “The World of ABC”.
Thanks for the detailed insight.
Then librarians/catalogers have to decide whether its a work of fiction about a work of fiction or a work of non-fiction about a work of fiction and itsn’t it about time to go on a non-alcoholic cocktail break?
For every polite email you show us, there are three you don’t. 35 rude ones. 700 people who thought the same thing, but didn’t mention it to you at all?
Thank you for braving the fans to bring the fans goodies!
Another one of my favorite templates:
Fan: You and Author X are my very favorites!
Unsaid: Author X is childish drivel. This intended compliment somehow made me feel worse about my work.
Bill W says
I appreciate your attitude. So often people (myself included) say ” I’m right, you’re wrong. Go screw yourself. ” When that happens, any chance for learning from one another vanishes. Thank you for an example of a different way to respond.
I’d love an author’s note, if you think that would head off the issue. I really enjoy hearing about the thinking processes behind books. Presumably the people who correct you are also the kind to read author’s notes, presumption being arguably safer than assumption. And it’s not like you’re forcing anyone to read it if they’d rather dive in the deep end.
I like author notes, but sometimes they are harder with digital books than when you have a physical book in front of you.
I do wish more books had references because being able to search a meaning is nice. I do occasionally use translate on unknown words or look up the wiki.
She was just pointing it out from her background. They had said that if you know about something you can speak up. Ilona did her due diligence and checked. That is what makes her writing so extraordinary. They want to get it write????
Wise decision.???????? Life is too short to be stuck on trivialities. ????????
Also, thank you for writing, creating, sharing during this pandemic. ????????????????????
Culture & language are so fascinating! I had a notable Russian population in my tiny town due to a church that sponsored their immigration for religious sanctuary and it was wild hearing Ukrainians getting into fights in the hallways with Russians shouting that (as Ukrainians) they were NOT Russian, but OTHER Ukrainians would angrily demand “it’s our Russia too!” All kids born around the dissolution of the USSR. I didn’t understand it until I studied Eastern European history in college which lead me down a similar rabbit hole with religious texts. Thank you for kindly explaining to this person. House Andrews team consistently demonstrates such impressive knowledge and world building!
That’s interesting! I have a friend whose family leans towards the opposite view. They want no part of Russia. According to them, Ukraine is separate and independent from Russia, their language is different and distinct. They say they are a different people, with a connected but different history than Russia.
Hi! So I’m the person who originally sent this message, and just a few thing! First,in one of the sources they say that in the story of Yosef the priests are referred to as “kmarim” is just wrong, I looked this part up in the book of Bereshit, chapter 47 pasuk 22 (מ״ז כ״ב if anyone here has a bible in Hebrew and wants to check) And the word there is definitely “cohanim”, it appears several times. Second is, you are right. The Bible was written in parts over a long period of time and has a million interruptions, so I definitely can’t say this word never had other meanings, but I *can* say that in modern Hebrew, kmarim refers to christian priests, and since most people who speak Hebrew these days speak at least a version of modern Hebrew, I will probably not be the only person who gets confused by it. Anyway, thanks for researching so thoroughly, and thanks for reading and replying to my message!
I am only chiming in to say if you have not read the book “Whose Bible Is It?” It is a fascinating read that talks about this in detail!
Interesting. Seeing Erra came from millennia ago, wouldn’t she use, and therefore teach to Julie, the ancient words? From this point of view House Andrews was correct in going for the earlier usage. However, as great writers their main interest is communication and so it is good to see them learning from comments like yours and choosing a solution that won’t make people pause in their reading to question a word.
trailing wife says
Half-Israeli here, Lail — the other half American. 😉 Question: In English we talk about Catholic and Orthodox Christian priests, but Protestants have ministers. Is there a general term in modern Hebrew for Muslim mullahs and imams, Hindu priests, and Protestant ministers, or are they tossed in as kmarim, too?
Many thanks for prompting an interesting discussion about modern vs Biblical Hebrew.
Anglican and Episcopalian ministers are known as priests as well.
Bill W says
In 1 Peter 2:9 all believers are described as a ” a royal priesthood”. The duties of any priest in any religion is to serve his god in devotion and as instructed.
In the UK, Anglican ministers are known by their roles/titles, eg vicar, deacon, bishop etc, but never as a priest. At least in the churches I’ve been to.
The usage “priest’ suggests a catholic minister.
Sophia Chidgey-Hallan says
Actually whether or not an Anglican minister is known as minister or priest is indicative of whether they are high or low Church. So, my brother in law who is low church vicar refers to himself as a minister, whereas my late Grandmother’s high church parish had a priest and in my late parents in law’s high church parish the priest is known as Father. Rector, vicar, deacon, and bishop describe the ecclesiastical post held not whether they are high or low Church.
That’s a good question! I’m not an expert on all religions, but as far as I know for muslins we just use the words in arabic here like imam, In christianity everyone is “kmarim״, and the rest are “cohanim”, but those are the words the general population uses, and maybe believers of those religious have their own words for them within themselves… ????
Thanks for the language/history lesson – and the resulting discussion on bogatyr – I love the way words get adopted by different languages and corrupted/modified/adapted!
Regardless of whatever word you go with in the end, thank you for being great writers who build a world that has foundations not just in your imagination, but in the world around us that we all inhabit! In fact thank you for everything that shines through in your books – they’ve been the jumping off point for all sorts of interesting non-fiction reading that I wouldn’t have undertaken without the prompt of seeing something I didn’t recognise or know in the book in the first place!
Bill G says
I agree with all you say. In regards to words adopted, here’s a take on the English language’s approach:
“The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don’t just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary.”
James D. Nicoll:
Yep, that’s about right about English. Not only did we do it historically, I believe we still stalk and mug others for their words
The fun part is: many of those languages that “loaned” those words to English are now re-adopting (not a word…) those words back in the Anglicised version with the “new” English meaning attached XD
I love language 😀
Love it! ????????
Bill G says
I’m sorry you had to leave accuracy behind. May the lesser grebe of ennui nest in the homes of all who complained.
Johnny Carson reference, lol
Alas, the whole mess is probably not worth the time. Too bad, since a real word is better than a fake one for the most part. However, explaining it to every self-proclaimed expert, is a waste of your time. Too bad you can’t just refer them to the rabbi and let him set them straight. (I know you wouldn’t do that to anyone, much less such a helpful person, but the idea beckons…)
You are correct that language evolves, sometimes in strange ways. The word for a pleasing scent has changed several times over the centuries of written language. “A pleasant stink” sounds very strange to us, but would have been correct several hundred years ago. “Smell” is in the process of becoming a synonym for stink, as is “odor”. It may take a while, but eventually “That smells good” will be incomprehensible to English speakers.
Also, a word in another language may have a different meaning. The story may be just that, a story, but supposedly the reason the Chevy Nova sold poorly in Spanish speaking parts of the world is that “no va” translates as “no go”. (It may not have been a very good car?) The company didn’t see it coming, because “nova” translates as “new’, which is what they were after.
The Indo-European languages are all over in the “Old World”. (I can only think of 3 European languages that are not based on it – Basque, Suomi, and the oldest forms of Gaelic.) You are going to see parallels for many words in many languages, including bogatyr / baghatur. Just look at what “cat” does!
At some point Russians tried to export cars to Italy. The cars were named after the mountains where they were produces, Zhiguli. It sounded a lot like gigolo, and since the cars had bad gas mileage, the jokes were endless.
reminds me of the story that goes around England about the world Vaksal (train station) no idea if it is true or a Russian myth too – anyway someone from the Zar came to London to see the railway, and the first stop was Vauxhal Station. …
The resolution I heard about “Nova” Chevy cars in Mexico is that the name was changed to “Estrella” (star).
But gotta agree, my parents had a Chevy Nova, and it was Not the best car they ever had….
Maria Z says
My first car was a Chevy Nova and it was a good car and had great mileage, well it was a stick shift.
I remember there was supposed to be Rolls Royce Mist but it in German word for manure is mist. It became the Rolls Shadow instead
Then there was the cigarette brand “More” which didn’t sell at all well in France, smokers didn’t want to be reminded of death every time they asked for a new packet.
“At some point Russians tried to export cars to Italy. The cars were named after the mountains where they were produces, Zhiguli.”
Oh, we also have fruit candies called exactly Zigulì! XD
Ines Heinz says
This reminds me of the Chevy Nova! In English, that word brings the visual of a car with the power of a star. In my household it incited endless jokes because it means “doesn’t go” in Spanish.
What a torrent of memories you have unleashed on me. When I was 12, my family moved to Moscow from the US for my father’s job. My father was provided with a white Volga and a driver named Gnadi, and my mother was presented with a Zhiguli. It was a bright green color not found in nature. My older brother was 18, and when we all assembled in the USSR (because it was a long long time ago), he would take the Zhiguli out and face the horror that was Soviet driving. Many times, he would allow me to tag along. I got to sit in the passenger seat and he taught me how to shift gears. I can conclude now that it was a horrible little car, but to this day, I still drive a standard because of it.
Thank you for Julie’s tale, and for all of the other wonderful worlds you have introduced me to. I admire your stories and hope to read many more of them.
Here’s a bunch of laughs for you all along these lines. One of my favorites is:
“It takes a sexually stimulated man to make a chicken affectionate.” (From ”it takes a tough man to make a tender chicken”. LOL.
I believe that Faroese is also not IndoEuropean, nor is Welsh.
Faroese comes from old norwegian and is definitely indo european. Welsh is a celtic language related to other celtic languages like Irish and Gaelic and is indo european too.
Johanna J says
You’re so right. Some battles are just not worth fighting. Good choice. 🙂
Fascinating background, thank you for the insight. Sucks it will be changed, but understandable that it’s not worth the battle.
I love the amount of research you do. I think it’s super unfortunate (but totally understandable) that reality means that cutting it is the more practical way to go. I would love just a book of your research!
Well…. I’m sorry about the modern usage people who feel they have any right to correct you. But thank you for the fascinating historical lecture. I learned things.
Mary Beth says
I think it’s a shame you have to get rid of it, I knew what you meant, and was excited to see it. One of many reasons I love your work is the fact you bring in facets of mythology and history that haven’t been done to death, and bring a refreshing take on other beasties: especially vampires.
I have always loved the amount of historical and mythological information you weave into your stories. Keep or do not keep, whatever makes you happy. But know the thought and energy going into it is appreciated either way!
Ditto. Plus, I will love knowing the back story on whatever the new words are when I re-read Ryder in January. This blog rocks. Thank you! (I have a friend who always said that communication is the hardest thing we do.)
Thanks for sharing your research and decision. And thanks to the BDH for all of these fascinating comments. I do like to geek out on etymology.
Since I love your use of Hebrew, but I understand ״komer” is problematic, may I suggest another option? In the biblical text in Hebrew they use the word “Ma’avir”, it can be used as a verb – to pass something through, or as adjective- someone who passes something or someone לֹא יִמָּצֵא בְךָ מַעֲבִיר בְּנוֹ וּבִתּוֹ בָּאֵשׁ” (דברים יח, י’) Leviticus 18:21 “And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech”. it it can also be translated as “there shall not be someone among you who shall pass his son and daughter through the fire”(my translation).
In my opinion it’s a good name for a disciple or priest of Molech, it’s from the original text but doesn’t have any the added historic meaning that “komer” has today. Also, it’s the one who passes the children through the fire, does the actual sacrifice, which is creepy and ominous…
The female version will be “Ma’avira” and the Plural “Ma’avirim”
I love it, it’s a great way to keep the reference to Hebrew and Judaism yet far enough from the modern meaning of the word in this context so no one would be confused, great idea in my opinion 🙂
Ooo, I love it. 😀
Can we call them “The Roasters” as a nickname? Or is that too much?
Elizabeth Hamm says
This is pretty great!!
trailing wife says
Nope ???? Ma’avarim are passes/transfers/moves/passages/transitions. Ma’avir is someone who moves something/ passes something or someone through something/transfers something or someone from place to another place. In the original biblical text – moves their child through the fire. The plural is Ma’avirim. I hope the explanation is clear, and now I will return to fangirling over the possibility that I will somehow contribute a little bit to the work of my favorite author(s).
trailing wife says
<3 Thank you for explaining further, Shani. Todah rabah!
(I studied Hebrew for nine years, in fact learnt to read and write in Hebrew before English, but that was a very long time ago — almost all has moved to very passive memory.)
And yes, about the fangirling. House Andrews writes icebergs — most of the story hides far beneath the words on the page. 🙂
This is a fantastic idea!
Awesome!!! I love this …
Or you could switch to Sumerian… a quick search reveals that en-girru means something like priest of fire…
Might be less controversial.
Eucilla Botha says
I would love to see what books you have in your private library. Or just to see your browser history when you are researching a book. With all the Kate books I started doing some research I especially enjoy when you talk about her swords and weapons.
Wahahaha yes, this – fact checking is part of my job and one time, many years ago, I actually had to give a heads up to out IT department saying “I’m going to be researching some seriously hinky stuff today, please do not get worried about search history if some alarms go off” – I’m not in IT, so I didn’t know if stuff you look up online from an office computer can set off alarms, but I was not going to take any chances because some of it was NSFW adult content… XD
As a former librarian I learned long ago that someone’s browser history is not a good indication of that person’s actions or beliefs. I remember our university librarian trying to explain this once to a law enforcement officer trying to confiscate one of our computers used by a particular student for evidence in a criminal prosecution. We’re a university library. People need to research all sorts of things for all sorts of reasons!
Ines Heinz says
Im in IT and what you look up online can absolutely set off alarms. At my company we do a lot of looking at what people address doing on their work computer – especially if they go to outside our network like during a google search. To be fair, we are a (USA) National lab so we also do heavy checking of stuff coming into our network.
I work in an ethnographic museum and we try to answer public enquiries based on our collections but also do basic research to try to help out. One day I was sent a picture of a ring that this chap was 120% sure was an African penis ring he had found in an antique shop I think, and I had to do some googling (while giggling) and hoping IT weren’t watching too closely!
Long story short, it was a circular piece of metal with few distinguishing features and would be unlikely to fit many members. I forwarded basic descriptions of the genital decorations that I was aware of such as Southern African penis gourds with the addition of details of wrappers from New Guinea and Vanuatu, as wearing the nambas is still a sign of manliness for some Ni-Vanuatu elders. But the owner was not convinced. Perhaps he knew something I didn’t!
*bangs head on desk* I enjoy and look forward to your writing, it soothes my need to let my imagination soar.
Akeru Joyden says
I understand your frustration, with well meaning self-proclaimed experts offering ‘advice’. However, I love learning things in books unexpectedly. I wish you could just footnote the reference, for people to look up on their own. I will love the story either way, always do– but I love the information I absorb as well… like the horse eating meat… interesting…
Sometimes I would like to internet-gag other readers… (5 x Chinese finger traps)
I think you both right a wrong. Hebrew is my second language, Russian is my first. Komer/kmarim means священнослужитель/ли, while kohen/kohanim means жрец/ы. But droping the word, feels, the safer ???? wsy to avoid misunderstandings.
If course it is the way I understand the words and not the proper research.
Thank you both so much for your work.
One of the reasons i love your books is the academic grade research, i learn about different mythologies every time, and a post like this is just plain impressive.
And this is from a woman who is regularly called google by friends and family
I always learn so much from your posts, especially your patience and graciousness in responding with documented sources when you explain things. I sincerely hope this one didn’t take very much of your time and energy away from Real Life and writing.
I leave the research and the writing to the authors I read unless I am curious about something and then I’ll look it up to satisfy that curiosity. I have seen there are enough “volunteers” to let authors “know” when the “volunteers” think something isn’t right with the story. ????
Ilona and Gordan, thank you so much for the fantastic writing you do. I really appreciate the time and effort you put into the worlds you gift us with.
Lynn Thompson says
Thank you, Ilona Andrews, for the post. Thanks also for the gracious education.
In my immediate family we have a innocent phrase that we use which means ‘I need help ASAP’ that Dad issued to us. We passed on to the grands. To anyone else it’s meaningless polite conversation.
I understand your frustration. I appreciate your clarification of this word. Religion is one of those human hang ups. My thought is that It’s your story so do as you and Gordon want to.
Now I’m curious. What are the phrases? Do they each have different meanings? What happened when u need to use them for their actual purposes?
I love the idea of setting this up w my kids as a safety feature
I’m from Israel and well and I must say that I loved the use of the word for exactly the reason you wrote. The moment I red of moloch hear I went and red about it some more on Wikipedia and I found it fascinating. So I’m kinda sad that you are forgoing this but I understand why.
So I’m just going to say that I Love,love, love everything you write.
Cherylanne Farley says
Wise. Very very wise. This is also why youse guyz ROCK SO HARD on your world building. Quality efforts arreciated.
Tiffany Crystal says
*grumbles* I actually enjoy it when you throw in things like this into your books. I don’t mind artistic license to a point, but I love it more when I get to actually learn something from the work. I understand your reasoning for changing it though :\
Good grief what is with people. I’m glad you are able to take it this way I’d probably get arrested for my use of power words.
The flame in this case is not worth the candle.
Sara Quan says
The explanation and research behind it was very interesting- thank you. The Blood Heir chapters are awesome!!! Thank you for your story crafting!
Also the comment on clowns was funny- they are horrifying.
Because my mind goes down entirely different rabbit holes, will you switch to the made up word in this draft going forward or in the final version?
And I’d suggest Qomr, Qomrim and just say it predates Komer and Kmarim, or the Hebrew language at all.
“The Qomrim are here.”
“Don’t you mean the Kmarim are here?”
“No. Those guys are Qomrim-lite.”
trailing wife says
In regards to Mongolia and Genghis Kahn, I’ve been listening to a Mongolian rock group called The Hu. (Apparently they are considered metal rock.) But they also do some pieces that are more Mongolian stories and there is one about Genghis Kahn (“The Great Chinggis Khaan”). I recommend it. It makes sense that the Mongolian people would be fans of his. 😉
Weather is miserable today – high heat and humidity…
Forgot it almost immediately with this post! Words and how they migrate, and history lessons! Makes me think of those “ah ha” moments in college biblical archeology class when grade school Sunday school lessons suddenly made real-time sense.
You guys have mad skills in research!! Thank you for sharing in this fabulous post!
Chantay Hadley says
Aw! I loved the nod! But I get it. I’ve studied Moloch/Molech for my own writing purposes in the past and clapped my hands in glee at the reference. This is where you may not realize you teach, but you do. Running a small faith-based publishing company guarantees that I will run into the same situation with one of my authors. Now I have a wonderful reference for suggesting making up a word versus defending the accurate use of it. So, thank you… again… times three thousand (grin).
I take whatever makes you happy Andrews Family <3
It then will discribe the priest of an evil god.
Thank you for making me happy all the time with your writing.
Thank you for the lesson today.
I appreciate the time you spend to explain that. I think, it would be a sad thing if you will not keep the word since you already took the time to validate it here. Again, that’s just an opinion from someone who’s not in your shoes.
I am so sorry that you get these kinds of corrections. I’m speechless about the email you got, and mourn the loss of the words with so much history behind them. People. :shakes head:
Megan Cohen says
I actually thought you did a great job with that word choice! I’m Jewish and recognized the semitic sounds in komer/kmarim and then researched it myself. It’s a great way to distinguish between the various religions in ancient history and makes sense that Moloch’s priests were called that. Thank you for your respectful attention to detail and research!
Words, words, words. I’ve always like learning the history/evolution of words. I started in high school with Shakespeare & Greek mythology and the meaning of some of the words at the time they were written or translated is totally different then current meaning, if they survived at all. I had to develop my own Old English to New English cheat sheet.
I could picture Luther asking Julie “Komer/Kamari’s? You mean Christian priests?” and Julie replying “When you talk to someone 5,000 years old, words are from their original mean. No, it means non-Jewish priest”.
I always thought it’d be great to talk to someone from a couple hundred years ago. I couldn’t imagine someone who was thousands.
As always, your blogs are so entertaining and often educational. Thank you.
I applaud your hard work, and I’m sorry, but a work of fiction should be given literary license. Many languages are influenced by other cultures. Many words change meaning over time.
I support whatever decision you make, but don’t let others sway you from what you believe is right. It. Is. Your. Creation!
I learn something new every day.
Esther Cohen says
As you expected, there are more commentaries on priestly vocabulary and Judaism. Judaism being (like all Abrahamic religions) a sexist system of beliefs, there no kohanot (women priests) in Hebrew.
Ironically yours – Esther Cohen, Jerusalem, Israel
Lol but is ur family Kohanim? This is ironic ????
I lived in ירושלים for two years. Ur very lucky
Melissa B says
You have done your due deligence and then some. It fits perfectly and I don’t think it should go- just my opinion. Thanks for everything. Can’t wait to see her fight with the priest coming up in the next installment. Love it!!
Allyson Cloyd says
Thank you for showing me your research process. I enjoy reading your stories for many reasons, but knowing that the information is sound and well documented is reassuring.
I know this is a case of you can’t win either way, but I’d say stick with the original naming. Well researched and sounds cool.
Well, drat. I enjoy the Jewish bits that end up in your stories, but completely get why it isn’t worth the time and effort.
Thanks for your patience with all the explanations.
T. helms says
Richard Hainsworth says
komer/kmarim – modernity vs what-if
So someone says in “modern” Hebrew ‘komer’ has a particular meaning! When I was young ‘gay’ in English did not mean homosexual. Even in my lifetime words change meaning. The very fact that this discussion came up and a lesson was learnt about words and meanings, is an argument for keeping your original choice. Fiction teaches more than non-fiction because it makes us think.
Giving in to a shibboleth (!!!!!) about keeping words ‘proper’ may make for an easy day….
And yet writing is commercial and there are readers who will kill for their ‘sibboleths’.
So to save your time to write what you like, rather than teaching those who can only like what they know to be true, I can see changing a word is a dry commercial decision an author needs to make.
I’m reminded of a reader telling Jim Butcher (I think I saw this on his site, though I could be wrong) that he kept getting his description of vampires wrong.
Rather than make up a word, or chosing another, such as Ma’avir/Ma’avirim,
how about modifying ‘komer’?
Aren’t the vowel sounds modern additions to Hebrew script in any case? And the same root word across different dialects change consonants. So ‘Shibboleth’ in one dialect was ‘sibboleth’ in another.
Since its your world to build, ‘komer’ could be ‘khomer’, ‘gomer’, ‘kemmahr’, ‘ghomr’ etc. and the explanation could be that the Moloch avatar named his priests in the ancient dialect he liked. After all, Moloch wouldn’t care what modern Hebrew people say, or what they use ‘his’ words for now. Would he??
Personally, I think the word for a repulsive priesthood should be repulsive, and Ma’avir/Ma’avirim sounds too nice.
Perhaps the Shinar pronounce the word in a dialecticly different way that annoys the priests of Moloch. Having an argument about pronounciation when around them the world burns with magic is just the sort of thing some people do when they are fixated about the way they think reality should be constructed, instead of the multiplicity of ways reality is.
I actually liked it and got the reference 🙂 Aramaic was the spoken language of the time so it would totally make sense.
Thank you so much for this story.
It has been a bit of brightness in what have been shitty shitty months.
Gees. Some of your readers are over the top. I appreciate your writing and research. I love that you mix history with the stories.
Thank you for you hard work
Thank you for your dedication
Thank you for your interaction
Thank you for being so awesome
Thank you for doing it free
Thank you for being amazing
Thank you for allowing us in
Thank you for dealing with bullshit
Thank you for continuing this tale
Thank you for giving, in this time
Thank you for sharing your gifts
I admire you both. For your patience and amazingness .
JULIE JULIE JULIE JULIE JULIE
I understand why you are making the change, but as a Hebrew speaker who has studied the Bible in Hebrew my whole life I appreciated the molech and komer connection. Thank you for trying. Serving molech was one of the gruesome pagan practices that the Bible was trying to stamp out. I like the ma’avir suggestion because it specifically refers to someone who served molech, even though it doesn’t mean priest, like komer does.
Love your books.
You are writing fiction. (Okay, yeah the characters have taken on a life of their own and are real to me now.)
But what happened to artistic license. Again, it is fiction. And thank you for writing it so beautifully.
My local See’s Candy just reopened and I would like to share my candy with you. Hope you like milk chocolate.
Yum! See some favorites in that box. Enjoy.
Valerie in CA says
Great Scott Batman! Sees is open?!?! Whooo hooooo! Love the milk chocolates.
Ines Heinz says
we have a See’s Outlet store 3 miles from my house. It is a dangerous thing.
Another reason why I love your blog! I learn so much from your posts as well as from the BDH posts.
So cool that someone came up with another option that you liked and so funny that someone came up with C L O W N (immediately made me think of Phule’s Company).
Love those books!! Well, at least the first two.
“Here we come
Blazing down the street
We get the scarediest looks from
Everyone we heat
Hey hey we’re the Molochs
And people say we spread fear around
But we’re too busy trying
To put everybody down…”
My brain immediately sang this to the tune of the Monkee’s song— I’m SO old! LOL!
Crystal Johnson says
And I really don’t care because this is your made-up world and I – and many others, I would hope – appreciate you sharing it. ( You are kind to try and explain at all…)
Thank you again for what you!
Hey @other commenters, please don’t criticize people like Lail, who sent the above email. They are offering important and relevant information about *their own culture and language.* This is not a dead language; it is very much alive, and our world has a history of punching down at Jewish people and culture.
Anyone, including our beloved Andrews, must use it respectfully–as they have been striving to. Not to mention, as Ms. Ilona says above, Lail is not wrong.
Artistic license is not an excuse to misuse and disrespect (esp. historically misrepresented, oppressed) cultures. Of course it is a thin line to walk. It is not easy. It is complicated and requires a lot of research and time and honesty, as you clearly see in the blog post. And people like Lail CAN help with incorrect or disrespectful portrayals. Please don’t be rude to them for taking time out of their day to try and add pertinent information to a work that they enjoy and value.
Anyone looking to reply to this comment:
-This is not about whether Lail was correct or not. Do not try to argue with me on whether Lail was correct or not.
-If you are really, REALLY determined that Artistic License™ justifies any use or modification of living cultures–our discussion will probably not be productive.
Take care, y’all.
Valerie in CA says
Good point. And just ask Nick Cannon about criticism and recovery from uninformed comments. Glad he chose to educate himself
What!?!, no argument intended , no criticism intended, no rude intent, yes Lail’s opinion is valid. Lail if you feel I was being insensitive I am sorry.
This post was really informative and funny too. I hope everyone has a good weekend. I now have the Monkees theme song in my head and a desire for Sees chocolates. ????
Jean Morgan says
You both are always so meticulous with your research. I love words, I always learn from you, so thanks.
Valerie in CA says
Too bad. Dug the words. But I see your point. I know a few words of Ukrainian, mostly food. The times I have asked a native person is it hulupki or holeupchi (Cabbage rolls)I get a different answer ever time.
Tiger Lily says
I enjoy the give and take in the conversations about words and their meanings. I also enjoy the glimpse into the research done by House Andrews. This blog is always interesting whether it is focused on cute animal photos, concerns about family, yarn life, or examinations of word origins.
I have the word “ Chocolate “ stuck in my head now….
I do have some Twix’s
Should I go with the chocolate ice cream stash instead….
No one has said it out loud, but Julie has to be an Heir of Moloch. That creature in the shadows is partially hers? This she took on to stop him from killing Kate?
In the short story (available in Free Fiction), she has taken one of his eyes and put it in her body, and then i think….2 parts ago? She mentions she had to assimilate an eye into her body ;)))))
I am so sorry you are having this type of problem. I love your books.
Your books are wonderful. They make me do some research sometimes, but correcting you would not be something I would be comfortable with.
This story is fictional; therefore, I enjoy it with that perspective.
I appreciate you both!
Btw, my world really sucks right now, idiot husband quit his job, I can’t leave the house, and I am about to have surgery during a damned pandemic. So, I am having a comfort read, I started with Magic Bites. It’s the original paperback, and it still has the bites out of the cover that one of our former bunnies took out of it. So, thanks For all of your wonderful writing, it is keeping the GREAT BALL OF RAGE in my chest from exploding.
Oh Man, I’m sorry. It is so frustrating to do the research, to be Right, but have to bow to the ‘wisdom of the masses’ so that you’re not hounded from now until Romantic Times Con 2055 :p
You could always start to put footnotes in your books…
(For some reason that idea makes me imagine Gordon footnoting every sentence in the next Ryder installment to demonstrate how annoying this would be :D)
I don’t know how to break it to you by Romantic Times Convention is no more.
And I am very much enjoying being educated in Hebrew. This is a awesome and it is better to find the right word now then be called on it later.
There has never been any doubt in my mind that all historically referenced material in your books has been well researched and is accurate. This is one of the reasons I love your work – I get a great story and a history lesson!!! Thank-you Ilona Andrews xxx
Well, I am off topic, but y’all are my favorite authors. My adult daughter is a nurse and they just started offering 10k per week for nurses to travel to Texas and work covid. To my favorite authors and any fans here located in Texas, I am sending you all my hope you stay safe and healthy.
What’s odd is that to those of us who never spoke or heard Yiddish or Hebrew, komrim/kmarim sounds like you already made up the word. But yeah, I’m sure you’ll change it rather than irritate people who would otherwise enjoy the story very much. It’s easier to let it go than to explain it a million times. Just keep writing the book. You can change it later. You are so good about explaining things where most of us would have just said, “Meh.”
Learn something new!
Amanda in Austin says
“Sometimes you research for two days so you can write a paragraph and then you cut it.”
As an aspiring author I feel this one to the depths of my soul. That you simply go with the flow and move on so graciously is a hard-won victory your egos have probably worn the scars of for some time. 🙂 I hope in time I too can simply accept these things with grace.
I like that we learn something that wouldn’t just come up in normal conversations. Tiny bits such as this gives us a way to expand upon our trivia game. I’d rather it be kept and a tiny blurb added at the end but that is just me. The fact that almost all of these people are older than most religions is a vital point.
Thank you for what you do and for all fans thank you for making sure to double check also as I’m sure that there will always be something.
Stay safe and enjoy the sun
Lol I’ve been a fan for a long time and as a religious Jew it is so weird seeing parts of my faith represented in a modern novel… almost never can u find that nowadays. I love the care u put into researching every detail! In this aspect ur right I believe. A Kohain is a Jewish priests (and most Jews with the last name Cohen are descendants from them) and a Komer is a non Jewish priest
There is a word in Hindi “bahaadur” which means brave (hero) which is so close to baghatur!
Stacy McKnight says
Well bummer I liked it but I’m sure I’ll like whatever you choose especially since I now have this word with its rich history in my head which I will just mentally glom on to the new name lol! Thanks for the information, and your understanding of those trying to help.
First, thank you House Andrews for this insight in your research. I loved it.
Second, I see many comments saying something like “this (possible wrong use of a word) is trivial, why get all worked up about it?”
Simple. What’s trivial to you, may not be trivial to someone else. Most likely because it has just ruined their suspension of disbelieve.
I don’t know about you, but I hate when that happens in a story I love.
I’m reading, I’m so into the story I forget I’m reading and then all of a sudden, without warning: Bammm, back in the real world, fuming “this is impossible” or “this isn’t true”.
Usually about something 99% of the other readers don’t even notice, let alone get worked up about.
For me it once happened in story that on day one had a moving story about a gelding who got seriously injured after a fall with his rider. Not a broken leg, but still, a pretty serious injury. His sire (the farm’s semi wild stud stallion) was around with the herd and walked next to his son, supporting him, so the rider could get the horse back to the farm.
So far so good. It’s not very likely a stallion would do that, but it was beautifully written, I was moved to tears and completely willing to shut out reality.
Next paragraph, next day in the story, they saddle the gelding and take him out. I flipped. Yesterday he was severely injured, it wasn’t even sure he would make it and today he’s well enough to be ridden? That. Is. Not. Possible!! Or rather: This. Is. Abuse.
I had completely forgotten it was “just a story”. ????????
That particular universe was (and is) very real to me.
To my shame, I must admit I emailed the authors.
They didn’t quite understand why I was as upset as I was, but I think they did get it had to do with my love for their world.
They weren’t too angry with me.
Another example I always remembered was something I read in an author interview.
He said he had created a universe around a family of mosquitoes.
They wore clothes, had jobs, the children went to school. No problem. The readers loved it.
Then in one story, he had the dad prick a human and suck blood.
He was flooded in E-mails informing him Male. Mosquitoes. Do. Not. Suck. Blood!
Apparently only the females do.
Shattered suspension of disbelieve, upset readers, tons of e-mail ????
I think maybe there’s a site issue? When you go backward on this post it takes you to June 4th… And doesn’t show others in between which seems odd. Unless they are listed elsewhere and I’m missing something.
Hi Jo – I think that’s because this post is categorised under writing and the last such post in that category was June 4th.
The posts between that one and this were in different categories – e.g “Home”.
I think it’s just doing what it’s meant to do.
Hope that helps
Maybe this is a possibility? It was bothering me that grammatically, komer and kmarim don’t match for the singular and plural. Kmarim is the word in the text and I checked and didn’t find the singular used anywhere in the chapter (I don’t own a Concordance to check on its usage elsewhere, maybe someone else does).
Usually, the way it would match is like this:
1)shomer/ shomrim – guard/ guards, shofet/ shoftim- judge/ judges, moshel/ moshlim- ruler/ rulers ( not the measuring kind) etc
2) kerem/ k’ramim – vineyard/ vineyards, kever/ k’varim- grave/ graves, melech/ m’lachim- king/ kings
So, since the plural is kmarim, the singular should be kemer, unless it’s an exception, which is always possible.
So, maybe you could use kemer/ kmarim since they’re not identical to modern Hebrew usage and hopefully won’t get you annoyed emails.
I think that the correct word would be in Ammonite, not Hebrew. Nobody speaks Ammonite anymore, but apparently their language was similar to biblical Hebrew w/ some Aramaic. Aramaic doesn’t use Kmarin (-in is plural form in Aramaic), and it doesn’t make sense that the Ammonites would use a word denoting foreign priests for their own priests. They probably wouldn’t use Cohen either, related as it is to a Jewish tribe.
Personally I think they would have used Navi(Hebrew)/Nabi(Arab)/Aramaic word unpronounceable in English, which means Prophet and was also used as religious leader. (Samuel, Deborah, both Elijah and the Ba’al priests he killed, etc).
I learned something today! Thank you for this. I always enjoy how much historical nuance you bring to your books, and weave it into the story so seamlessly. I know it’s fiction, but basing it on history and researching myths brings a depth to the story that really sucks me in.
Hebrew is fun. My fiance is Jewish, and I’m from a Christian family. I can’t properly pronounce his middle name ????????. It’s a running joke between us, usually at my expense. He sometimes tries to get me to pronounce other Hebrew words and phrases, and it doesn’t end well.
Hi House Andrews let me say that I dont have words to properly thanks you guys for this story. Now forgive me for I gonna give an unsolicited advice. As a fan of fantasy I know that glossary are usualy an épic fantasy thing but Kate daniels universe is post apocalyptic urban fantasy (some people also call supernatural romance but I dont agree that is nalini singh books) and you make very serious research and things like a glossary maps and/or author notes would make perfect sense here and I believe not only me would geek the shit out of it. Thanks for your time. Ps please forgive my english for it isnt my first lenguage and Im dislexic… and I do this day dream of you guys writing a story of the mermaid side of Kate family with her great grandmother Atargatis/Ataratheh… for anyone that want to know about her https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atargatis
Susan Reynolds says
Y’all will do whatever you think is best, but from the viewpoint of a non-Hebrew speaker, it sounded made up to me. My very amateur attempt at a compromise: use the ma avir for the servants of the kemer. That way, the ones who pass the children through flames and show up to hassle the Knight crusader are directed by the non-Jewish priesthood of Moloch.
Love this post and all the readers from around the world. I love learning new things.
We appreciate all the hard work and research into your books. Whatever you decide will be okay with us. They are your books, we are just happy you are so great at sharing.
I like the nod and the research that went behind it. Why not put the above explanation in the book afterword? I have seen plenty of authors do something like that where they clarify decisions that diverge from known real history or that is actually a correct but obscure tidbit.
I get that you don’t want the hassle, but for what it’s worth, I found it enlightening and I do love the historical reference.
As an avid reader (but someone who works with ancient languages like Aramaic and Hebrew) I totally agree with the choice to go with a made-up word. I can’t wait to read this whole book!
Jennifer Berlin says
Well okay then. I really love the language bites with historical references. It makes your work spicy. I am an avid reader so if I have to Google something you write all the freaking better. Feel free to dazzle me with all the obscure knowledge you can pen.
If one is that nit-picky one is certainly not lost in (nor paying attention to) the actual story which is the reason for reading in the first place.
Just my opinion.
I love etymology!!
I have a sudden craving for chocolate.
Sad that I can’t get one right now.
It’s bohater in Polish. Thanks for the info, it was interesting.
There’s a Phoenician-Punic dictionary by Charles R. Krahmalkov. Maybe that could be of help if you can get hold of it. Example:
BWhahahaha snort ….. Priesty McPriestface lead …0_o…. lead *ahem* of Mark Moloch and the funky bunch….
Hay, hay were the Moloch’s
People say we bollocks around,
But we’re to busy sacrificing
to sing and dance around…..
enter Kermit singing (don’t try to understand my brain)
Someday we’ll find it
the bla bla bla bla,
the eye, the power and me!
What are the chances of getting a shirtless billboard of Moloch shirtless in low hung pants in downtown Atlanta?
I can’t quite visualize this. Do you make videos? How does the time for the song go?
A huge thanks to you for all the research you do for your stories. That point is only one of the reasons (aside from the WOW storyarc!)that keeps me hooked. And, thank you for the information.
You could always keep the word and claim that it’s Reformed Egyptian.
Who can honestly say that that’s not the accurate translation then?
The Ammonites lived in Jordan (around the capital, actually, which is named after them) why would they use a word from people two deserts away? And from a completely different time period? They are mentioned in the bible when the king of Assyria warred w/ the kingdom of Israel. That was around ~700 b.c. they were closer to Cleopatra’s time then to the ancient Egyptians.
So I don’t usually post as the comments I have largely mirror everyone else’s……
(thanks for being so generous with your time and snippets….can’t wait for the
next instalment…..you two are my favourite re-read authors……OMG can’t wait
to find out how Derrick became an alpha….)
but reading this today has engaged my interest, educated my mind and tickled my funny bone.
So thank you Ilona and Gordon – how you do like to put the cat amongst the pigeons
and thank you to everyone who has contributed – you are all entertaining and inspiring (I now have some research of my own to do).
Stay safe everyone…..and as I say to my children “WASH YOUR DAMN HANDS!!!!”
I appreciate the opportunity to learn something new, especially how the meaning of the word has changed through time and circumstance. So, I am glad that the Israeli fan sent you the heads up. But, of course, I’m a weirdo with a strong interest in linguistics. This being said, you’re probably right to make up a different word to avoid controversy
My appreciation of House Andrews never ends. The thoughtfulness, creativity, patience and hard work are always visable. I am not surprised by the hiden meanings or thoughtfullness put into the choices of names of characters or places or just things. I love it and get to learn more about those things.
How about shaktim? Similar to the Hebrew word “Lishchot” which means to slaughter. Or the sorfim? Those who burn.
There is a word shochet, ritual slaughterer, which is a perfectly respectable profession, already. Also, your second suggestion shares a common root word with seraph, and I don’t know if they want to have any angelic connotation here. If they don’t care at all about good connotations, they could just go with cohen and cohanim, after all, there are many places those words are used for priests of other religions too. For example, Jethro is referred to as the Cohen of Midian.
But otherwise, I like the ideas!
Where’s shaktim from?
Google suggests trying Shakti or Shaktism and that relates to a completely different religion.
Just call them priests? I feel like we learned something, and going back and removing the usage would be a waste.
It would make sense if you worked it into the explanation Luther’s gonna get about the monsters pillaging his city.
It’s like when you talk about dieties from different mythologies. I think the first instance was when Julie’s mom went missing and they were talking about the goddess. Or how you introduce villains through conversations with Roland.
I guess it’s different when the religion in question is still alive.
Sophia Chidgey-Hallan says
Just as an fyi there is no absolute standard for transliterating Hebrew or Aramaic into Latin script except IPA. This is a standard complication for abjad type scripts where the actual script consists of consonants only and vowels are indicated by additional dots and dashes called pointing. So tbh I really wouldn’t worry about how you spell some words in Latin script – even my online Jewish studies groups which counts Rabbis and numerous well educated lay people among its membership has had some very vigorous debates on this issue.
Just keep on writing and thank you so much for Ryder which has been something to brighten lockdown and I look forward to Emerald Blaze coming out.
Consulting a rabbi doesn’t ensure the correct result. Speaking to someone who has lived in Israel is probably the better route. A rabbi can be from any country, a rabbi in the United States speaks English as their primary language. Hebrew speakers come from Israel.
If you have a question about Judaism a rabbi is an excellent source for information. Depending on the question you might want an orthodox rabbi, conservative rabbi or reform. In some cases you might even want to talk to a Hasidic Rav.
Questions about Hebrew and Hebrew usage as it is spoken are better directed to people who have either lived in Israel or grown up there. If you have access to an Israeli rabbi that person would potentially be able to cover both areas.
I’m going to move into less comfortable ground now. I want to question how this blog entry is presented. The title of it shows your understandable exasperation with the topic and you share the name of the person who wrote the letter. Then you go into a discussion about it citing a rabbi as your language source. This is a misunderstanding on your part, the underlying idea being that a rabbi would know about all things Hebrew or Jewish, conflating the two.
This is not an uncommon mistake and I don’t believe anyone is faulting you for it. Nor should anyone be upset when there is a purported error in language usage.
The reason for my discomfort resides in sharing the person’s name and then warning people not to be mean to the Hebrew speakers. That gives it away. When the title includes OMG and shows your irritation, your loyal fanbase is absolutely going to be “mean” to those whom they perceive have caused the problem.
The person who wrote the letter is more correct than otherwise. They weren’t attacking you, they were asking a question and they were right to do so. No one would be mean about it unless they were prompted to by feeling defensive on your behalf. It is reasonable to assume that devoted fans will feel that way after reading the post, the title of it, and absorbing the tone.
This isn’t an attack, it’s an explanation. I hope it is taken as such.
However, an Orthodox rabbi who studies the Bible and Talmud in the original Hebrew and Aramaic ( and who generally has for many years) is likely to be a good source on the historical usage, even if not the modern day’s, which is, I believe, what they wanted here originally.
“This isn’t an attack, it’s an explanation. I hope it is taken as such.”
And my title wasn’t a call to anti-Hebrew crusade, it was a tongue and cheek reflection on faults of research.
Your displeasure with my use of Hebrew and the way I ran our blog has been noted. 🙂
I think you’re misunderstanding me. I love your books, I have purchased them all. I don’t read the blog as often as other people but I stop by sometimes.
I lived in Israel for 12 years. Being Jewish and experiencing the world through that lens has left me with a sensitivity to issues like this.
I felt somewhat protective towards the person who wrote the letter because I could see the very devoted fanbase reacting to the tone of the blog entry. And in fact that has happened. I’m glad that it hasn’t happened a lot or where it has you’ve removed it.
So I am going to put the smiley face here, so you know that actually I am not at all irritated. 🙂 It’s not meant ironically. I am not upset.
Let’s look at the facts:
I used the word komir, which used to mean a priest who is not of Judaism.
You informed me that you were upset by it and that research isn’t a substitute for speaking to a Hebrew speaker.
I left you a comment listing the credentials of the rabbi whose article I used in my research. He was educated in Emek Hebrew Academy, Yeshiva Gedolah of Los Angeles, and Mir Yeshiva in Jerusalem. He’s written a book on Hebrew language, published papers in Hakirah (Flatbush), Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society (New York), Jewish Bible Quarterly (Jerusalem) and articles in Ohrnet, Jewish Press, Jewish Tribune, and on the Times of Israel.
You, for some reason, assumed that the original article was written by a non-Hebrew speaking rabbi, even though I linked the expert’s bio to you in the comment. And then you assumed that the rabbi I consulted directly also didn’t speak Hebrew. 🙂
You perceived the post discussing the usage of komir as inciting my readers to bully the Hebrew speakers. As evidence of this, you pointed out that I included OMG in the subject line and you brought up the fact that the person’s first name was listed, which is an established practice on this blog. You decided that I was being defensive and then informed me that your comment wasn’t an attack, but an explanation.
You made no effort to join the discussion of other Hebrew speakers in the comments. You simply informed me that again, you didn’t like it. I acknowledged it.
Being a native speaker doesn’t make you an expert in historical word usage. That’s why Rabbi Klein acquired all of that education on top of simply speaking Hebrew. When you are reading an article, it always helps to check out the bio of the writer. They typically list their credentials. 🙂
It has never been the policy of this blog to allow people to gang pile on someone. If you are worried about the person who sent the email, you can reply to her in the comments of this blog. She has posted repeatedly.
We all bring our own experiences to everything we read. It’s possible that your experiences might make you a little sensitive about anything that involves Hebrew language and culture. I understand this, which is why I left your comments up. 🙂 Sometimes we read more into something that was intended.
Added since I was interrupted: There is probably nothing I can say here that will change your perception of the conversation. So I am going to close the comments on this post. :
Maria OToole says
I don’t see what the problem is. Usage of a word in modern revived Hebrew need not be the same as its usage millennia ago, even with a very conservative religious text tradition. Indeed, it probably would not be; usage of many words has changed just since the founding of the US, a mere 230+years.