The proper name Eve, it comes from Latin (H)eva < Greek transliteration Εὔα Eúa < from Hebrew חַוָּה Ḥawwāh, pos. "She [who] Lives" or "She [who] Enlivens".
Note: There are two different H sounds in Hebrew:
- one, spelt He ה, is equivalent to English h (IPA: /h/);
- the other, spelt Ḥet ח, represents another rough-breathing sound farther down the throat (IPA: /ħ/).
Huehnergard derives ḥawwā from root-verb ḥyw "to live" (American Heritage Dictionary). Ḥawwā 's proto-form was likely *Ḥawwat < *Ḥayaw-at; /t/ was dropped through regular sound-changes but was spelt as /h/, to tell readers that the noun has the feminine suffix -a(t).
For the Hebrews' Phoenician-Canaanite cousins, Ḥwt was also one epithet of the Semites' Supreme Mother-Goddess ʔAθirat "She [who] Treads", from root ʔθr (> Hebrew ʔAšerah; sound change /θ/ > /š/).
The Yahwist priests, who were patriarchal misogynists, demoted Ḥawwā from Mother Goddess ʔAšerah 's epithet, to just another mortal created from the mortal man אָדָם Adam's rib; mirroring the Sumerian account wherein Nin-ti "Lady of the Rib ~ Life", was created from Enki 's body.
Still, traces of ʔAšerah the Enlivener was still preserved folk-religion, despite the priestly elites' purging efforts; e.g. "She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her; those who hold her fast are called happy." (Proverbs 3:18).
- Engl. "happy, blessed" is equivalent to Hbr. אֲשֶׁר ʔašer, from a different root ʔšr, but the sound-change /θ/ > /š/ made the two roots homophonic, & so enabling the word-play.
Interestingly, Ḥayawat yielded many words for "snake" in various daughter languages, like:
- Aramaic ḥewyaʔ,
- Phoenician ḥwt,
- & Standard Arabic ḥayya(t) حَيَّة means both "snake" & "life".
Ancient Semites observed that snakes periodically shed their skins, so they believed that snakes periodically re-lived themselves, & they associated this re-living power with women's reproductive power.
Last notes, I can state with certainty that no LoL champ so far bears name referencing the Biblical Eve; even superficial ones likeor Evaine ( 's birth name in old lore):
- The former from Norman French, in almost all likelihood from Germanic *Ava, which might've been shortened from *afalan "strength" or were simply variants of *awon "grandmother"; *agwjo "wetland, island" < *ahwo "flowing water" (Orel 2003).
- The latter from Celtic (One of Lancelot's aunts is named Evaine), possibly from suffix *-gena "born" with morpheme *iwo- "yew" or *esu- "good" (Matasović 2009).
- Hellenized Jews translated Hebrew Ḥawwā into Zoe "life" as opposed to "death". However, lore does not mirror the Biblical Eve, & her kit does not have anything to do with life, birth, & rebirth; as LoL's Zoe was evidently inspired by folk-lore's trickters & divine messengers.
This info is not relevant to Azir's lore; that's why I share this here in this 2nd blog-post.
I posited that Azir's name resembles Egyptian theonym Wsjr (>); & my Egyptian etymological dictionary stated its root to be wsr "strong". Linguists (Militarev?) at the Tower of Babel project reconstructed Proto-Afro-Asiatic *čawr- "strong" (sound change č > s; & metathesis č/s-w-r > w-s-r).
I notice the similarity between this adjective *čawr- "strong" & the very common Afro-Asiatic noun *čaw(a)r- ~ *čiw(a)r-, which denotes large, herbivorous animals like, , , & . So, *čaw(a)r- ~ *čiw(a)r- might've originally meant "the strong one" > "bull" (most commonly known meaning) > "elephant, rhinoceros, hippopotamus" elsehwere.
Indeed, *čaw(a)r- ~ *čiw(a)r- yielded Egyptian šsr "bull" & Semitic *θawr- "bull". Semitic *θawr- might've been loaned into Proto-Indo-European, becoming *(s)tawros, in turn giving rise to Greek ταῦρος, Latin taurus, Germanic *steuraz > Engl "steer", etc.
Still, take all those I've written with a large spoon of salt. Since Project Babel's claims are controversial, even among linguists.