Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar/82. Primitive Nouns

§82. Primitive Nouns.

The number of primitive nouns in the sense used in §81 is small, since nouns, which in other languages are represented as independent noun-stems, can easily be traced back in Hebrew to the verbal idea, e.g. names of animals and natural objects, as שָׂעִיר he-goat (prop. shaggy, from שָׂעַר), שְׂעֹרָה barley (prop. prickly, also from שָׂעַר), חֲסִידָה stork (prop. pia, sc. avis), זָהָב gold (from זָהַב=צָהַב to shine, to be yellow). Thus there remain only a few nouns, e.g. several names of members of the body in men or beasts, to which a corresponding verbal stem cannot be assigned at all, or at any rate only indirectly (from other Semitic dialects), as קֶ֫רֶן horn, עַ֫יִן eye.