- Jan 22, 2013טט בכתפי שתים פת באפריקי שתים (Sanhedrin 4b)
Akiba is engaged here in phantastic etymologizing,
deriving טטפת (sc. טוֹטָפוֹת) from פת + טט.
Is כתפי Coptic, as Jastrow thought ? I don’t find טט
as Coptic for “two” (though Jastrow identifies it as
such) – and what is אפריקי ? It does not seem to be
Ethiopian. In what language might פת mean two ?
אפריקי has been thought to refer to Phrygia(n) but
there is already פרוגתייא = Phrygia(n), why not use
that ? Do we know anything about Phrygian words
for numerals, in particular the number two ?
The best hypothesis I have RE טט = “two” is the
Fulani word "didi" mentioned by Heinrich Barth
(Sammlung und Bearbeitung centralafrikanischer
Vokabularien. 3 Abteilungen. Gotha 1862–1866,
p 8) who explicitly connects this word (didi = two)
with טט. As for פת I’ve nothing better than that this
“word” somehow derives from Coptic bêta (see
Crum p 27, maybe bêta > bt > פת).
What could Akiba or his source have been thinking
when he put טט = two, פת = two, finding these words
in כתפי & אפריקי ?
Many thanks in advance for any help.
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