Euphemisms in the Samaritan Targum of the Pentateuch

In: Aramaic Studies
Author: Tal 1
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  • 1 Tel-Aviv University

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The Samaritan Aramaic version of the Pentateuch in general, and its later manuscripts in particular, are replete with euphemistic expressions of all kinds, seeking to 'purify' the language from embarrassing utterances, especially where the original was too candid in expressing matters in which discreetness is required, according to contemporary standards. This study focuses on four fields in which euphemism is common in the Samaritan Targum: 1. the dignity of the ancestors, 2. taboo expressions, 3. fear of death, 4. abomination and disgust. The means by which euphemism is achieved is also scrutinized.

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