I was looking at Jastrow and there were several English abbreviations related to the definition or word structure that I didn't recognize. I looked through this and many of the abbreviations are there but many are not.

First - these: Pa. Af. Ithpe.
I looked in the Sefaria MongoDB dump and these are in a field called "verbal_stem" - but I'm not sure what that means. It seems they are related to the verb binyan, but I'm not sure each one - eg, what is Af.? There are other forms that I've seen I don't recognize.

A little further down (word: נֶצַח) it says: "wherever the Biblical text has the words netsaḥ, selah, or vaʿed, it means &c." What is that "&c."?

Further is: "נַצְחָא m. (preced. wds.)" What is the wds.?

I could go on. I would appreciate answers to these specific examples but I would really like some pointers or links that can explain it generally for all the examples I didn't list here.

  • 2
    Is this on topic?
    – Double AA
    Commented Jul 3, 2019 at 15:18
  • 3
    @DoubleAA Inasmuch as Jastrow is a dictionary of the Talmuds and Targumin, why shouldn't it be?
    – Loewian
    Commented Jul 3, 2019 at 16:21
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    @Loewian Inasmuch as Jastrow is a dictionary of Talmudic and Targumic (?) Aramaic, why should it be?
    – Double AA
    Commented Jul 3, 2019 at 16:22
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    This is a question aiming to better understand a tool used by many to understand Jewish texts - it feels on topic to me and can be helpful to many
    – mbloch
    Commented Jul 3, 2019 at 16:43
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    @Yehosef - Et cetera, abbreviated to etc., etc, &c., or &c, is a Latin expression that is used in English to mean "and other similar things", or "and so forth". [Wikipedia] "wds."** = "words". Meaning, in your example of נצחא, there are always words that precede this word נצחא - ex. כליל ריש דנצחא = the crown of the chief of victor. "AF." = variant spelling of "ad" - assimilated before f (as in affiliate, affirm ). [Concise Oxford English Dictionary] = it's a word that precedes other connected words. Commented Jul 3, 2019 at 23:48

1 Answer 1


The first three you listed are giving the Aramaic binyan of the example words, as you've already discovered in the "verbal_stem" reference you found. They say that the three words belong to pa'el, af'el and itp'il, respectively.

See Rabbi Yitzhak Frank's Aramaic grammar for all of those and a readable description of the rest of the language.

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