The word Tabah means to cook. In modern Hebrew, a Mitbah is a kitchen. In Arabic, Tabaha means "he cooked".
And yet, from what I can find, nearly all Biblical commentators, Jewish and gentile, by the way, assume that Potiphar, the Sar HaTabahim, was the king's chief executioner, a play on words from what is assumed to be the "literal" meaning, which is "chief butcher".
I cannot find a single source that explains this latter assumption, the one about the literal meaning, though there are many who make it, dating all the way back to the earliest Rabbinical commentators, including Onkelos.
If this assumption is correct - that is, if the "literal" meaning of the word is "butchery" - then, either Hebrew (and Arabic) made some leap from butchery to general food preparation, or the reverse (I guess). I know there must be something I'm missing here. What did the Sar HaTabahim actually do (alt., what does his title actually suggest)?