Etymology
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abacus (n.)
late 14c., "sand table for drawing, calculating, etc.," also "art of calculating with an abacus," from Latin abacus, from Greek abax (genitive abakos) "counting table, board for drawing," of uncertain etymology. It is said to be from a Semitic source, Phoenician or Hebrew abaq "sand strewn on a surface for writing," literally "dust," from the Semitic root a-b-q "to fly off," but Beekes and others find this "semantically weak."

Originally a drawing board covered with dust or sand on which mathematical equations or calculations could be traced and erased. In reference to the other type of abacus, a counting frame with beads or balls strung on wires or rods, it is attested from 17c. or later in English. Both types were known in antiquity across Eurasia. Related: Abacist (late 14c.)
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carob (n.)
common English name of a leguminous evergreen tree native to the eastern Mediterranean lands, 1540s, from French carobe, ultimately from Arabic (Semitic) kharrub "locust bean pod" (also in Persian as khirnub), perhaps from Assyrian kharubu or Aramaic kharubha "carob tree, carob." Related to Hebrew harubh.
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Erebus 
in Homer, etc., the place of darkness between Earth and Hades, from Latin Erebus, from Greek Erebos, which is of unknown origin, perhaps from Semitic (compare Hebrew erebh "sunset, evening"), or from PIE *regw-es- "darkness" (source also of Sanskrit rajas "the atmosphere, thick air, mist, darkness;" Gothic rikwis "darkness"). Used figuratively of darkness from 1590s.
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digamma (n.)

1550s, "the letter F;" 1690s as the name of a former letter in the Greek alphabet, corresponding to -F- (apparently originally pronounced with the force of English consonantal -w-), from Latin digamma "F," from Greek digamma, literally "double gamma" (because it resembles two gammas, one atop the other). The sixth letter of the original Greek alphabet, it corresponded to Semitic waw.

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pessary (n.)

c. 1400, pessarie, "a suppository; a medicated plug inserted into an orifice of the body," from Late Latin pessarium, from Greek pessarion "medicated tampon of wool or lint," diminutive of pessos "pessary," earlier "oval stone used in games," a word of uncertain, perhaps Semitic, origin. As an instrument worn in the vagina to remedy various uterine displacements, by 1754.

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paschal (adj.)

"of or pertaining to Passover or Easter," early 15c., from Old French paschal (12c.) and directly from Late Latin paschalis, from pascha "Passover, Easter," from Greek pascha "Passover," from Aramaic (Semitic) pasha "pass over," corresponding to Hebrew pesah, from pasah "he passed over" (see Passover). Pasche was an early Middle English term for "Easter" (see Easter), and the older Dutch form of the word, Paas, was retained in New York.

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sultan (n.)

1550s, from French sultan "ruler of Turkey" (16c.), ultimately from Arabic (Semitic) sultan "ruler, prince, monarch, king, queen," originally "power, dominion." According to Klein's sources, this is from Aramaic shultana "power," from shelet "have power." Earlier English word was soldan, soudan (c. 1300), used indiscriminately of Muslim rulers and sovereigns, from Old French souldan, soudan, from Medieval Latin sultanus. Related: Sultanic.

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nard (n.)

name of an East Indian plant as well as a precious aromatic unguent prepared from it, c. 1200, from Old French narde (Modern French nard) and directly from Latin nardus, from Greek nardos, a word of borrowed from a Semitic language (compare Hebrew ner'd, plural n'radim; Arabic and Persian nardin,) ultimately from Sanskrit narada, nalada, name of the plant and of an aromatic balsam. Related: Nardine.

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iota (n.)
"very small amount," 1630s, figurative use of iota, ninth and smallest letter in the Greek alphabet (corresponding to Latin -i-). Its use in this sense is after Matthew v.18 (see jot (n.), which is the earlier form of the name in English), but iota in classical Greek also was proverbially used of anything very small. The letter name is from Semitic (compare Phoenician and Hebrew yodh).
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sapphire (n.)

precious stone, a blue-to-transparent variety of corundum next in hardness to diamond, mid-13c., saphyr, from Old French saphir (12c.) and directly from Latin sapphirus (source also of Spanish zafir, Italian zaffiro), from Greek sappheiros, name of a blue precious stone, from a Semitic source (compare Hebrew sappir "sapphire"), but according to OED probably not ultimately from Semitic.

Some linguists propose an origin in Sanskrit sanipriya, a dark precious stone (perhaps sapphire or emerald), literally "sacred to Saturn," from Sani "Saturn" + priyah "precious." The gem meant by the Greeks apparently was not the one now so called, but perhaps rather lapis lazuli, the modern sapphire perhaps being signified by Greek hyakinthos. In Renaissance lapidaries, it was said to cure anger and stupidity. As an adjective from early 15c. As a color, a deep brilliant or bright blue, by 1680s. Related: Sapphiric.

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