hamsa

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English[edit]

Khamsa.jpg

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from Hebrew חַמְסָה(khámsa), from Arabic خَمْسَة(ḵamsa, five), used among Jews of Arabic origin for the fingers on the hand.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈhæm.sə/, /ˈhɑm.sə/

Noun[edit]

hamsa (plural hamsas)

  1. The Hand of Fatima.
    • 2017 February 22, Sam Kestenbaum, “A Brooklyn Store That Specializes in the Evil Eye”, in The New York Times[1], ISSN 0362-4331:
      Reverence for the amulets cuts across religious boundaries. Jews come for Kabbalistic bracelets, glass hamsas or strings of ceramic pomegranates.
    • 2020 November 25, Tanya Dukes, “Gilt-y Pleasures: Holiday Gift Ideas for the Jewelry Lover”, in The New York Times[2], ISSN 0362-4331:
      Variously associated with qualities ranging from warding off evil to promoting fertility, the open hand of the hamsa is thought to have originated in Mesopotamia and is recognized the world over.

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