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Berke, J.H. Schneider, S. (1994). Antithetical Meanings of 'The Breast'. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 75:491-498.

(1994). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 75:491-498

Antithetical Meanings of 'The Breast'

Joseph H. Berke and Stanley Schneider


This paper addresses the issue of the antithetical meaning of primary words, and, in particular, it considers the primary word and concept, 'the breast'. The authors point out that many languages convey some aspects of the complicated, convoluted and contradictory significance of 'the breast'. But none does so better than Hebrew, which is a central member of the Semitic group of languages. Consequently, the authors have chosen to explore the diverse significance of the term 'breast', by tracing the derivations of the Hebrew bilateral root for breast which is דשׁ 'shahd'. In doing so they show that the many linguistic transformations discussed are clearly in line with Freud's discussion of dream processes as well as his interest in the reversal and reduplication of root words. Perhaps, even more importantly, the paper demonstrates that by understanding the development of primary words it is possible to gain a closer, multidimensional appreciation of reality.

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