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Concept# 8

Summary

8 (eight) is the natural number following 7 and preceding 9.
English eight, from Old English eahta, æhta, Proto-Germanic *ahto is a direct continuation of Proto-Indo-European *oḱtṓ(w)-, and as such cognate with Greek ὀκτώ and Latin octo-, both of which stems are reflected by the English prefix oct(o)-, as in the ordinal adjective octaval or octavary, the distributive adjective is octonary.
The adjective octuple (Latin octu-plus) may also be used as a noun, meaning "a set of eight items"; the diminutive octuplet is mostly used to refer to eight siblings delivered in one birth.
The Semitic numeral is based on a root *θmn-, whence Akkadian smn-, Arabic ṯmn-, Hebrew šmn- etc.
The Chinese numeral, written 八 (Mandarin: bā; Cantonese: baat), is from Old Chinese *priāt-, ultimately from Sino-Tibetan b-r-gyat or b-g-ryat which also yielded Tibetan brgyat.
It has been argued that, as the cardinal number is the highest number of items that can universally be cognitively processed as a single set, the etymology of the numeral eight might be the first to be considered composite, either as "twice four" or as "two short of ten", or similar.
The Turkic words for "eight" are from a Proto-Turkic stem *sekiz, which has been suggested as originating as a negation of eki "two", as in "without two fingers" (i.e., "two short of ten; two fingers are not being held up");
this same principle is found in Finnic *kakte-ksa, which conveys a meaning of "two before (ten)". The Proto-Indo-European reconstruction *oḱtṓ(w)- itself has been argued as representing an old dual, which would correspond to an original meaning of "twice four".
Proponents of this "quaternary hypothesis" adduce the numeral , which might be built on the stem new-, meaning "new" (indicating the beginning of a "new set of numerals" after having counted to eight).
The modern digit 8, like all modern Arabic numerals other than zero, originates with the Brahmi numerals.
The Brahmi digit for eight by the 1st century was written in one stroke as a curve └┐ looking like an uppercase H with the bottom half of the left line and the upper half of the right line removed.

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