"בפנים או בחוץ?"
Translation:Inside or outside?
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Why do you think they come from different roots? I actually guess (and Even Shoshan agrees, though still as just a guess) that the "inside" meaning came from the "face" meaning. Admittedly it's surprising, we tend to think of "face" as outward, but still I can imagine how it worked in a different way for our linguistic ancestors.
I wrote that because that is what I found on the Hebrew Academy website.
I usually check both the Hebrew Academy and Even Shoshan. This time I checked only the Academy, but it surely leaves me puzzled. In such a case, who in your opinion is correct? Because from what I understand, Even Shoshan is very reputable, but the Academy is still the Academy.
Both the Academy and Even Shoshan are correct (duh). The thing is that the root of the word is not necessarily its origin. The root פנם was derived from פְּנִים to form the verb הפנים (internalize). A clearer example is the antonym of הפנים, namely החצין (externalize). This was derived from חיצוני, thus coining the root חצן, but obviously this root did not exist beforehand; חיצוני originated from חוץ.