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(pop culture)

Alnka is the word for a leech (Haemopsis sanguisuga) in ancient Hebrew. The word appeared in the Jewish Bible in Proverbs 30:15, where it was variously translated as leech or horseleech. The word was derived from an Arabic word (alukah), meaning “to hang to.” In Syria and Israel, there were several species of leeches, one of which would attach itself to the neck of horses as they drank from streams. Others dwelt in more stagnant waters and would cling to the legs of any who wandered their way. They were known for their tenacity in adhering to the skin, and often could only be detached by killing them.

Some have suggested that the cryptic expression in Proverbs, “The leech (aluka) has two daughters, Give, Give,” in fact, referred not to the common leech but to a mythological vampire figure, a Syrian/Hebrew derivation of the Arabic ghoul, which sucked blood and dined on the flesh of the dead. During the nineteenth century, such an interpretation was offered by several Bible scholars, however, it was always a minority interpretation and is no longer regarded as a viable option by contemporary scholars.


Gehman, Henry Snyder. The New Westminster Dictionary of the Bible. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1970. 1027 pp.
References in periodicals archive ?
These findings are similar to the findings from Ugwuja et al (10) and those of Aluka et al (11) and Adinma et al (1) except for the absence of severe anaemia in these other studies.
The Tigers first roared when Sone Aluka fired into the side netting two minutes after the restart.
The four animals -- Izizi, Aluka, Intombi and her daughter Amira -- began showing signs of neurological problems two weeks ago, a zoo official said.
For African studies, to name a few examples, unique materials may be found in the Aluka (34) database of materials relating to Struggles for Freedom in Southern Africa, in microfilmed archival collections collected by the Cooperative Africana Materials Project (35) and in the rare books and manuscripts collections of academic libraries specializing in African materials (many of which are being selectively digitized for free, public, open access throughout the world).
Elondo lyombinzi olyo omukithi ngoka hagu kala ethimbo momuntu gwo ihagu aluka.
With: Noel Palomaria, Tara Killian, Eva Frajko, Joaquin Garay III, Michael Waite, Nansi Aluka, Monique T.
Digital recordings and transcripts of all the interviews that follow are deposited in the Aluka Digital Library, content area "Struggles for Freedom in Southern Africa" [available at: http://www.
Additional images from African herbaria were studied using the collaborative internet resource, ALUKA.
Agyeman-Duah who has seven publications to his credit and does review and writings for the African and Asian Studies Journal in The Netherlands among others, currently serves as an advisor on The Andrew Mellon Foundation of New York's Aluka Africa Project.