Analysis of Names. Concrete beginnings.
None of the names reveals the composite character of the named monster (see table p.150). The two exceptions, Scorpion-Man (4) and Carp-Goat (5), are not originally monsters. The scorpion is named Scorpion-Man only after it developed its human parts, the m â s -carp became a composite only after the element m â s in its name was understood as Carp. Bison (2), Bison(-Bull) (3) and Hairy-One (9) do not reveal the human parts, Furious-Snake (1) does not reveal the lion part, and Heavy-Cloud (6), Roaring-Day (7) and Big-Day (8) do not reveal any part of their composite denotations.
The names that reveal only part of the composition may be taken to have denoted originally only that part, a simple being not a composed one. Thus Furious-Snake originally denoted a snake, not a dragon. The element hu s in the name of the snake, translated throughout this book as "Furious," gives away the nature of the snake. Although the translation "Furious" is not incorrect, the word is better translated "awe-inspiring," since it is a quality not only of animate beings, but also of inanimate things such as gates and temples. The colour adjective hu s "red" is undoubtedly the same word. The snake then, denoted by Furious-Snake, is orginally the awe-inspiring snake. The other words, Bison and Bison(-Bull) originally denoted a bison, and not a bison-human composite.
We take it that the denoted bison was, like the snake, the awe-inspiring bison. The development from simple animal to monster, here derived from etymology, is observable fact in the cases of the scorpion(-man) and the carp(-goat).
The names that do not reveal any part of their composite denotation are clearly not in origin those of composite beings, but of the phenomena they denote. The imaginary monsters only serve to make these awe-inspiring natural phenomena visible.
Heavy-Cloud (6) and the fearsome Days (7, 8) are convincingly realized as lion/eagle composites.
Hairy -One, the name of the naked hero with curls, is a special case. The name is purely descriptive, and must have been given to the hero with curls after he had been realized. Since it is unthinkable that the realization (man with curls) of an imaginary being (spirit of streams) precedes its conception in language, the name Hairy -One cannot be the original name of the hero with curls. Its secondary nature is indicated as well by the fact that it is a Semitic name, and not a Sumerian one.
The awe-inspiring animals of the first group (1-5) are turned into monsters by the addition of animal and human parts, they are, so to speak, only half imaginary. The awe-inspiring phenomena of the second group (6-8) are expressed by composites that are completely imaginary. It is logical to conclude that the process of monster formation started with the half imaginary ones, and that the completely imaginary ones followed their example.
Cuneiform Monographs 1: Mesopotamian Protective Spirits, The ritual texts. F.A.M. Wiggermann p. 147-148