QUESTION: How are all the word derived from בז connected?

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    QUESTION: When I hear biliteral בז, the disparaging sounds of contempt, spurning, plunder, and denigration are BuZZing in my ear. However, I’m assuming there has to be some sort of positive connotation to BZ, since the father of Prophet יחזקאל בן בוזי was named after it! Why else would a child have been named such a degrading name? Rashi actually points out that spoils can be dear and precious to the plunderer (when it’s בל’ בזז, as opposed to בז which is ל’ בזיון). So can it be that Buzi was so named because he was precious to his parents like precious spoils?
    P.S. here is the relevant excerpt from Rashi (to Deut. 2:34) that I cited above: בביזת סיחון נאמר בזזנו לנו ל’ ביזה שהיתה חביבה עליהם ובוזזים איש לו וכשבאו לביזת עוג כבר היו שבעים ומלאים והיתה בזויה בעיניהם ומקרעין ומשליכין בהמה ובגדים ולא נטלו כי אם כסף וזהב לכך נאמר בזונו לנו לשון בזיון כך נדרש בספרי בפרשת (במדבר כה) וישב ישראל בשטים

    ANSWER: Machberes Menachem lists all these words in entry בז, splitting it into two subcategories, one for contempt, derision, disregard, and the other for plunder, booty.
    Radak splits these two concept into three separate entries: בוז, בזה and בזז, but tersely qualifies this with an oft-repeated expression in his Roots Book: “they are separate roots with a common meaning,” without explaining what that common meaning is.

    Rabbi Shlomo Pappenheim in Cheshek Shlomo (entry בז) fills in the gap, explain why spoils are called בזה:

    ח”ש (ערך ‘בז’ –ת”ד) – בז – מונח על היפך החשיבות… מזה שיורה “בז” על הבזיון נקרא ה”ביזה” דהיינו שלל מלחמה “בזה” והוא מלשון בזיון… שנוהג בו מנהג בזיון שלוקחו בחנם בלי מחיר, כאילו לא היה שוה כלום…

    That is, the beneficiary of the loot consciously or otherwise views his prize with a measure of disdain (as in “easy come easy go,” as is so often the case with lottery winners). Cheshek Shlomo further suggests that this attitude applies to the victims of despoilment as well, since they are naturally more concerned about saving their lives than their money (Jack Benny being an exception to this rule. “Your money or your life…”). See also Rav Hirsch to Deut. 2:35 who distinguishes between שלל and בזה, hinting to a similar point as the latter explanation.

    Rabbi Yehoshua (Jeremy) Steinberg

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