Abarim Publications' online Biblical Hebrew Dictionary
The two roots קיא (qy') and קיה (qyh) mean the same thing and are obviously related:
The root verb קיא (qi') means to vomit up or disgorge, and is probably most famously deployed in the familiar adventure of Jonah, which culminated in the great fish vomiting him up onto dry land right after he exclaimed the name of Jesus (Jonah 2:10).
If one eats the bread of a selfish man, one will vomit the little one has eaten (Proverbs 23:8). And if one eats too much honey, one will vomit all of it back up (Proverbs 25:16), just like a godless man may swallow riches but will vomit them back up (Job 20:15).
Still, where our English verb to vomit is largely restricted to the bodily function of expelling ingested harmful material via the mouth, the Hebrew verb appears to cover a wider range of expulsion. Thus a land may spew out unworthy inhabitants (Leviticus 18:25-28, 20:22).
Our verb yields the following derivatives:
- The masculine noun קא (qe), meaning vomit. This noun occurs only in the famous saying: "Like a dog that returns to its vomit, so is a fool who repeats his foolishness" (Proverbs 26:11, quoted in 2 Peter 2:22).
- The masculine noun קיא (qi), also meaning vomit, but only of drunk people's vomit (Isaiah 19:14, 28:8 and Jeremiah 48:26 only).
The root verb קיה (qaya) also means to vomit. It's used only in Jeremiah 25:27, also of vomiting due to drinking.