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This Proto-Indo-European entry contains reconstructed words and roots. As such, the term(s) in this entry are not directly attested, but are hypothesized to have existed based on comparative evidence.




  1. to snow


Karl Hoffman proposed in 1965 that the original meaning of the root was "to stick, remain", with semantic shift to "snow" (i.e. snow is that which sticks). That sense is still being assigned in LIV. However, that interpretation is highly unlikely, given that all the other daughters except Sanskrit (and also within Indo-Iranian and even Indo-Aryan family itself; cf. Prakrit reflex siṇēha "snow, hoarfrost") point to "to snow" as the original meaning of the root. According to Cheung (2007), Hoffman's explanation that this meaning could have coexisted with the meaning "to snow" is untenable. Cheung (2007) argues that the Sanskrit meaning "to stick, remain; sticky fluid" is secondary (possibly of slang origin) "perhaps from whitish bodily fluids which are compared to snow, notably snot and spit".

Derived terms[edit]

The zero-grade root noun is presumed to be the older form, while the full-grade thematic derivation (preserved in Germanic, Balto-Slavic and Indo-Iranian) is likely a later innovation.


There is no evidence for s-mobile, hence Sanskrit निहाका (nihākā, snow-storm?) cannot be a cognate.