μασχάλη

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Ancient Greek[edit]

Etymology[edit]

The formation may be compared with that of ἀγκάλη (ankálē, bent arm), but further deatils are unclear. According to Beekes, it is undoubtedly a Pre-Greek word.

Meanwhile Douglas Q. Adams has presented a derivation from Proto-Indo-European *h₂eḱsleh₂, via *h₂eḱs- (axis, axle), ultimately from the root *h₂eǵ- (to drive), and source to Latin āla (wing, armpit), axilla (little wing, armpit) as well as Proto-Germanic *ahslō (shoulder). He finds that a Proto-Hellenic *aksalā could have given *askhalā by simple metathesis, while the initial m- could be either the product of a misdivision of the definite article plus noun (e. g. in the accusative singular *tām aksalā as well as in the respective genitive and dative dual, and genitive plural forms) or a contamination with the semantically similar μάλη (málē, armpit) and μαζός (mazós, breast).

Immanuel Löw explains it as a Semitic borrowing, related to Jewish Babylonian Aramaic מַתְחֲלָא(maṯḥălā, calyx surrounding the date in its early state, or spathe of a date-palm), possibly related to Arabic حُثَالَة(ḥuṯāla, husks of grain or of dates, refuse of any crop), both of uncertain internal relations.

Pronunciation[edit]

 

Noun[edit]

μᾰσχᾰ́λη (maskhálēf (genitive μᾰσχᾰ́λης); first declension

  1. (anatomy) armpit, axilla
    Synonym: μάλη (málē)
  2. (botany) axil, hollow at the base of a shoot
  3. branch, young palm twig
  4. (geography) bay, gulf
  5. part of the prow of a ship, to which the foresail is fastened

Inflection[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Descendants[edit]

  • Greek: μασχάλη (mascháli)

Further reading[edit]

  • μασχάλη in Liddell & Scott (1889) An Intermediate Greek–English Lexicon, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • μασχάλη in Bailly, Anatole (1935) Le Grand Bailly: Dictionnaire grec-français, Paris: Hachette
  • μασχάλη in Liddell & Scott (1940) A Greek–English Lexicon, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • Adams, Douglas Q (1984) , “The Etymology of Greek μασχάλη ‘Armpit’ with Notes on μάλη”, in Glotta, volume 62, pages 65 seqq.
  • Beekes, Robert S. P. (2010) Etymological Dictionary of Greek (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 10), with the assistance of Lucien van Beek, Leiden, Boston: Brill, →ISBN
  • Löw, Immanuel (1924) Die Flora der Juden[1] (in German), volume 2, Wien und Leipzig: R. Löwit, page 334
  • mtḥl”, in The Comprehensive Aramaic Lexicon Project, Cincinnati: Hebrew Union College, 1986–

Greek[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /maˈsxali/
  • Hyphenation: μα‧σχά‧λη

Noun[edit]

μασχάλη (maschálif (plural μασχάλες)

  1. armpit, axilla

Declension[edit]