երախայ

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Old Armenian[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Ačaṙyan compares Middle Persian [Book Pahlavi needed] (lsyk'), [Book Pahlavi needed] (lhyk' /rahīg/), 𐫡𐫍𐫏𐫃(rhyg /rahīg/), Parthian 𐫡𐫍𐫏𐫃(rhyg /rahīg/, child; page, servant), and because these cannot account for Armenian, assumes origin from a hypothetical Classical Syriac *raxā, from which both Armenian and Iranian are borrowed.[1] According to him, the spelling երեխայ (erexay) arose due to the assimilation to the first vowel.[1]

According to Ačaṙyan, the original meaning is an “unbaptized person”; it was used for both children and grown-ups. Later, as it became customary to be baptized in childhood, the word received the sense of a “child”.[1]

Ačaṙyan does not elaborate on the meaning and origin of Classical Syriac *raxā. It should probably be identified with the Semitic etymon of Ancient Greek ῥακά (rhaká), ῥαχά (rhakhá), ῥαχᾶς (rhakhâs), Old Armenian ռակայ (ṙakay, idiot, fool): compare Aramaic רֵיקָא(rēqā, worthless person; profane), Classical Syriac ܪܝܩܐ(rēqā, vain thing),[2] Hebrew רֵיק(rēq, empty; vain; worthless). The connection with ռակայ (ṙakay) was made already by Hiwnkʿearpēyēntean.[3] Old Armenian սրիկայ (srikay) is ultimately borrowed from the same Semitic root. Basil describes Ancient Greek ῥακά (rhaká) as "a vernacular word of mild abuse used in the family circle".[4] For the sense development ‘fool’ → ‘child’ see խոխա (xoxa). Alternatively, the sense development is ‘worthless person’ → ‘profane person’ → ‘unbaptized person’ → ‘child’. For the alternation երախայ (eraxay) ~ երեխայ (erexay), compare Ancient Greek ῥαχά (rhakhá) ~ Aramaic רֵיקָא(rēqā).

Iranian rahīg is probably unrelated and rather belongs under Proto-Indo-Iranian *Hrátʰas (chariot).[5]

In the above etymologies it is assumed that ե- (e-) is a prothetic vowel added to words starting with ր- (r-), as in եղբայր (ełbayr), երագ (erag), երակ (erak), երախ (erax), երասան (erasan).

See also Արախա (Araxa).

Noun[edit]

երախայ (eraxay)

  1. (Christianity) unbaptized person; catechumen
  2. newborn child; child that cannot yet speak

Declension[edit]

Adjective[edit]

երախայ (eraxay)

  1. child- or simple-minded, silly

Declension[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Descendants[edit]

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Ačaṙean, Hračʿeay (1973), “երախայ”, in Hayerēn armatakan baṙaran [Dictionary of Armenian Root Words] (in Armenian), volume II, 2nd edition, Yerevan: University Press, page 36ab
  2. ^ ryq”, in The Comprehensive Aramaic Lexicon Project, Cincinnati: Hebrew Union College, 1986–
  3. ^ Hiwnkʿearpēyēntean, Yovhannēs (1894), “երախայ”, in Stugabanakan baṙaran hayocʿ lezui [Etymological Dictionary of the Armenian Language] (in Armenian), Constantinople: Tparan G. Paɫtatlean, page 214a
  4. ^ Moulton, James Hope; Milligan, George (1914–1929), “ῥακά”, in The Vocabulary of the Greek Testament. Illustrated from the Papyri and other Non-Literary Sources, London: Hodder and Stoughton, page 562b
  5. ^ Mayrhofer, Manfred (1996) Etymologisches Wörterbuch des Altindoarischen [Etymological Dictionary of Old Indo-Aryan] (in German), volume II, Heidelberg: Carl Winter Universitätsverlag, page 429

Further reading[edit]