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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.



Clear cognates are found only in Italo-Celtic, Baltic and Germanic, which points to an old European substratum word,[1] geographically confined to the west and center of IE world.

Persian توده ‎(toda, masses; heap; stack, hill, rick, tumulus) is sometimes listed as a cognate but a large semantic divergence remains unexplainable.[2]

The supposed Hittite cognate 𒌅𒍖𒍣𒅖 ‎(tuzziš, army; camp) with the semantic shift "people" > "army" > "camp" has been criticized to be unlikely (the normal development would be "camp" > "army").[3] Kloekhorst furthermore argues that the Hittite word can formally only reflect an i-stem tewt-i-, and finally endorses an alternative etymology proposed by Melchert, from PIE *dʰh₁-uti-.

Often a derivation from the roots *tewh₂- ‎(to be strong; swell)[4] (referring to the strength of community) and *tewH- ‎(to look favorably; protect; observe)[5] is considered, but the presence of a laryngeal renders that suspect.[6]


*tewtéh₂ f ‎(non-ablauting)[7]

  1. people, tribe

Coordinate terms[edit]



  • Anatolian:
  • Baltic:
  • Celtic: *towtā
  • Germanic: *þeudō (see there for further descendants)
  • Italic: *toutā
    • Oscan: [script needed] ‎(touto, community)
    • Umbrian: [script needed] ‎(totam, citizenry (acc.))
  • Indo-Iranian
    • Persian: توده ‎(toda, masses, heap, pile)


  1. ^ Kloekhorst 2008: 908
  2. ^ EIEC: 417
  3. ^ Benveniste (1962: 122-5) apud Kloekhorst 2008: 908
  4. ^ LIV2: 639
  5. ^ LIV2: 639
  6. ^ EIEC: 417
  7. ^ Don Ringe, From Proto-Indo-European to Proto-Germanic, Oxford University Press, 2006