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



Of unclear origin; the word was either borrowed from an unknown language or constructed from native material in late Proto-Germanic. The word has been connected by Walde 1910 to the Ancient Greek words κλίβανος (klíbanos), κρίβανος (kríbanos, baker's oven; pan with a lid for baking bread) and κλιβανίτης (klibanítēs, bread baked in a κλίβανος), which according to Beekes is probably a borrowing from an unknown substrate language. The Germanic word could well have been borrowed from the same source. If so, it would be an early borrowing, since the word then apparently displays the effects of Grimm's Law.

Compare Latvian klàips (loaf), Lithuanian kliẽpas (loaf) (Proto-Indo-European *kʷel- is suggested as their origin, owing to the fact that the earliest flatbreads were disk-shaped.)



*hlaibaz m

  1. bread
  2. loaf


masculine a-stemDeclension of *hlaibaz (masculine a-stem)
singular plural
nominative *hlaibaz *hlaibōz, *hlaibōs
vocative *hlaib *hlaibōz, *hlaibōs
accusative *hlaibą *hlaibanz
genitive *hlaibas, *hlaibis *hlaibǫ̂
dative *hlaibai *hlaibamaz
instrumental *hlaibō *hlaibamiz

Usage notes[edit]

According to Kluge, the word probably referred to unleavened bread, whereas *braudą was the (more modern) leavened bread.

Derived terms[edit]


Further reading[edit]

  • Kluge, F. and E. Seebold (2002), Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache, 24., durchgesehene und erweiterte Auflage, bearbeitet von Elmar Seebold, (on CD-ROM), Berlin. Entry Laib.
  • Beekes, Robert S. P. (2010) Etymological Dictionary of Greek (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 10), volume I, with the assistance of Lucien van Beek, Leiden, Boston: Brill, →ISBN, page 715f
  • Walde, Alois (1910), “lībum”, in Lateinisches etymologisches Wörterbuch (in German), 2nd edition, Heidelberg: Carl Winter, page 428