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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.


Alternative forms[edit]


Seemingly related to Ancient Greek σομφός (somphós, spongy, porous (esp. of wood)), with which it is traditionally derived from Proto-Indo-European *swombʰ- (sponge; tree-fungus), but the Greek cannot be of inherited Indo-European origin given its lack of the expected shift *sw > *hw. Likely ultimately of substrate[2] or wanderwort origin. Such a substrate word may speculatively be related to the substrate sources of similar words in other languages, including Latin fungus (mushroom, fungus), Ancient Greek σπόγγος (spóngos)/σφόγγος (sphóngos, sponge; tonsil), Old Armenian սունկն (sunkn, tree fungus) and perhaps Proto-Balto-Slavic *gúmˀbas (bulged, bloated) (whence Lithuanian gum̃bas (bulge) and Proto-Slavic *gǫba (fungus, mushroom; sponge; lip)), which cannot be reconciled in terms of Proto-Indo-European.[1] See also the variant *sumpaz (swamp).



*swammaz m

  1. sponge
  2. fungus, mushroom
  3. swamp


masculine a-stemDeclension of *swammaz (masculine a-stem)
singular plural
nominative *swammaz *swammōz, *swammōs
vocative *swamm *swammōz, *swammōs
accusative *swammą *swammanz
genitive *swammas, *swammis *swammǫ̂
dative *swammai *swammamaz
instrumental *swammō *swammamiz

Related terms[edit]



  1. 1.0 1.1 Kroonen, Guus (2013), “*swamb/ppan-”, in Etymological Dictionary of Proto-Germanic (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 11), Leiden, Boston: Brill, →ISBN, page 495
  2. ^ van der Sijs, Nicoline, editor (2010), “zomp”, in Etymologiebank, Meertens Institute