Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
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.



Connection with certain Indo-Iranian terms has been suggested:

There are several indications that the word for “apple” did not belong to the oldest layer of the Indo-European protolanguage:

  1. The word is limited to the West Indo-European languages
  2. It contains the phoneme */b/, which had marginal distribution in PIE
  3. It somewhat resembles the South European word for "apple" (PIE or pseudo-PIE *méh₂lom: Latin mālum, Ancient Greek μῆλον (mêlon)), which might suggest a substrate or wanderwort origin of both.

This all points that the word potentially entered the Indo-European speech continuum some time after the dissolution of the parent language.


Germanic stem variants *apal- and *apla- point to the originally archaic ablauting paradigm.

Alternative reconstructions[edit]


*h₂ébōl m

  1. apple


Athematic, amphikinetic
nominative *h₂ébōl
genitive *h₂blés
singular dual plural
nominative *h₂ébōl *h₂ébolh₁(e) *h₂éboles
vocative *h₂ébol *h₂ébolh₁(e) *h₂éboles
accusative *h₂ébolm̥ *h₂ébolh₁(e) *h₂ébolm̥s
genitive *h₂blés *? *h₂blóHom
ablative *h₂blés *? *h₂bl̥mós
dative *h₂bléy *? *h₂bl̥mós
locative *h₂bél, *h₂béli *? *h₂bl̥sú
instrumental *h₂bléh₁ *? *h₂bl̥bʰí



  • Proto-Balto-Slavic: *āˀbōl (see there for further descendants)
  • Proto-Celtic: *abalom (see there for further descendants)
  • Proto-Germanic: *aplaz (see there for further descendants)
  • Proto-Italic: *abelnā
    • Oscan: Abella (the name of a city in Campania which Vergil calls malifera, i.e. "apple-bearing", usually dismissed as a borrowing from a northern language though)

Further reading[edit]

  • Mallory, J. P.; Adams, D. Q., editors (1997) Encyclopedia of Indo-European culture, London, Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, page 25f
  • Kloekhorst, Alwin (2008) Etymological Dictionary of the Hittite Inherited Lexicon (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 5), Leiden, Boston: Brill, →ISBN, page 712f
  • Kroonen, Guus (2013) , “apla-”, in Etymological Dictionary of Proto-Germanic (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 11), Leiden, Boston: Brill, →ISBN, page 31f
  • Dariusz R. Piwowarczyk (2014) , “The Proto-Indo-European root for ‘apple’ and the problem of comparative reconstruction”, in Studia Etymologica Cracoviensia[1], volume 19, issue 3, DOI:10.4467/20843836SE.14.009.1652, ISSN 2084-3836, page 161–167


  1. ^ Matasović, Ranko (2009) , “*abalo-”, in Etymological Dictionary of Proto-Celtic (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 9), Leiden: Brill, →ISBN, page 23