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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.



Possibly from *kap- (seize, hold), perhaps of substrate origin.[1]


káput[2][1][3][4] ~ *kap-wét-s[5][6]

  1. head


Athematic, proterokinetic
nominative *káput
genitive *kapwéts
singular dual plural
nominative *káput
vocative *káput
accusative *káput
genitive *kapwéts
ablative *kapwéts
dative *kapwétey
locative *kapwét, *kapwéti
instrumental *kapwéth₁

Related terms[edit]

  • *káp-wl̥
    • >? Proto-Germanic: *habulô
      • Proto-West Germanic: *habulō (see there for further descendants)
    • Proto-Indo-Iranian: *kapā́las (see there for further descendants)


  • Proto-Germanic: *hafudą ~ *haubeþaz (head) (metathesized < *habweþaz)[5] (see there for further descendants)
  • Proto-Italic: *kaput[7]
    • Latin: caput (head) (see there for further descendants)


  1. 1.0 1.1 Schrijver, Peter. 1997. "Animal, vegetable and mineral: some Western European substratum words". In: Lubotsky, A. Sound Law and Analogy, pp. 293–316. Amsterdam/Atlanta.
  2. ^ Pokorny, Julius (1959), “kap-ut”, in Indogermanisches etymologisches Wörterbuch [Indo-European Etymological Dictionary] (in German), volume II, Bern, München: Francke Verlag, pages 529-530
  3. ^ Schrijver, Peter C. H. (1991) The reflexes of the Proto-Indo-European laryngeals in Latin (Leiden studies in Indo-European; 2), Amsterdam, Atlanta: Rodopi, page 100-101
  4. ^ Mallory, J. P.; Adams, D. Q. (2006) The Oxford introduction to Proto-Indo-European and the Proto-Indo-European world, Oxford University Press, page 270
  5. 5.0 5.1 Kroonen, Guus (2013), “*ha(u)beda- ~ *ha(u)buda-”, in Etymological Dictionary of Proto-Germanic (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 11), Leiden, Boston: Brill, →ISBN, page 215
  6. ^ Kluge, Friedrich (1989), “Haupt”, in Elmar Seebold, editor, Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache [Etymological dictionary of the German language] (in German), 22nd edition, Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, →ISBN
  7. ^ De Vaan, Michiel (2008), “caput, -itis”, in Etymological Dictionary of Latin and the other Italic Languages (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 7), Leiden, Boston: Brill, →ISBN, page 91