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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.



The form has been connected to words for 'horse' that extend eastward in non-IE languages, but the dating and direction of borrowing remains uncertain. T. Gamkrelidze and V. Ivanov associate the word to horse riding in the Bronze Age.[1][2]


The reconstruction at the PIE level is disputed on several grounds:

  • limited geographical distribution in Western IE - only present in the Celtic and Germanic branches.
  • the presence of rare/disputed PIE phoneme */a/; a reconstruction *mh₂érkos seems untenable.

One theory which does not accept the existence of this PIE word sees the Germanic forms as a borrowing from the Celtic, and those as a loan from Proto-Iranian *márikah (compare Old Persian [script needed] (marika, male, manly)), from *máryah (compare Avestan 𐬨𐬀𐬌𐬭𐬌𐬌𐬀(mairiia, man; male animal)); akin to Sanskrit मर्य (márya, young man; stallion). More at marry.


*márkos m

  1. horse (Equus caballus)
  2. (possibly) wild horse (Equus przewalskii or gmelini)

Usage notes[edit]

Possibly denoting only a "wild horse" as opposed to the *h₁éḱwos (domestic horse).


nominative *márkos
genitive *márkosyo
singular dual plural
nominative *márkos *márkoh₁ *márkoes
vocative *márke *márkoh₁ *márkoes
accusative *márkom *márkoh₁ *márkoms
genitive *márkosyo *? *márkooHom
ablative *márkead *? *márkomos
dative *márkoey *? *márkomos
locative *márkey, *márkoy *? *márkoysu
instrumental *márkoh₁ *? *márkōys


Derived terms[edit]


  • Celtic: *markos (see there for further descendants)
  • Germanic: *marhaz (see there for further descendants)


  1. ^ R. Matasović (2009): Etymological Dictionary of Proto-Celtic, p. 257.
  2. ^ T. Gamkrelidze & V. Ivanov (1995): Indo-European and the Indo-Europeans, p. 472-473.