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This Proto-Slavic 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.



From Proto-Balto-Slavic *arbas, from Proto-Indo-European *h₃órbʰos (orphan). According to the majority view, cognate with Ancient Greek ὀρφανός (orphanós, orphaned), Latin orbus (orphaned), Old Armenian որբ (orb, orphan; orphaned) and Sanskrit अर्भ (árbha, child; small). Per Derksen, probably also cognate with Proto-Germanic *arbaidiz.


*õrbъ m[1][2][3]

  1. servant, slave


Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]


Note that the descendants exhibit a metathesis of the liquid r (*or- > ro-; ra-):

  • East Slavic:
    • Old East Slavic: робъ (robŭ)
  • South Slavic:
  • West Slavic:
  • Non-Slavic:
    • Hungarian: rab
    • Romanian: rob

Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ Derksen, Rick (2008), “*orbъ”, in Etymological Dictionary of the Slavic Inherited Lexicon (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 4), Leiden, Boston: Brill, →ISBN, page 373: “m. o ‘servant, slave’”
  2. ^ Olander, Thomas (2001), “orbъ”, in Common Slavic accentological word list, Copenhagen: Editiones Olander: “b? slave (PR 134)”
  3. ^ Snoj, Marko (2016), “rọ̑b”, in Slovenski etimološki slovar3 (in Slovene), “*orbъ̏”