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


Hittite [script needed] ‎(arra-, wash) and Tocharian A yär- ‎(wash) point to a Proto-Indo-European form *h₁er- ‎(wash), which would not yield Ancient Greek ἄριστος ‎(áristos). Etymological connection is unlikely. Jackwolfroven (talk) 02:27, 2 March 2014 (UTC)

Hmm... Cal Watkins in The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots takes ἄριστος back to *h₁ar- (the same root from which arm in both its Germanic and Latin sense, harmony, art, article, and arthro- come from) but doesn't mention the Hittite and Tocharian words for 'wash' (since that dictionary only deals with words involved in English etymologies). Still, the fact that he chose to reconstruct it with h₁ and the unusual a-vocalism rather than with h₂ and e suggests he may well have been thinking of a vowel-initial Hittite word. The minority of Indo-Europeanists who believe in h₄ would probably reconstruct this as *h₄er- in an attempt to get a-coloring and Hittite ḫ-lessness without giving up on the idea of e as the only possible vowel in IE roots. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:29, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
Be that as it may, the connection between a root for "to fit, be suitable" and verbs meaning "to wash" is now completely obscure and puzzling to the reader. I had to scan the history myself to get the underlying idea: "the best one" is presumably the most fit one, (ritually) clean one. Still highly speculative. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 22:43, 29 June 2014 (UTC)