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Why is the Great Salt Lake not a Sea?

Seas are usually much larger than lakes, and more importantly, seas usually connect directly with one of the oceans (e.g., South China Sea, Sea of Japan, Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea, Yellow Sea, Sea of Okhotsk). Lakes are generally bound by land. There are only a few exceptions, such as the Dead Sea and the Salton Sea, which are actually lakes. —Stephen 17:20, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
That would, however, make Lake Ontario a sea and the Caspian Sea a lake; I presume these are also exceptions. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 12:27, 28 July 2015 (UTC)


There is no evidence of any other origin in the Germanic languages of Old English SÆ than Gothic SAIWO[7], as the link to the Proto-Germanic root. Due to the lack of access to the oceans, it had been wrongly stated that there was no actual word in Germanic for SEA - cognates of mere being used. The Basque 'itsaso'[1] is no cognate in spite of its analogy. Andrew H. Gray 19:07, 2 December 2015 (UTC) Andrew (talk)

[0] means 'Absolutely not; [1] means 'Exceedingly unlikely'; [2] means 'Very dubious'; [3] means 'Questionable'; [4] means 'Possible'; [5] means 'Probable'; [6] means 'Likely'; [7] means 'Most Likely' or *Unattested; [8] means 'Attested'; [9] means 'Obvious' - only used for close matches within the same language or dialect, at linkable periods.

Andrew Werdna Yrneh Yarg (talk) Andrew H. Gray 19:07, 2 December 2015 (UTC)

@Werdna Yrneh Yarg Who stated that there was no actual word in Germanic for sea? The early Germanic people certainly had access to oceanic seas – they lived on the Baltic/North Sea coast, and had certainly managed to sail across the Great Belt (and even those that didn't would presumably trade with those who did). None of our entries suggest a borrowing from English, and that seems improbable in many cases – the Angles and Saxons who created the Anglo-Saxon language were already coast-dwellers who would have had their own word for sea, and the Norse had no contact with the British Isles until after they'd managed to sail the North Sea! Incidentally, mere etc was also apparently derived from a Proto-Germanic root (see German Wiktionary's entry for Meer, and the debate about whether *mer- originally meant sea or lake). Smurrayinchester (talk) 09:21, 3 December 2015 (UTC)
Thank you so much for your message; it is so important to establish the truth in every instance. I was caught out by reading that Old English writing includes all kinds of words representing 'sea', such as the 'deep' et cetera, because there was no actual word of Indo-European, other than of Germanic origin specifying this - I must admit that this was very hard to believe; and I particularly appreciate your correction as to this in a public site, in order to identify the truth here. I still believe, however, that the Old English lexeme is of older form than all its cognates except for Gothic that is the link between this and the Germanic root. MERE is certainly Germanic, and the etymology follows through quite logically there. My due apologies! Andrew H. Gray 09:49, 3 December 2015 (UTC) Andrew (talk)